Peru’s National Dish: Ceviche

In recent years, Peruvian cuisine has become more and more popular. All over the world, restaurants have been popping up to showcase this diverse and delicious cuisine and virtually every menu features ceviche. Fish lovers love this dish for its fresh and clean flavors and it is so favored in Peru that they even have a national holiday for it on June 28th.

Peru’s National Dish - Ceviche

Essentially, ceviche is raw fish marinated in citrus juice and a lot of spices. In Nikkei cuisine, the acidity from the citrus “cooks” the fish and is therefore different than sashimi in Japanese cuisine. There is no hard rule on what type of fish you can use for ceviche, just as long as its fresh as can be. Typically, local, white fish is used in the dish such as sea bass, tilapia, or even freshwater trout. The fish is then diced into small chunks so that you can get a good distribution of “cooked” edges and a bit of a raw center.

Ceviche, or versions of it, has been around in Peru for at least a millenia. Early versions of the dish used fermented passion fruit juice or chicha, a fermented Andean drink, to coat the fish and “cook” it. When the Spanish came to Peru in the 1500s, they brought citrus fruits from Spain and the local people added this to their ceviche recipes. It has easily become one of Peru’s most famous dishes and below we will show you how you can make your own.

Ingredients

  • 500g of sea bass or other local white fish, skinned and deboned and cut into 1.5cm chunks
  • Juice of 3 limes
  • ½ an onion diced, can be red or white onion
  • 1-2 fresh chilies (to taste), seeded and finely chopped
  • Small bunch of cilantro/coriander, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Juice of 3 limes

Directions

Peruvian Ceviche - Peru’s National Dish
  1. Rub the fish with half a teaspoon of salt and leave for a minute or two.
  2. Then add the onion, chopped chilies, and lime juice to the fish. Leave to marinate for 10 minutes.
  3. When it’s time to serve, assemble the ceviche on a plate, drizzle with a bit of olive and salt. Sprinkle the chopped cilantro/coriander on top and you’re ready to serve!

Ceviche is the perfect appetizer to serve on a warm day. It is full of heat and flavor and very refreshing with the lime juice. If you make this recipe at home, tag us in a photo on Instagram at @enigmaperu or #enigmaperu!

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