Ceviche

 It is often spelled seviche or cebiche, depending on which part of South America it originates from.  Ceviche is seafood prepared in a centuries old method of cooking by contact with the acidic juice of citrus juice instead of heat. The preparation and consumption of ceviche is practically a religion in Perú, some parts of Mexico, Central, and South America, and it seems as though there are as many varieties of ceviche as people who eat it.  It can be eaten as a first course or main dish, depending on what is served with it.

The chemical process that occurs when the acid of the citrus comes in contact with the fish is similar what happens when the fish is cooked, and the flesh becomes opaque and firm.  Indeed, many people refer to the juice as “cooking” the fish, although that is just plain wrong!

Ceviche – the new “in” food of the beginning of the 21st century is actually an old world dish from South America called Ceviche.  It has been one of South America’s best-kept secret for centuries, but Ceviche is becoming a popular appetizer and will be gaining popularity as the century progresses.


Ingredients

    • 2 pounds white-fleshed skinless fish fillets such as flounder, sole, or corvina
    • Salt
    • 1 cup fresh lime juice (about 12 limes)
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 small clove garlic, chopped very fine
    • 1 or 2 fresh aji amarillo (yellow Peruvian chili), seeded and chopped fine, or substitute the Limo aji
    • 1 teaspoon chopped parsley
    • 1 teaspoon chopped cilantro
    • 1 medium onion, chopped fine (1/2 cup)
    • 1 cup roasted corn (Maiz Cancha)
    • 4 ears of corn, cooked and cut into 2-inch pieces
    • 1 pound sweet potatoes, roasted in the skin, peeled, and sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
    • 1 pound yuca, peeled, cut into little-finger-sized slices, and boiled until soft
    • A few strands of yuyo (a tangy seaweed, optional)

Preparation

    1. 1. Cut the fish into strips 1 1/2 inches long by 1/4 inch wide. Soak the strips in lightly salted water for 1 hour to tenderize. Drain well.
    2. 2. Put the fish in a bowl and fold in the lime juice carefully. Add the salt, garlic, and aji and refrigerate for 15 to 20 minutes.
    3. 3. Just before serving, mix in the parsley, cilantro, and onion.
• Known in Peru as ceviche, this dish is a national favorite, making use of the country's incredible variety of superfresh fish and shellfish. Ceviche dates back to the Incas, who seasoned their fish with sea salt and aji (chile peppers) and cured it in the acidic juice of tumbo, a tart tropical fruit. The Spanish later introduced citrus fruits, and lime juice became the acid of choice. To approximate the taste of pre-Hispanic ceviche, reduce the lime juice in this recipe to 1/2 cup and add 1/2 cup passion fruit pulp, scraped from halved, fresh ripe passion fruits with soft, crinkly skins.