Ceviche has to be one of my favorite dishes to eat and make. It’s a good way for me to consume some veggies and cool the mouth on a hot day. There are many variations on ceviche. It typically consists of raw shrimp or a type of shredded fish as the main protein marinated in lime or lemon, mixed with tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and chilis. As long as the raw seafood is fresh, this is a pretty healthy recipe that can be filling and fun to eat while watching a soccer game or hanging in the backyard with some saltine crackers or tostadas.
There are some different stories of where the ceviche dish originated from. Many say Peru is credited for the birth of the dish while others say it was the Spanish who introduced ceviche to Peru from Granada. The Spanish have also been credited for bringing over citrus trees that included limes, a main ingredient for the dish. Central America has been argued to be responsible for the origin. The Polynesians have been known to make a dish very similar to ceviche. There is evidence that ceviche has been around for over 2,000 years. This is now very popular in most coastal regions around the world. Mexico, the United States, and the Caribbean Islands are now places where ceviche is easily found and becoming more popular. What’s great about so many parts of the world making this dish, is that you will see interesting takes such as using conch or mackerel as the seafood or adding olives and corn. Some other variations from places like Mexico, include having a mixed seafood of chopped fish, crab, shrimp, and cooked octopus. Their toppings have included cooked cactus and coriander, or have orange juice as part of the marinade.
Typically you use raw shrimp or fish that then gets cured sitting in citrus juices. It is not technically cooked, so there is always the risk of not killing the bacteria that can cause illness. It is advised to use the freshest seafood you can for this dish for this reason (it also tastes better). You can also just throw in pre-cooked seafood that has been chilled. The acidity breaks down the protein of the shrimp and that’s when you start seeing the color change to a cooked color.
So, in honor of the Central and South America teams playing today in the World Cup, ceviche will be served!
Ingredients for the ceviche I make:
2 lbs. Raw Shrimp
1/2 White Onion
1 jalapeno (de-seed half for spicy, de-seed completely for mild)
1/2 bunch of Cilantro
Box of Saltine Cracker, Tortilla Chips, or Tostadas
Wash your veggies
Peel shrimp and chop:
At this point, you can choose to soak shrimp in lime juice or any other citrus juice of your choosing. I just marinate for the time it takes me to prepare the other ingredients, you of course, can marinade longer to ensure more curing. I also sometimes let it cure at the end with all the ingredients so that the onion has time to “cook” down as well.
Chop Tomatoes and pour into mixing bowl:
Chop Cilantro and pile into bowl:
Chop Onions and Jalapenos. With Jalapenos, de-seed according to your heat tolerance. I actually like it spicy, so I keep the majority of seeds
I save the avocado until the end because they tend to brown quickly. Lemon or lime juice can actually help prevent the browning, so I add it right before I add the lime juice to the bowl.
You can also scoop out the avocado halves first, then chop the avocado up.
Next, squeeze 3 limes or more if you like over the ingredients in the bowl
Add your shrimp wether it has been curing or not, and MIX gently until the lime juice coats it all. Season with Salt & Pepper.
Set your Crackers or Tostadas out and place some Lime wedges and Salt with the plates.