Recipe: Peruvian ceviche

Classic Peruvian ceviche (cebiche or seviche are the proper spellings that nobody uses anymore) consists of 4 ingredients: fish, lime juice, onions and chillies. It is normally served with sweet potato and choclo (Peruvian white corn). Less common accompaniments include potato, yuca (cassava), yuyo (seaweed), rice (!). Cancha is normally served as a snack, although some restaurants serve some as part of the dish. Buen provecho!

Peruvian ceviche
Yield: 5 servings as an entrée

Ceviche

Ingredients

  • 1/2 red onion
  • 500g white fish fillet, such as snapper
  • juice of 5-7 limes
  • red chillies, such as birdseye, sliced (optional)
  • salt, to taste

To serve

  • coriander
  • choclo (Peruvian white corn) or regular corn, cooked
  • sweet potato, cooked

Directions

  1. Finely slice onion and soak in cold water. You can do this step a few hours in advance. When ready to start preparing the fish, drain onions in a colander.
  2. Cube fish, mix with onions and place on a serving platter. Season with salt.
  3. Cover with lime juice. Serve immediately or reserve in the fridge if you like your fish more marinated.
  4. When ready to serve, check the seasoning and garnish with coriander. Serve choclo and sweet potato on the side.

Recipe: Slow-cooked cebiche de pato (duck cebiche)

Cebiche is usually raw seafood marinated in lime juice and served with chillies and sliced onions. But there are as many kinds of cebiches as flavours of potato chips in Australia, to give you an idea. There’s cold cebiche (raw, for example the classic one made with fish) and hot cebiche (cooked, for example camarones a la piedra). In the North of Perú, the land of the best ducks and the liberal use of coriander, there’s cebiche de pato. The best taste is achieved by slow cooking it in clay pot. Because I don’t have one, I came up with this variation for the slow cooker.

Slow-cooked cebiche de pato (duck cebiche)
Yield: 6 servings

Cebiche de pato

Ingredients

  • 6 duck legs (drumstick and thigh)
  • 250 ml sour orange juice (I haven’t found sour oranges in Australia, you can use half orange juice and half lime juice instead)
  • 50 gr Peruvian yellow chilli paste or 1 tablespoon Peruvian yellow chilli powder (or any chilli)
  • 40 gr garlic (about 8 cloves), mashed into a paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • salt
  • 2 cups duck or chicken stock
  • 50 gr fresh hot chilli (optional)
  • 600 gr red onion in thick slices
  • chopped fresh coriander to taste
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1 kg boiled cassava

Directions

  1. Marinate duck in sour orange (or orange and lime) juice for at least 6 hours.
  2. Remove duck from marinade (reserve the marinade) and rub with garlic, chilli, cumin and white pepper. Sprinkle with salt.
  3. Place duck in slow cooker, add marinade and stock.
  4. Cook in low for 4 to 4.5 hours. If using fresh hot chillies, break them with your hands and add them to the slow cooker. Add the onions and cook for extra 30 minutes.
  5. Before serving, add the juice of the extra 2 limes.
  6. Serve with chopped coriander on top and boiled cassava on the side.

On a non-culinary note: When I went to primary school (yes, I can still remember) I was taught that cebiche can be either spelled with a c and a b or with an s and a v, i.e. either cebiche or seviche. I always chose the first because it was the preferred form in the dictionary of the RAE – Real Academia de la Lengua Española (Royal Academy of the Spanish Language). Nowadays the RAE also accepts the spelling ceviche but I feel funny writing it that way. So here’s my disclaimer: I spell it the way I learned to, do not think it’s a typo ;)