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peruvian ceviche

Posted on April 18th, 2012  |  11 Comments

This dish has been a long time in the making. Ok no, I lied, it’s been a long time imagining in my head without any actual making going on, but times are a changing.

I wrote a while back about me making some changes. Getting my junk together. Growing up.

That includes actually crossing things off my To-do list. Real things. Like doctor appointments, apartment rearranging, and dusting. Everything. Like the whole entire 2 bed 2 bath apartment. (itstoomuch)

One more thing on my To-do list: learn how to make ceviche better than my mother in law. {voiceinhead: “Okay Lauren, let’s be real, that’s not possible.”} But at least giving it a go will suffice to finally check it off the list.

And boy did I check it off!

It all started with our weekly trip to the Long Beach Farmers Market. There’s a man there who sells Peruvian clothing, jewelry and other rad artifact looking things. It just so happens that we’ve had a few bags of similar trinkets lying around and in an effort to cross them of the list we planned to bargain our hearts out, and this vendor was the perfect buyer. Totally pleased by the deal, as were we (yay! for extra closet space,) small talk was made and of course steered its way to food… which quickly made its way to ceviche.

The man suggested we go to his favorite Peruvian restaurant. I suggested we give it a go at home.

I won. :)

Strike that. We all won.

Me, my man, his mom, and everyone who loves ceviche. Sho, that can mean YOU too!

Not only is there ridiculously minimal prep for such magnitude of flavor, but the amount of down time lets you clean the entire kitchen and get a few loads of laundry in the mean time, checking just a few more things off your To-do list. smile

This version is spicy with a subtle mellowing hue from they honey and practically celebrates the sweet potato, acidic marinade, maui onion power and crunchy corn kernels. It’ll blow your mind! Well, it blew my mind.

I mean, talk about hitting every taste bud and texture in the book.

Oh yeah, apparently 1 lb is enough for 2 people and a whole day’s worth of eating. :)


Have you ever eaten Peruvian food? What’s your favorite dish? 

peruvian ceviche

slightly adapted from this recipe

Prep Time: 10-15 minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours

Ingredients (2-6 servings)

  • 1 lb. white fish (talapia, halibut, sea bass, sole, etc.)
  • 1 c. freshly squeezed lime juice (~7 limes)
  • 1/2 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice (~3 lemons)
  • 1/2 c. freshly squeezed orange juice (~3 small oranges)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 small habanero pepper, finely diced (substitute: 1 jalapeno or serrano pepper)
  • 1/2 tsp honey
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced into half-moons
  • 1/4 c. cilantro leaves, chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 c. pica corn, available (low price!!) here, (substitute: crunchy corn kernels)
  • 2 sweet potatoes


Start by cutting the fish into about 1/2 inch cubes, place in a glass dish and set aside.

Juice the lemons, limes and oranges, add to the fish. (To juice I cut the fruit in half and went at it with a fork over a strainer over a bowl.)

Add the salt, onions, and pepper.

Thoroughly cover and place in the fridge for 2-3 hours, the longer the better. Your patience will be rewarded.

During the last hour bake 2 sweet potatoes, with fork holes poked in them, in the oven/toaster oven at 375 degrees F for 45-60 minutes, or until tender.

Prior to serving, stir in the honey and cilantro. Plate the dish with the marinade, a thick slice or two of peeled baked sweet potato and garnished with pica corn.


{Sidenote: If it’s too spicy, as our first trial batch was, you can add a 1-3 tsp full fat cream (or half and half, but it will separate a little, that said, I did it and it was fine) to chill out the spice for each individual serving. Also, the cilantro isn’t meant to cook in the citrus juices so be sure to add that last, just before serving.}

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11 Responses

  1. This recipe looks great, I never thought to use orange juice :) I used to live in Peru and blog about it, so in response to your “favorite Peruvian food” question, I LOVE the hot sauce, ají. It’s not a food perse, but it’s served with everything. Just a little ají and lime juice in a soup (sopa criolla definitely another favorite) completely transforms it. I’ve got lots of pictures here: http://sojournerfood.blogspot.com/2012/03/favorite-peru-food-moments.html and favorite recipes here: http://kt-synesthesia.blogspot.com/2012/03/to-satisfy-that-peruvian-food-craving.html.

    Thanks as always for your posts, I love following your blog :)

    • lafig says:

      It adds a nice sweetness to balance out all that tart lime juice :)

    • lafig says:

      Thank you for all the kind words! My husband is obsessed with aji and tries to find it at every market we go to, but rarely succeeds. Any tips on where to find it? Online maybe? Love all your pics from Peru, I will be cooking much more Peruvian now!

      • Ha, yeah, ají is very addictive. You know, I was having the same issue where I could not find them anywhere. I ended up asking the owner of a local Peruvian restaurant, they told me about a local shop that specializes in Peruvian ingredients that I probably never would have found by myself! Otherwise, you can buy ají panca paste or dried ají panca online (or sometimes at Whole Foods) and use that. It doesn’t have the same fresh flavor, but it is a different kind of delicious. That’s also really good on pulled chicken.

        Thanks so much for looking at my blog, let me know if you make anything 😉

  2. Brittany says:

    Your pictures are amazing and I LOVE ceviche! There was a Peruvian restaurant that served awesome food when I lived in Madison, Wisconsin…they had this purple corn drink called chica morada that tasted like nothing you have ever had before. Amazing!

    • lafig says:

      Thank you! I’ve never had that drink but I have had pisco sours, next time we venture to a Peruvian restaurant I’ll have to try it out, thanks!

  3. mark says:

    Love ceviche and escovitch. so many regional variations through out south america. It’s not really “raw” as the acid in the citrus effectively “cooks” the seafood.

    • lafig says:

      so true mark. try telling my mother that, anything without grill marks is raw to her, haha. sure is missing out though, ceviche is amazing!

  4. Gavin says:

    We went to Peru for our honeymoon. Best trip ever. The country is amazing.. and the food is even better. I had ceviche at Astrid y Gaston in Lima. Amazing. Crave it every since.. but unfortunately not much access to good quality fresh fish in my area. I would certainly dig in to yours though.. looks delicious!

    My fav peruvian foods were; Rocotto Rellenos.. it was excellent.. no Rocotto peppers in these parts though. Cuy (guinea pig).. my wife has it confited.. awesome. Boiled taters with huancaina sauce.. oh my. Leche Asada. And of course.. suspiro de limena.. a tasty desert I had in a couple of city parks.. to die for.

  5. […] might find it a bit odd, this American chick always making Peruvian dishes, but (Peruvian) husbands tend to influence their (American) wives’ cooking like that. And my […]

  6. jennifer monzon says:

    Hi- I am peruvian and I just want to add that there is no orange juice in peruvian ceviche- the lime also has to be as strong as the ones in Peru. Key limes are an option here in the states. And you have to have the right aji , jalapenos and habaneros are not common in peru, those are mexican. You can find aji amarillo in some specialty latin stores- Peruvians living in the US have had to find many alternatives to the ingredients found in Peru- for example the corn is totally different. However, I am curious as how this recipe tastes. Mostly, I love the fact that you are helping show that Peruvian cuisine is some of the best in the world! thanks!

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