Ceviche is a clever Inca derived dish, combining ancient and modern cultures. It uses the acidity of European citrus to cook shrimp, fish and other dishes. Salt spices and vegetables are used to balance and smooth the acidity and to add taste contrasts. Ceviche is generally paired with sweet potatoes and sweetcorn fritters and is often served with fresh herbs as a dressing.
Originally the Inca, would marinate fresh fish and seafood in salt, chilli, and vile chicha, which is a low-alcohol beer brewed from corn. Now the modern version uses lime juice is the central element of the marinate.
Sometimes other citrus is used and even passionfuit and other acidic fruits. The lime juice adds flavor and the acidity gently 'cooks' the fish turning the flesh opaque.
► Always use very fresh shrimp, fish and other seafood
► Don’t marinade the fish or seafood in the juice for too long. About 5-10 minutes is adequate for delicate seafood. Otherwise, the fish will crumble, fall apart and become too acidic.
► Serve the Ceviche with something sweet to balance the acidity of the citrus. In Peru, this dish is served with sweet potato, sweetcorn, avocado or even sweet fruit such as mango.
► Correct seasoning with salt is the key to success. Add more seasoning to balance the taste and offset and smooth the acidity.
► Serve the Ceviche with and inspired and spicy dressing
For the dressing
Wash and dry the fish fillets, removing any bones. Cut the fillets into slices about 1/2 inch (1 cm) thick. Place the slices into a shallow glass or other non-reactive dish. Sprinkle with salt and pour in the lime juice, mixing to ensure an even coating. Marinate in the fridge for 5-10 minutes. Combine all the other ingredients, except the watercress and avocado, in a large bowl, mix well and season with salt and pepper. Next, drain the lime juice from the fish using a colander or a sieve. Mix the fish with the other ingredients in the bowl. Serve on a large platter with the avocado and watercress.
Boil the sweet potato with the cinnamon and sugar until just starting to soften. Set aside to cool, then cut into 2 cm (1 inch) cubes. Blanch the red chilli and then remove the skin and seeds and grin, the onion, a pinch of salt and pepper. Add some little chilli paste to the mixture and mix to combine well. Add the coriander and then transfer to a serving bowl. Serve immediately with sweet potato on the side. It is best eaten immediately after marinading the fish.
Mix the scallops with the lime juice in a medium size bowl. Set aside for just 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, except for the coriander, avocado and tostadas. Mix well, season with salt and add the chopped coriander and diced avocado. Stir gently to combine evenly. Serve the mixture into 4 small glass dishes. Add a coriander sprig as a garnish. Sprinkle with a drizzle of tomato juice and Tabasco sauce. Serve immediately with the wholemeal tostadas.
Place shrimp in a glass (or other non-reactive) bowl and cover with the lime juice. Marinate in the fridge for 5-10 minutes, or until the shrimp turn pink and become opaque. Next, combine tomatoes, onion, avocados, celery and jalapeno in a large, non-reactive bowl. Remove the shrimp from lime juice, drain and then chop the shrimp into several pieces. Add to the bowl of vegetables. Pour in some extra lime juice, add the cilantro and season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss gently to mix and serve immediately.
Cut the corn kernels from the corn cobs using a knife and set aside. Combine the egg, yolks, creme fraiche and milk and mix well. Sieve the dry ingredients into a large bowl and mix well. Add the egg and pour in the milk. Whisk the mixture to create a thick batter. Add the corn, spring onions and chives, and then season well with salt and pepper. To cook, heat a knob of butter and little rice bran oil in a non-stick pan until quite hot. Spoon a tablespoon of the mix into the pan for each fritter. Cook three fritters at once and fry for about 2 minutes on either side until golden brown. Keep the cooked fritters warm in the oven while you fry the rest. Serve immediately with the Ceviche dish.
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C (375 degrees F). Prick the sweet potatoes, all over with a fork. Roast the sweet potatoes on a baking tray for about about 45 minutes, turning once, until tender. Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven and cool for 5-10 minutes so they can be handled. Cut each sweet potato in half length-ways, Using a fork, loosen the flesh with a fork. Place the sweet potatoes on a serving plate. Sprinkle with grated ginger, add a drizzle of chilli sauce and creme fraiche.