Picture this: you on a sugar sanded Yucatan beach, turquoise water laps at your feet, a fresh breeze lightly tousles your hair while the sun glints sharply off of your Ray-Ban aviators. Cries of “Ceviche! Ceviche!”come closer to you and a handsome young man offers you a cup of sparklingly fresh fish “cooked” in lime juice, scattered with torn cilantro.
You taste it, the delicateness of the sea is enhanced by the citrus bath, the flavor is crisp, neat, and clean.
It is hotly debated where Ceviche was first enjoyed, but most agree it was along the South American Coastal areas, and likely first in Peru, where it is considered the national dish. Though archeological records suggest that something resembling Ceviche may have been consumed in Peru nearly two thousand years ago, some historians believe the predecessor to the dish was brought to Peru by Moorish women from Granada, who accompanied the Spanish conquistadors and colonizers, and this dish eventually evolved into what now is considered ceviche.
Ceviche is marinated in a citrus-based mixture, with lemons and limes being the most commonly used. In addition to adding flavor, the citric acid causes the proteins in the seafood to become denatured, appearing to be cooked. Traditional-style ceviche was marinated for about three hours. Modern-style Ceviche, popularized in the 1970's, usually has a very short marinating period. With the appropriate fish, it can marinate in the time it takes to mix the ingredients, serve, and carry the Ceviche to the table.
Since the 1980s, Ceviche, and variations of, have traveled the globe, with different cultures adding their unique flavor profile to their local catch.
These are not recipes, per say, just an overview of many of the different types that are made around the world.
Red Snapper and Avocado
Tossed with tomatoes, onions, jalapeño, and manzanillo olives in freshly squoze lime juice.
Wild Gulf Shrimp
Cucumber, red onion slivers, cilantro, lemon juice and a dash of hot sauce.
Pineapple and Mango Shrimp
Chopped jumbo shrimp, pineapple bits, mango cubes, green onions and avocado, and lime juice of course.
Radishes, avocado, serrano chiles, pickled onions.
Squid, shrimp, and scallops, with shallots, cucumber, soy, brown sugar, sriracha, unsweetened coconut flakes and topped with a thai basil chiffonade.
Red seabream, lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves, smashed garlic, red onion, palm sugar, bird chiles, and fish sauce.
Tomato, shallot, cucumber, serrano, cilantro, fish sauce, olive oil, fish sauce, rice vinegar.
Red snapper, white vinegar, coconut milk, red onion, scallion, red and yellow bell peppers, fresh cilantro to scatter.
Red snapper, fresh corn off-the-cob, baby heirloom tomatoes, ripe passion fruit pulp, honey, aji amarillo paste, serranos and scallions.
The freshest ahi tuna possible, limu seaweed, sweet onion, sesame oil, crushed red pepper and shoyu sauce.
Thinly sliced sea bass, red holland chile (minced and seeded), thin slices of white turnip, lots of lime zest, cilantro and olive oil.
With Greek Ouzo
Sea bass, pink grapefruit, ouzo, fennel, lemon juice, orange juice, olive oil, honey and dijon.
Quite simple: tomatoes, onions, lots of lime juice, jalapenos and red pepper flakes.
Basa fish, lime juice, limo hot pepper, ginger, sea salt, mango chutney and Rajasthani namkeen (a spicy gram flour & nut snack).
West African Shrimp
Fresh ginger, habanero, cilantro, roma tomatoes, white onions, sweet potato.