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Classic Peruvian Ceviche

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Classic Peruvian Ceviche
Like carpaccio, ceviche (seh-VEE-chay) is a raw fish recipe that modern cooks just love to play with. It is essentially fish "cooked" in the acid of citrus juice and served with a cold beer on a hot day. The dish originates in Peru, and is thought to be a development from Spanish escabeche, which is a vinegar-marinated dish. This recipe is for the classic Peruvian ceviche.

Prep Time: 3 hours, 15 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours, 15 minutes


  • 1 pound white saltwater fish (albacore, sole, snapper, halibut -- anything you would see on a sushi menu)
  • 1 cup lime juice - key limes if you can get them
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 T. salt
  • 1 rocoto chile (chile manzano in Mexican markets) or 2 aji limon (substitute a habanero)
  • 1 medium onion, sliced very thinly into half-moons
  • 4 T. chopped cilantro


Cut the fish into small pieces: You can dice it or leave it in pieces up to 1 inch square, but remember that the larger the pieces the longer it will take to marinate.

Salt the fish, then cover with the citrus juice in a non-reactive (glass or plastic) container with a lid. Add the sliced onions and the chiles.

Chill this in the fridge for at least 2 hours, possibly as much as 3 hours -- very large pieces can take longer. If your fish is truly raw-eating quality, it is OK if the centers of the pieces are still raw-looking.

To serve, lay down some of the onions and chiles and top with the fish. Garnish with the cilantro.

Ceviche is so sharp and acidic it cries out for beer and tortilla chips as an accompaniment -- although you won't find tortilla chips in Peru. In Peru, you will most often find this served with potatoes, either sweet or white.

User Reviews

 1 out of 5

Peruvian ceviche, the original, is cooked in lime only for NO MORE than 10 minutes. We usually put the lime juice and serve it right away. We eat it with camote (sweet potato) yellow potato (or other kind of potato), yucca (cassava) and peruvian corn. It also has cancha that is a peruvian popped corn (does not look like pop corn) The onion is sliced thinly but long, rinced in very cold water and drained (for crispness) We use aji (hot peppers) either amarillo , rocoto or limo (not limon). Aji limo is kind like habanero but it does not burn your stomach like habanero. Rocoto or aji amarillo have no substitute! you can garnish with a little bit of chopped cilantro or parsley. Peruvians do not eat a ceviche that has been sitting on lime for a while. Usually in cevicherias they make it on the spot and serve it very, very fresh! You can make it mixto which is with fish and sea food, from octopus, shrimp, mussles, snails (sea), oysters, scallops, etc., or sea food alone (some or all). There is no other!!!!!!

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How to Make Ceviche
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