Recipe: Ceviche – In the Raw!

Ceviche, also spelled by seviche or cebiche, is seafood that is marinated in citrus. Its origin is still disputed between Ecuador and Peru. Although it is a well-known dish to both countries, still more countries located in Latin America have made many variations. They made use of shellfish and fish to prepare ceviche.

In Peru, chunks of fish are used with this recipe, which is marinated with lemon, limejuice or bitter orange (naranja agria), chili, onion, pepper and salt. Contemporary or regional variations may include some garlic, Peruvian aji limo (minced) or the well-known Andrean chili rocoto a. Mixing everything; it will be marinated for many hours and will be served traditionally at a room temperature. Usually they use chucks of corn-on-the-cob with slices of sweet potatoes as side dish.

Moreover, traditionally, they use Cebo (sea brass) or Corvina as the main ingredient for the dish, obviously, where the name was derived from. Other regional versions they include yuyo (seaweed) or toasted cancha or corn.

Ceviche has always been a favorite in northern coast; they call it Trujillo, which is made up of shark (tojo or tollo). Lima gourmand’s version is the Lenguado or the sole. They also have the modern Peruvian ceviche, wherein they created it according to their own “Peruvian way”; and can be closely compared to the sashimi of the Japanese. Japanese sashimi, however, is marinated only for a few minutes and usually prepared only just before serving. This dish was created by the late Japanese-Peruvian chef Dario Matsufuji in the year 1970’s.

Peruvian style cevicherias is usually served in a jigger or small glass of leche de pantera or leche de tigre as their appetizer, which they usually marinade it in a small amount of limejuice.

However, the classical version of Ceviche is very simple; just some fresh slices of fish (white meat fish is a much better option), freshly squeezed Peruvian key limejuice (a certain kind of lime that gives it the distinct flavor that makes it literally so unique, which no other ceviche taste likes it because the lime can be found only in Peru), sliced onions, chili (aji, rocoto or limo) and salt.

In Panama, their ceviche is marinated with lemon juice, celery, sliced onions, sea salt and habanero pepper. Ceviche de Corvina or the white sea bass is their popular dish and usually served as an appetizer in local restaurants. Their version can be made up of octopus, squid or shrimp.

The Philippine’s version has a different name. They call it Kilawin or Kinilaw, which is cubed fish raw and marinated in calamansi juice or vinegar together with onions, garlic, tomato, ginger and different peppers.

In Ecuador, they have their Shrimp Ceviche where it is cooked in tomato sauce for that distinct tangy taste. The Manabí version, marinated with limejuice, the juice that came from the shrimp itself and some salt is very popular in their area.

Very seldom, one may find a ceviche made up of clams. It is served usually in a dish bowl together with corn kernels (toasted) as their side dish. Moreover, you can also us pop corn or plantains as a typical side dish for ceviche. Octopus, sea brass and crab ceviche are also popular and commonly eaten in Ecuador.


[caption id="attachment_1942" align="aligncenter" width="320" caption="Peruvian Style Ceviche"]Peruvian Style Ceviche[/caption]

  • 1 ½ lb ono, bluenose bass or mahi-mahi; cubed

  • ½ small red onion, sliced

  • ¾-cup limejuice

  • ½ t salt

  • 1 pc habanero chili; julienne sliced and seeded

  • 1 T aji Amarillo sauce

  • ½ cup Cilantro leaves; chopped

  • 1 pc orange sweet potato such as Jewel or Garnet; boiled, peeled and cubed

  • 1 cob sweet corn; cut into serving size after boiling

  • 4 lettuce leaves


  • Rinse the fish together with the onion in a cold water

  • Dry thoroughly by using strainer

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine fish, limejuice, onion, habanero, salt and aji Amarillo sauce.

  • Cover the mixture and keep it in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.

  • Just before you serve it, stir in the cilantro

  • Divide into 4 smaller bowls and serve it with sweet corn, potato and lettuce leaves as side dish

Peruvian Pantry:

Aji Amarillo - a yellow chili with a very slight sweet taste and plenty of heat from the chili. It is usually available in jars or as a pureed sauce in all Latin markets.

Trivia: Ceviche was originally invented by fishermen in Peru, wherein they make use some part of their catch during their long stay at the sea and only uses any forms of acid to cook the fish.

An excellent picnic food idea because you can keep it in your cooler, which is stored in a large mixing bowl with cover or in a separate single serving container for easy serving. Can be served cold or in a room temperature. It will not spoil easily because of the acid ingredient mixed in Ceviche.


A great recipe for pesco vegetarians to consider. Since it has more vegetable toppings.


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