Is ceVBiche with a b or with a v? The truth is that this dish, flag of Peru, transcends grammar. Some restaurants will have it with a b, other with a v, establishing some sort of grammatical anarchy that listens to no reasons. Is doesn’t seem to bother anyone though, it has even been accepted by the RAE (Royal Spanish Academy). In this post we will use the v, simply for the hell of it.
If I would have to define ceviche in a sentence, I would say it is raw fish cured with lemon juice. From there, depending on the different areas, different ingredients are added, and all of them claim the patent of the invention. Actually ceviche comes from crossbreeding, specifically between indigenous and Moors (North Africans). In Moche culture times (about 2000 years ago) the fish was macerated in the tumbo fruit’s juice, later substituted with chicha in the Inca period. With the arrival of the Spanish and their Moor slaves, the use of bitter orange and onion is introduced in the kitchen. With the juice of the first the chicha was replaced, and finally the orange disappeared to let the lemon come through. The word sibech means sour food in Arabic, which could have evolved in sebiche. Nowadays, the classic Peruvian ceviche is cured with what they call “tiger’s milk”, which has lemon juice (lime in Europe), garlic purée, chopped chilies and salt. It always comes with sweet potato, Peruvian corn and red onion, although you could say that there are as many varieties, of tiger’s milk as well as of side ingredients, as inhabitants are in Peru.
RECIPE -Ceviche Gonz-
This recipe does not pretend to be a reference or a statement, but we present it as a humble attempt. In this cases an attempt directed by Gonzalo Dávila, Limean who guides us on our visit to the raw. The traditional ceviche has corn, but in this version we decided to get by without it.
- Fresh fish of the day (not from yesterday or tomorrow, of the DAY). We used cojinoba
- Fresh king prawns
- Fresh scallops
- Red onion
- Sweet potato
1. Chop the onion in julienne, chop the chilies and the coriander and start boiling the sweet potato and squeeze the lemons.
2. Clean and chop the fish and reserve in the fridge Clean the shells and peel and clean the king prawns.
3. When the sweet potato is ready, take it out of the water and and poach the king prawns in it for a few seconds. Make a sauce with the lemon juice, the garlic paste , the chilies and the coriander. Season with salt and thin it with water if needed.
4. Serve the raw fish with the prawns and scallops, and cover with the sauce and the onion, and the sweet potato on the side.