How to Make Peruvian Ceviche

Peru Ceviche

Day 243: Chiclayo, Peru
One of the things I wanted to learn most was how to make Peruvian ceviche, which is quite different from ceviche in Ecuador.

Fortunately couchsurfing was in my plans for Peru. I had my first time couchsurfing in Colombia and wanted to again in Chiclayo and was fortunate to stay with Fernando and his family. Once they learned of my passion for food they were keen to share their culinary expertise and in this case it was Peruvian ceviche.

For me this is hitting the jackpot, while I’m certainly capable of following a recipe, Peruvian ceviche is a bit intimidating as acid from the lime juice cooks the fish. It’s not really something you want to screw up. While many people are worried about eating raw fish, it is quite safe as long as the fish is fresh. It shouldn’t smell fishy, the eyes of the fish shouldn’t be cloudy. And most importantly if you’re buying from vendors outside go early in the morning so it hasn’t been resting outside all day.

If you want to make sure you get the best product go with a local. Fernando’s mother took me to the market and she found the most fresh piece of fish so I could learn how to make ceviche.

Peruvian Ceviche
Cuisine: Peruvian
  • ½ kg (about 3 cups) of toyo or other firm flesh fish cut into cm cubes
  • 10 small limes (1.5 inches in size)
  • ¾ cup sliced red onion
  • 2 teaspoons ginger
  • ½ jalapeno (in Peru they use another hot pepper that cannot be found elsewhere)
  • 1 clove garlic
  1. Soak onion in a bowl of water so that flavour will not be overpowering.
  2. Juice limes over fish and leave until the fish starts to turn white, about ten minutes. Stirring occasionally.
  3. Drain juice from fish and mix with ginger and one clove of garlic. Puree in blender. Add back to fish.
  4. Add pepper to mixture (no need to mince just place whole)
  5. Add ½ cup chopped cilantro. Let sit 5 minutes.
  6. Add onion and stir.


Optional: There’s a significant Chinese influence in Peru and a twist to the dish is to add 1/4 teaspoon of soy sauce to the dish before serving as the umami enhance the flavours. I highly recommend.

A traditional garnish is corn and sweet potato as side.

Love Peruvian food? Check out:

Sudado: Peruvian Fish Stew


  1. says

    Easy as pie. Well, a lot easier than pie. Been making it a while myself, since I had it the first time in Central America a few years ago. Really is simple. And sooooo good. I also like adding tomatoes and garlic and a few other ingredients to make the resulting sauce into a sort of salsa that you can spoon it out on the cracker with the fish. Damn, I am hungry now.
    Michael Hodson recently posted..Interview with Shannon O’Donnell of A Little Adrift- Lucky 13 Questions

  2. says

    I’ve made ceviche several times at home (in Australia). Fortunately my aunt grows the orange aji amarillo that is used traditionally, but before she did, I used small red chillies, like Thai bird’s eye chillies, or even habaneros if I wanted it particularly hot.
    You can also make this with mixed seafood instead of straight fish and it’s very good.
    Don’t forget to serve it with a Pisco Sour!

  3. says

    Nice post. Love ceviche! Couldn’t get enough of it in Peru but some of the best I’ve had has been in Buenos Aires. Once you learn how to make it, it’s a cinch, and there are countless variations – all delish!

  4. says

    Considering how much I love ceviche, it’s kind of ridiculous that I’ve never made it. And you’re in luck: rocoto CAN be found elsewhere, specifically in Chile :) So you don’t have to say goodbye to ceviche when you make your way south.
    Emily recently posted..Girl crush

  5. says

    I am going to make this when I get home!! I LOVE cheviche. We are enjoying Rio. It’s not scary at all. We leave for B.A. on the 23rd. Sorry we aren’t going to see you on Christmas Day….

  6. peruvian cuisine says

    i’ve had taste ceviche once only, and i think i kinda like it. so, i’ll be makin ceviche othis time. Thanks for the great recipe you had shared to us!


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