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A twist on a refreshing Peruvian classic, ceviche is typically made from fresh raw fish cured in fresh citrus juices, most commonly lemon or lime. We put an Asian twist on it, using our BamNut Milk, lime juice, ginger and lemongrass as a marinade—perfect for hot summer days!
Ceviche is a classic dish from Latin America with a rich history and a delightfully refreshing taste. It’s light, fresh and tangy, making it the perfect dish for a hot summer’s day. It may seem slightly odd because this dish requires no cooking at all, but we guarantee that it will wow you nonetheless. Due to the simplicity of the recipe and the steps taken to make it, this dish will quickly become a staple in your kitchen.
Ceviche has come a long way from its founding. Nowadays, there are many variations but its main ingredients are raw fish, fresh lime juice and chillies. The most common variety found in Peru adds raw onion and coriander. While this may not sound entirely appealing, trust us when we say that it’s better than you think. Letting the raw fish marinate in lime juice and salt, allows it to cure, essentially cooking it. This process is what turns the fish from pink to white. People have different views on how long to let the fish cure, with some opting for just a minute, while others preferring an hour or two. However, don't leave your fish in the marinade for too long, or it will become rubbery.
The origins of ceviche are a bit murky. The dish is currently most popular along the Pacific coastal regions of western Latin America. The most popular theory is that it originated around 2000 years ago during the Moche civillisation (which is modern day Peru and Ecuador). The fermented juices of passionfruit and banana were used as marinade for the raw fish, as citrus wasn't available in Latin America at the time.
Replacing the marinade with lime juice was probably due to Spanish colonists. They brought citrus fruits to the continent, which then became the sole component for marinating the fish. It was during this time that ceviche began developing into a national dish, with local and regional flavours used to customise it.
The best ceviche always starts with fresh fish. There are a variety of fish species that you can choose to make ceviche, however a firm or semi-firm lean white fish is the best choice. Some common examples of this are bass, grouper, rockfish or barramundi. Your fish should smell briny like the ocean, but not “fishy”.
If you're wondering why to use a firm white fish, it’s because the marinade will soften the texture of the fish, but not enough to make it mushy. White fish varieties also tend to be fairly mild in flavour, allowing it to soak up all the flavours of the marinade.
When making ceviche, one of the most important things is picking a fresh fish, since there is no cooking time at all. While picking the best fish is somewhat of an art, there are a few tips that can make this daunting process easier.
Whole fresh fish in supermarkets is usually stored on ice. You should pay attention to this and look for clean, well-drained ice. If there is staining or grey areas on the ice, this may mean that the ice isn't changed frequently. If you're buying a packaged fish, make sure that it looks clean and dry. Another way to make sure you're picking the best fish is by smelling it. Your fish should have a strong fishy or ammonia smell. If it does, that means the fish is deteriorating.
If you can’t get your hands on a fresh fish, due to availability, price or otherwise, opting to buy pre-frozen fish can work just as well. Pre-frozen fish varieties are much safer as they’ve been flash-frozen at the peak of their freshness and have not been exposed to contaminants. Another upside of buying frozen fish is that it tends to be much cheaper than fresh fish.
Just make sure to not buy a fish if its packaging is open, torn or crushed. You should also avoid buying packages with frost or ice crystals, which may indicate that the fish has been stored for a long time or thawed and refrozen. Lastly, avoid buying packages where the frozen fish flesh is not hard—the fish flesh should not be bendable.
Once you buy your fish, storing it is simple. Place your fish on ice, in the refrigerator or freezer as soon as you return home. If you're using your fish within two days, make sure to place it in your refrigerator at a temperature below 4°C. You can also wrap it tightly with cling-wrap, foil or moisture-proof paper and store it in your freezer.
In our version of a ceviche, we use lime, lemongrass, ginger and our BamNut Milk Airy as marinade. We’ve given this traditional Peruvian dish an Asian twist for a unique flavour that is still reminiscent of the original recipe. Our BamNut Milk Airy is a light plant-based milk made from Bambara groundnuts, which cuts the acidity of the marinade and gives balance to the flavours.
Mix together the limes, lemongrass, garlic, shallot, ginger, coriander and chilli padi.
Add your barramundi to the mixture and let it marinate for 15 minutes.
Remove the fish from the mixture, rinse and set aside.
Blend the mixture with the BamNut Milk Airy, and strain after.
To serve, pour mixture over fish.
Garnish with coriander leaves, chilli padi and shallots (optional).