Growing up with a Peruvian grandmother has wonderful perks, the first of which is the at-home, direct classroom experience to that marvelous cuisine. With her, mom and dad, who also makes a very yummy one, I got accustomed to great-quality fish cebiche. Not only that -and my apologies to anyone reading this who has an allegiance to other cebiches- but my personal feeling has always been that Peruvian cebiche is the best of the many varieties you can find.
When thinking about the menu for the Easter spring lunch I cooked with my friends, I wanted something that would be fresh and cool, because I knew the weather would be steamy. What better for that, then, than a nice cebiche.
Yield: About 8 servings
For the cebiche
- 1 lb fresh white fish fillets (a meaty, boneless one, such as tilapia, sole or halibut), cut up in cubes
- 1/2 to 3/4 white onion, julienned
- 15 key limes or 7 regular limes, juice expressed
- 1 tsp ají amarillo paste or half a fresh one, seeded and diced in small pieces
- 1 tsp ají panca peruano, or half a fresh one, seeded and diced in small pieces
- 5 or 6 ice cubes
- salt and pepper to taste
For the garnish
- 8 medium-sized leaves romaine lettuce
- one large sweet potato, cooked, peeled and sliced in half circles
- 2 cups canchita, Peruvian roasted dry corn.
- Wash the onion with water and rinse. Repeat.
- In a glass bowl, add the onion and fish and wash with water twice.
- Add salt and pepper.
- Add the lime juice and pepper pastes (or the fresh diced ones). Mix well.
- Adjust spiciness and salt, if needed.
- Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour, stirring contents every 15 minutes or so before serving.
In a small bowl arrange the lettuce leaf, a couple of sweet potato wedges and some canchita at the bottom.
Top with cebiche
NOTES: For info on ají amarillo and ají panca, see the notes on this recipe