Recipe: Ceviche — A Peruvian Delight!
I recently ran a poll on my Facebook page asking my friends what they’d like to see more of on my blog. The majority of them voted for savory recipes as well as more satirical articles like my Nerd’s Guide series (which will have another guide coming soon, so stay tuned!). I decided to give the readers what they wanted — Here’s something yummy that doesn’t involve cake batter! (Don’t worry, cake lovers. I’ll be back with a sweet treat soon!)
When I first met Nick, I was tickled by the fact that he was half Russian and half Peruvian. His name — Nickolai Ivan — sent me into a tizzy of amusement because of how completely Russian it sounds, and I didn’t really take into account how much influence the Peruvian half of him had , especially in regards to his palate.
He grew up with his tiny, adorable little Peruvian mom cooking him all sorts of foreign foods that I can’t even pronounce. I grew up with barbecue chicken and macaroni and cheese, so this new knowledge about him was very interesting to me and I was determined to try all of the weird foreign things he liked and make myself like them to so I could be ~worldly~!
One of my long-term goals is to try as many foreign cuisines as possible, and after treating me to things like Thai and Arabic foods, Nick proposed that we try out the nearby Peruvian place that he liked so that I could try some of the things he grew up with.
He ordered Lomo Saltado, which is basically just french fries topped with sauteed beef and onions and other vegetables with white rice. I ordered the mixed ceviche, which is fish chunks with other mixed seafood (squid, shrimp, etc) that gets mixed with lemon and lime juice, cilantro and red onions (+seasonings) and is served cold.
The neatest thing is that you don’t actually cook any of the seafood — The citrus cooks it while the fish marinates for about 8 hours, and it absorbed all that citrus-y goodness.
I’ll admit — At first I wasn’t terrible impressed. I don’t know what I was expecting but I a) didn’t know it’d be cold and b) wasn’t prepared for the sharp tang of garlic, cilantro and lemon.
After a couple of months though, we went to another place and ordered it again (I got a really strange craving for it!), and I absolutely loved it. I had it again the next night because I wanted it so much and begged Nick to get it for me again, haha.
I decided to try my hand at his mom’s culinary specialty, and see if I could make something I loved from home — Without having to spend all the money on it out at a restaurant!
1 lb white fish (I used mahi mahi)
1 red onion, cut into thin slices
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
5 limes (juice only)
4 lemons (juice only)
1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
(If you like some spice to your food, you can finely mince 1 jalapeno pepper — I tend to avoid spiciness though, so we left it out, even though Nick loooves it!)
Squeeze the juice from your lemons and limes into a casserole dish or glass bowl.
Cut the fish into bite-sized cubes/chunks and add it to your bowl of juice. Mix it up really well! It’s good if the juice covers the fish, so it can “cook” properly.
Add the cilantro, garlic, optional jalapeno pepper and seasonings and mix that up as well.
Add the sliced onion to the top and lightly mix it in as well so that it’s wet from the juice but still near the top layer of the fish.
Refrigerate for about 8 hours, or overnight.
Traditionally, it’s served with slices of cooked sweet potato and this weird oversized corn on the cob stuff that Nick says is called “choclo”. You can also chop up tomatoes, lettuce or any other cold salad type vegetables and eat it that way! I also like eating it with tortilla chips, like a citrus-fish salsa! Yum!
I’ve been wanting to try my hand at other international cuisine dishes, so if you know of any that you love, please let me know!