Ceviche, renowned worldwide for its freshness and unparalleled flavor, is not just a treat for the palate but also a celebration of Peruvian culture and tradition. Its quick preparation and nutritional benefits make it an ideal choice for any occasion.

In this article, discover everything about the ceviche recipe: its history, varieties, and secrets to making an authentic and delicious dish. Learn how ceviche has become a symbol of Peruvian gastronomy and an international favorite.

What is ceviche?

Ceviche is a delightful dish made from fresh fish marinated in lime juice, complemented with red onion, cilantro, chili pepper, and salt. Additionally, it includes ceviche ingredients like corn, sweet potato, or cancha (toasted corn) to create a unique blend of flavors and textures. The simplicity of its ingredients highlights the freshness and quality of the fish, reflecting the Peruvian sea and the creativity of its people, making each bite a refreshing and vibrant experience.

Ceviche | TreXperience
Ceviche is a delightful dish made from fresh fish marinated in lime juice. @rprietos

Ceviche origin

The history and origin of ceviche date back to the pre-Columbian cultures of the Peruvian coast, particularly the Mochica, which preserved fish with chicha (a fermented corn beverage) and salt. With the arrival of the Spaniards, lime was incorporated into the ceviche recipe, leading to the modern version we know today. This fusion of techniques and flavors is a testament to Peru's rich cultural history.

Peru's flagship dish

Ceviche has been declared a National Heritage of Peru and is considered the country's flagship dish. This recognition underscores its importance in national identity and its role in Peruvian food. Every June 28, Peru celebrates National Ceviche Day, honoring this exquisite dish that brings citizens together in a celebration of their culinary heritage.

Best Ceviche Recipe

Ceviche ingredients

  • 500 grams of fresh white fish (corvina, sea bass, or grouper)
  • 1 cup (0.24 l) of fresh lime juice
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 ají limo (or yellow chili), seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 sprig of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 sweet potato, cooked and sliced
  • Choclo (Peruvian corn), cooked and kernels removed
  • Cancha (toasted corn) for serving

How to make ceviche?

  1. Dice the fish into approximately 1-2 cm cubes. Ensure the fish is very fresh and kept refrigerated until ready to use.
  2. Place the fish in a bowl and add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Pour the lime juice over the fish, ensuring it is completely covered. Gently stir to mix.
  4. Let the fish marinate for 10–15 minutes, depending on how "cooked" you prefer the fish.
  5. Add the sliced onion and chopped chili to the marinated fish. Stir to combine all the ingredients.
  6. Just before serving, mix in the chopped cilantro to maintain its freshness and flavor.
    Serve Immediately: Serve the Peruvian food ceviche immediately, accompanied by slices of cooked sweet potato, choclo, and cancha.
Ceviche recipe | TreXperience
Ceviche is best enjoyed fresh, so serve it right after preparation.

Tips for easy ceviche recipe

  • Choose Fresh Fish. The freshness of the fish is crucial for good ceviche. Make sure to buy it from a reliable source and use it the same day.
  • Cut the fish into uniform cubes to ensure even marination.
  • Don't marinate the fish for too long, as it can become rubbery.
  • Ceviche is best enjoyed fresh, so serve it right after preparation.
  • Decorate with cilantro leaves and chili slices for a visual touch.

Varieties 

Each region in Peru has its interpretation of ceviche, which adapts ingredients to local resources and specific tastes. Here are some of the most popular varieties:

Ceviche clásico limeño

The most well-known version features fresh fish, lime juice, onion, cilantro, chili, and salt.

Ceviche mixto

Combines fish with seafood such as shrimp, squid, and octopus, offering a more comprehensive marine experience.

Peruvian ceviche with leche de tigre

Leche de tigre, the juice from the ceviche marinade, is enriched with additional ingredients like garlic, ginger, and fish broth for a more intense and revitalizing flavor.

Shrimp ceviche/ceviche de camaron

Typical of northern Peru, fresh shrimp is used as the main ingredient.

Ceviche fish and black shells/conchas negras

Originating from the northern coast, it uses black shells for a distinctive and deep flavor.

Ceviche de camaron | TreXperience
Shrimp ceviche/Ceviche de camaron
Leche de tigre | TreXperience
Ceviche with leche de tigre

Health benefits: Is ceviche healthy?

Ceviche is not just a delicious dish; it's also a healthy and nutritious option. Rich in protein and low in fat, it provides essential vitamins and minerals. Lime juice enhances the flavor and aids digestion, providing a good dose of vitamin C. Additionally, fish offers omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for the heart and brain.

Ceviche calories

The caloric content of ceviche can vary depending on the ingredients and portions used. However, a general estimate for a 100-gram serving of fish ceviche is approximate:

Calories: 90-120 kcal

  • Fish: 70-80 kcal per 100 grams
  • Lime juice: 10-15 kcal per 1/4 cup
  • Onion: 5-10 kcal per 1/4 cup
  • Chili: 5-10 kcal per one small chili
  • Cilantro: 1-2 kcal per 1/4 cup

Peruvian ceviche vs. Mexican ceviche

Peruvian ceviche uses fresh white fish like corvina or sea bass, marinated briefly in lime juice, red onion, cilantro, chili pepper, and salt. This method preserves the fish's freshness and firmness. It's served with sweet potato, choclo, and cancha. In contrast, Mexican ceviche combines fish and seafood like shrimp and octopus, marinated in lime and tomato juice for a longer period. It's served with tostadas and avocado, creating a more complex and spicy flavor. Have you tried both types of ceviche?

Peruvian ceviche | TreXperience
Peruvian ceviche
Mexican ceviche | TreXperience
Mexican ceviche

Facts about Peruvian ceviche

  1. In 2004, the National Institute of Culture of Peru declared ceviche a Cultural Heritage of the Nation. 
  2. Every June 28th, Peru celebrates National Ceviche Day. 
  3. Numerous variations and ceviche recipes exist across different Latin American countries; each adapted to local ingredients and traditions. 
  4. The name "ceviche" is believed to come from the Quechua word "siwichi," meaning fresh or tender fish. 
  5. Ceviche has crossed borders and adapted to global cuisines, with versions in Mexico, Ecuador, and even Japan, where it blends with Nikkei cooking techniques.

Best restaurants in Lima, Peru for great ceviche: Peruvian food

Here’s a list of some of the best restaurants in Lima, the capital of Peru, where you can enjoy excellent ceviche:

  • La Mar Cebichería: An iconic place known for its fresh and well-seasoned ceviche. Located in Miraflores, it is popular with both locals and tourists.

         Address: Av. Mariscal La Mar 770, Miraflores.

  • Canta Rana: Situated in the bohemian district of Barranco, this restaurant is known for its lively atmosphere and authentic ceviche. It's a popular spot and often quite busy.

         Address: Genova 101, Barranco.

  • El Mercado: Located in Miraflores, this restaurant offers a wide variety of ceviches made with different seafood and fresh ingredients.

         Address: Av. Hipólito Unanue 203, Miraflores.

  • Pescados Capitales: With several locations in Lima, this restaurant stands out for the freshness of its products and its creative ceviche menu.

         Address: Av. Mariscal La Mar 1335, Miraflores / Av. Primavera 1065, Chacarilla.

  • La Red: Also located in Miraflores, La Red is known for the freshness of its ingredients and the quality of its ceviches, making it a very frequented spot.

         Address: Av. La Mar 391, Miraflores.

Ceviche best restaurants in Lima | TreXperience
Numerous variations and ceviche recipes exist across different Latin American countries

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The delicious celebration of fresh ingredients

Ceviche is more than just a dish; it’s a celebration of the freshness and simplicity of its ingredients, a tribute to Peruvian history and culture, and a healthy option for any occasion. Whether you prefer the classic version or are adventurous enough to try regional varieties, ceviche always promises an explosion of flavor and freshness. Ready to prepare your dish?

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