Maybe you are like me?
You love ceviche, and when you did it at home it was good, but somehow different to the ceviche you ate in your vacation?
To finally find out, me and a friend from Lima took a cooking class in Peru with the well-traveled peruvian chef Hector Aguilar Valle.
Very good choice, as Hector not just showed us what to put into it, he also made us try the sauce at every step, hinted on what is missing and showed us some tricks!
So here’s the first of the dishes we cooked:
Authentic Peruvian Ceviche
Ingredients (for 1 Person)
150 g filet of really fresh fish, sushi quality. We took „pescado perico“, which is a parrot fish according to the dictionary…
fish stock (bought or self-made by cooking fish bones and heads with coriander, ginger and salt)
1 red onion
1 piece of ginger, the size of a big hazelnut
1 bunch of fresh coriander
2 cloves of garlic
2 red chili, we took ají limo, which is a super-hot, fruity red peruvian chili. You might substitute with a red habanero with a dash of lime juice
Monosodium glutamate (Ajinomoto is the brand for it in Peru), and yes, our chef said, this is absolutely necessary and part of every good ceviche he ever had
1/2 sweet potato
1 passion fruit
2 table spoons of sugar
1 leave of salad (for decoration)
1 piece of cooked choclo - peruvian corn, it has a bigger corn and is of a lighter color than the common one in Europe or the US
1 tablespoon of cancha tostada - fried, lightly salted corn. I have seen it in the „chips and snacks“ part of a german supermarket
Step 1: Prepare and cut the ingredients
Cut the red onion in half and take out the inner part, so that only the 2-3 outer skins are left. Press them a bit down with your left hand and cut the skins thinly with an angle (hard to explain, see picture :D)
Put the thinly sliced red onion into water.
Squeeze out the lemons. CAUTION! Don’t use a juicer, use your hands, squeeze out the lemon with 4 fingers and be gentle! If you hurt the white skin within the lemon, the juice will taste bitter! And believe me, we tried both, the difference is desturbing!!
Cut the chili in VERRRY fine slices. Remember, its unbelievably hot!
Trick to get the chili off your fingers after cutting: wash your hands with vinegar!
Cut the coriander leaves (not the stems, they are needed later!) thinly.
Step 2: Camote en almíbar
Peel, slice and cook the sweet potato. Put 2 table spoons of suger, the juice of one orange, the juice of one passion fruit (mixed and strained through a sieve) and a dash of the sliced chili into a pan. Cook it gently to reduce it to a thick sirup and let it cool down a bit.
Add the sweet potato slices. Turn them around after 5 minutes.
Step 3: Leche de Tigre
Mix the lemon juice with about the same amount of fish stock. Add 2 dashes of salt, 1 dash of pepper and 1-2 dashes of monosodium glutamate.
Then cut the inner part of the red onion into big pieces and add it to the broth. Crush 1 clove of garlic and the ginger by squeezing it once with the flat part of a knife and add it as well. Add the stems of the coriander.
Then use a pestle to squash everything well.
Strain the broth using a sieve. Cut off the head of a chili and drown it in your broth for 2 seconds to add some fire.
Leche de Tigre is offered as a drink too and they say it is the best for a hangover... well, never tried. ;)
Step 4: Ceviche base
Cut off the good but ugly looking or too small parts of the fish.
Put them together with the „Leche de Tigre“ into a mixer. Add some of the thinly cut, watered onion, a dash of the sliced chili, some coriander, 1-2 ice cubes, a dash of monosodium glutamate and salt.
Mix everything well and season to taste. Put it through a sieve afterwards and skim the foam.
Step 5: Ceviche
This is done 15 minutes before serving!
Cut the good looking part of the fish in large pieces. About 8 maybe. Salt and pepper them.
Put a bit of the Ceviche base into a bowl. Add thinly sliced, watered onion, some sliced chili, a bit of cut coriander and the fish.
Let it rest for 10-15 minutes.
Step 6: Arrange everything
Decorate the plate with a leave of salad and a piece of cooked corn (choclo). Add the Ceviche in the middle of the plate, pour the liquid around it.
Add 2 pieces of the caramelized sweet potato with some sirup.
On top of everything put a bit of the fried corn.
Wow, lots of work, but worth it!
You MUST try it! The caramelized sweet potato with the ceviche is a dream come true :-P
Should you be in Lima, Peru - here's Hector's internet page. It was a fun experience!
I am sure he will be happy to cook with you too. :-D