Authentic Peruvian ceviche with mahi mahi is a classic no cook recipe that embraces the fresh flavors of fish while complementing it with other crisp ingredients. An easy to make yet sophisticated summer appetizer or dinner. Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, low carb and healthy!
Ceviche, ceviche ceviche oh how I love you.
Ceviche = happiness if you ask me. It’s so refreshing, so light, so seemingly simple but with a complex web of flavor. A perfect summer seafood meal. Even better with a chilled glass of white wine (or two).
As I learned in a cooking class In Arequia, Peru, ceviche hails from Peru and is one of the country’s national dishes which has been influenced by the Japanese immigrants who came over in the 18th century. I never thought about it but it makes perfect sense – it’s sashimi but with a South American flair.
D and I spent 35 days traveling around Peru and had ceviche more times than I can count. My parents came to visit us too but 10 days, and my mom and feast had full on ceviche feasts. In the hot Lima weather it made for a perfect full yet light meal. You might not think it but a whole bowl of fresh fish really is more filling that you would think. And low carb, with no frying or cooking involved. Just simple fresh flavors magnified by high quality ingredients.
Naturally the most important part is the quality and type of the fish. Ceviche is traditionally made with a firm white fish, think mahi mahi, sea bass, sole, grouper, but nowadays you can find all sorts of fusion recipes with salmon, tuna, etc. The classic Peruvian ceviche is also always served with sweet potatoes and toasted crunchy Peruvian corn, while being made with ginger, garlic, lime, habanero chile, cilantro, celery, and red onion.
These are the classic authentic Peruvian ceviche ingredients, and trust me they work. Each ingredient serves its purpose and perfectly complements the next.
Another crucial authentic Peruvian ceviche component? Leche de tigre – directly translated as milk of the tiger and actually nothing of the sort.
Instead, what this is is a pureed blend of a tiny bit of all the other ceviche ingredients: chili, cilantro, garlic, ginger, onion, celery, water, small piece of the raw fish and a pinch of salt. This magical pureed sauce gets added to the ceviche at the last step, as Henry our cooking instructor explained, once this is added the fish stops cooking, so this is the last step.
This incredibly fragrant and aromatic sauce is absorbed by the fish and other ingredients and becomes the right dressing.
It’s just so light and yet incredibly filling, just the right dish to serve and eat in the summer time. This is a great appetizer or even light entree.
In classic Peruvian fashion it is served over a boiled and cut up sweet potato, alongside a small handful of toasted Peruvian corn. Now this stuff really is the best. Peruvians love their corn and you can find corn based snacks – think crunchier than chips and even more satisfying, sold everywhere. There are all sorts of different types and I’ve heard from my mom that now in the US Trader Joe’s carries one type of the toasted Peruvain corn. It’s not quite the corn added to ceviche but if it’s all you can get your hands on it will do.
Each bite of fish is marinaded in the refreshing lime juice and decorated with a hint of paper thin slices of red onion, a bite from the red chili pepper, and the mildest ginger and garlic flavor combination.
If you’ve never made authentic Peruvian ceviche with mahi mahi, now’s the perfect time for it!
- 100 grams very fresh white fish mahi mahi, grouper, sole, sea bass (about 4 ounces)
- 5 grams ginger minced (about 1 teaspoon)
- 5 grams garlic mashed (about 1 teaspoon)
- 2 small limes juiced
- 3 tablespoons oil nuetral tasting
- 1 small habanero chili pepper
- 1 teaspoon chopped cilantro
- 1/2 small red onion very thinly sliced
- 1 sweet potato optional
- 5 grams celery minced (about 1 teaspoon)
- 50 grams toasted Peruvian corn or Plantain chips (about 3 tablespoons)
- Boil sweet potato for 30 minutes. Once soft and cooked through, peel and cut into 3 equal pieces (optional).
- In a small bowl combine ginger and garlic with oil (to infuse the oil)
- Place the onion in a bowl with water, to reduce the strong onion flavor.
- Cut fish into 1 inch cubes.
- Place the fish in a bowl and add almost all of the finely chopped cilantro, chili, and 1 tablespoon of the infused oil. Marinate for 5 minutes.
- To make the leche de tiger, in a blender combine a tiny bit of the fish, chili, cilantro, garlic, ginger, onion, celery, and pinch of salt. Blend until smooth.
- To the fish add salt and lime juice, and allow to marinate for 5-20 minutes.
- Once ready to serve mix fish with leche de tigre, red onions.
- Serve on top of sweet potatoes slices, with toasted corn (or plantain chips on the side) garnished with red chili pepper for decoration.