My Peruvian culinary adventure was born many years ago through my dear friend Betty and her Aji de Gallina, a poached chicken dish which is shredded and cooked with evaporated milk, nuts and species; normally served over rice. My fascination with the Peruvian gastronomy has been a continuing experience and one that has bewitched me to not let it go. Better yet is la parihuela or los chupes – Peruvian seafood soups that will take you to heaven. But, what really conquered me was the Peruvian ceviche and tiraditos.
Ceviche; a Look back
Historians said ceviche was born in Peru; the dish most likely derived from the Inca civilization. It is said that during the Incan Empire, the fish, which today is marinated in lime juice, was once soaked in a fermented beverage by the name of Chicha (this was done as a way to preserve the fish in a time with no refrigeration). It was only later in colonial times when the native Incas switched to limes and the citruses fruits brought to Peru by the Spanish colonizers. So word has it that Peru revolutionized the dish in front of the world and today it is not only the pride of Peru but also a dish with its own national holiday. Ceviche has evolved as the ambassador of all Peruvian dishes, crossing all borders to become Peru’s most popular dish.
Ceviche is by definition a Latin dish though. Countries such as Ecuador, Chile, Mexico, and El Salvador to mention a few have made this dish their own. By adding ingredients and garnishing, each country in the Latin American countries has given Ceviche its own identity.
And the truth is that there is a great deal to be said in favor of this dish. Ceviche is excellent for hot weather as it is served cold or at room temperature. And with a cold beer in a hot day it is heaven.
I was planning to make a tuna tartare with this delicious wild tuna that I found in Wholefoods, but I could not resist the idea of a delicious tuna ceviche with its perfectly balanced acidity, salt and the delicious Peruvian aji Amarillo or rocoto. So here you have it – Enjoy it!
- 1 Lb. wild tuna (cut in two inches pieces)
- Sea Salt
- 5-6 limes
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- Aji Amarillo or rocoto (these ajies can be found in South America stores)
- Cilantro (minced)
- Lime supreme (optional)
- 1 red onions (cut in julienne)
- Plantain chips
|For the fish:|
|Cut the fish in two inches pieces and keep it refrigerated or in an ice bowl until you need it. |
Cut the onions in julienne (cut thinly), pour a good amount of salt and rubbed the onion with it. Rinse with plenty of cold water and drain. Place the onions in the freezer or refrigerator until needed.
Mince the aji amarillo, garlic, cilantro and supreme the limes if you are using it and reserve.
Mixing all ingredients together:
Place the fish in an ice bowl and add the salt; this will help the fish release some of its own juice. Cut the lime and squeeze it straight to the fish bowl or just squeeze the limes before. Remember to squeeze the lime by hand and no too hard to avoid any of the lime resin to bitter the ceviche. Add minced garlic, the aji Amarillo or rocoto, cilantro and lime supreme. Taste your ceviche and make sure there is balance between the lime, salt and aji. Add the cold onions either now or on each plate served. Serve with the plantain chips.
|For the plantain chips:|
|Peel and thinly slice the plantain. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add a little bit of course salt to it. When the oil is hot add batches of the plantain slices and cook until golden, for about 3 minutes. Remove the chips and placed in a plate or tray with paper towels. Serve with the ceviche.|
This post is also available in: Spanish