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Ceviche
Ceviche three ways. Photo © James Camp | Dreamstime.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

KAREN HOCHMAN is Editorial Director of THE NIBBLE.

 

 

January 2011

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Fish, Seafood & Caviar

Shrimp Ceviche Recipe

Ceviche, Seviche Or Sebiche, This Healthy Recipe Is A Fan Favorite

 

This is Page 1 of a three-page article. Click on the black links below to visit other pages.

 

The History Of Ceviche

Ceviche—shellfish cured by acidic citrus juice—has been popular in Latin America for many centuries. In the early 1500s, the Spanish conquistadors wrote of an Inca dish of raw fish marinated in chicha, a fermented maize beer that dates back some 2,000 years. The concept evolved into ceviche (pronounced say-VEE-chay), raw fish or shellfish cured with citrus juice.

A chemical process occurs when the fish/shellfish is marinated in the highly acidic citrus juice, which denatures the protein. The result is similar to what happens when the fish is cooked with heat. Instead of “cooking,” however, the fish is cured in the marinade, which adds its own delicious flavors.

Both Ecuador and Peru claim to have originated ceviche: Both were part of the Incan Empire. But why quibble: Today, ceviche—or seviche or sebiche, depending on the country—is so popular that there are cevicherias, restaurants that specialize in ceviche.

The Spanish brought the lime and onion that is integral to modern ceviche. In fact, the term “ceviche” is thought to come from the Spanish escabeche, meaning marinade. Others argue that the word comes from the Quechua (Incan) word siwichi—although we could not find this word in the Quechua dictionary we consulted.

There’s a whole menu of ceviche, using difference types of fish and seafood and country-specific preparations. Each country adds its own spin based on local seafood and preference for ingredients like avocado. Some add a dressing of ketchup or a combination of ketchup and mayonnaise (think shrimp ceviche with cocktail sauce).

  • Ecuadorian ceviche is served with popcorn.
  • Mexican ceviche includes a dice of onion and tomato—popular ingredient of salsa fresca. Traditional seasonings include chili powder, onions, garlic, cilantro and a little sea salt. Mackerel ceviche is popular, as are red snapper, sole and striped bass.
  • Panamanian ceviche includes hot sauce and is served with saltines.
  • Peruvian ceviche combines shrimp with native sweet potatoes and/or yucca, plus onion and the native aji amarillo chile. Cancha, large and crunchy Andean corn kernels that have been toasted and salted (i.e., corn nuts), are also added. The ingredients are marinated in the juice of a Peruvian lemon related to the Key lime. Ceviche is considered to be the national dish of Peru.
 
Lobster ceviche. Make it or order it from MackenzieLtd.com.

Add your own individual touches to your ceviche. Start with inspiration from our list on Page 3.


Continue To Page 2: Shrimp Ceviche Recipe

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