Usually when we go on vacation, I come back with a lot of ideas for new dishes to try. In fact, I still haven’t finished cooking and blogging all the ideas I had after our trip to the South of Italy last September. Our most recent vacation was to Costa Rica. It is a beautiful country, but you don’t go there for the food. Just for the fun of it I may still do a post about the national dish called Casado. The dish that I enjoyed most was in fact not from Costa Rica, but from Peru. Ceviche is often on the menu at restaurants in Costa Rica, and the version I really liked was Peruvian Ceviche. Ceviche is seafood that is raw and only ‘cooked’ briefly in lime juice. Peruvian Cevice is mixed with thinly sliced onions and is served with sides like patacones (fried plantain chips), corn, and sweet potato. From what I’ve been able to confirm using various online sources, the Peruvian Ceviche I had in Costa Rica seems to be pretty authentic. If there are any Peruvians out there reading this, please comment 🙂 You can make various types of fish for this, as long as it is suitable for eating raw. I used kingfish, also known as hamachi or yellowtail.
For 4 servings
450 grams (1 lb) sashimi grade Pacific fish fillet like kingfish/hamachi/yellowtail, halibut, or mahi mahi
2 Tbsp thinly sliced red onions
about 250 ml (1 cup) freshly squeezed lime juice
chilli pepper, optional
plantain, salt, vegetable oil
This calls for slices of boiled sweet potato. For better flavor, I decided to cook the sweet potato sous-vide…
…for 90 minutes at 85C/185F. The corn I used was already boiled, so I just heated it up in the sous-vide along with the sweet potato for about 15 minutes. Raw corn would need a bit longer.
If the fish comes with skin, remove and discard it.
Dice the fish in cubes of about 1 cm (1/2 inch).
Put them in a bowl and sprinkle with about a teaspoon of salt. Cover and refrigerate for about an hour.
Meanwhile, slice the red onion very thinly. A mandoline is a useful tool for this.
Sprinkle the onion with salt, and allow to sit for half an hour.
Then rinse the onions with cold water to remove the salt, and soak them in more cold water in a bowl to reduce the sharpness of the onions.
To make patacones, peel the plantain, and cut it into 4 pieces.
Deep fry them in vegetable oil at 180C/350F…
…until they are yellow.
Drain on paper towels.
Use a bowl…
My plantain wasn’t quite ripe enough, as this is supposed to yield a more even shape than what I ended up with.
Squeeze the limes.
Rinse the fish with cold water…
…and pat dry with paper towels.
Put the fish in a bowl with some sprigs of cilantro and the onions. You could also add some sliced chilli pepper (optional). Add enough lime juice to barely cover the fish.
‘Cook’ the fish in the lime juice for about 10 minutes.
In the meantime, deep fry the patacones for about 2 minutes at 180C/350F…
…until they are golden and crispy.
Allow the patacones to drain on paper towels. Season with salt.
Drain the fish and taste for salt. You can reserve the lime juice used to ‘cook’ the fish and serve it on the side in a small bowl.
Serve the fish in a leave of lettuce and garnish with the onions, minced cilantro, and sliced chilli pepper (optional). Serve the corn, sweet potatoes (seasoned with salt), and corn on the side.
We enjoyed this with an Albariño. Other crisp whites like Sauvignon Blanc or Rueda Verdejo will also work.
This wonderful lamb stew with chestnuts and pomegranate hails from Azerbaijan. It is original and absolutely delicious.