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Ceviche (Peru)


The best lunch I’ve ever eaten was ceviche in Lima. Hands down. 

Traditional Peruvian ceviche is amazingly simple. Seafood, lime juice, red onion, and chile. That’s it. Plus sweet potato and corn on the side.


As I said in the episode, you probably won’t be able to make the real thing, because your seafood, as fresh as it might be, won’t be as fresh as the seafood in Lima. Fed by the Humboldt Current, caught that morning, and served for lunch because dinner would be too late: that’s Limeño ceviche.


But if you do have good seafood available, this will get you pretty darn close!


Some notes:

  • If you have one, use a mandoline for the red onion to get it as thin as possible. 

  • Feel free to substitute scallops or shrimp or octopus or really any seafood, diced in the same size, for the fish, or mix them.

  • If you can get Peruvian aji amarillo (yellow pepper), use that, but this jalapeño will do. 

  • If you can find giant-kerneled Peruvian corn, that would be ideal, but whatever you have will do.

  • The fish needs to be as fresh as possible. Buy from a reputable fishmonger. If you cannot prepare and eat immediately, keep the fish on ice in the refrigerator to maintain as much freshness as possible. 


Serves 4



  • 1 lb (0.5 kg) fresh ocean fish filets - like grouper or sea bass - sliced into 1/2 inch (1 cm) chunks

  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced

  • 1/2 cup lime juice, freshly squeezed

  • 1 or 2 jalapeño peppers, seeds and ribs removed, minced very fine

  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) chopped cilantro leaves

  • salt and pepper

  • 1 large sweet potato

  • 2 ears of corn, husked (maize, if you prefer)



  1. In separate pots, boil the corn and sweet potato until tender. When cool, peel sweet potato. Slice corn into 2 inch (5 cm) segments, slice potato into 1 inch (2.5 cm) segments.

  2. Combine fish, onion, lime juice, cilantro, and chiles in a bowl, mixing gently with your hands. Use gloves, if you’re worried about the acid and chile. Season with salt and pepper.

  3. Let sit for 15-20 minutes.

  4. Serve.


Recipe adapted from

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