Day 243: Chiclayo, Peru
My first time couchsurfing was in Colombia but I’ve couchsurfed a few more times since then. The benefit isn’t really the free accommodation as hostels aren’t expensive but it’s the cultural exchange. Locals can show you things no guidebook has time to tell you about and teach you nuances about the culture you would never pick up on your own.
I had decided to couchsurf 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 ceviche.
For me this is hitting the jackpot, while I’m certainly capable of following a recipe, ceviche is a bit intimidating as acid from the lime juice cooks the fish. It’s not really something you want to screw up. But today I had the opportunity to learn first-hand. I wanted to share this recipe with you and I’ve tried to include as much detail as possible.
1/2 kg (about 3 cups) of toyo or other firm flesh fish cut into cm cubes
10 small limes (1.5 inches in size)
3/4 cup sliced red onion
2 teaspoons ginger
1/2 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 1/2 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.