My friend Victor, from Peru, shared with me his own personal (and great) recipe for ceviche tonight. Pronounced sé-vee-ché, its a popular South American dish made by 'cooking' fish in the acidity of lime juice. I know, in North America we're a bit squeamish about eating 'raw' fish but this is really yummy, trust me. Just make sure you get really fresh, firm fish, not anything squishy or mushy.
2 filets of whitefish (like tilapia or basa)
salt & pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 limes, cut in half
1/2 Tbsp. aji amarillo molido (hot yellow pepper paste available at Latino grocery stores - OPTIONAL)
1/4 red onion, sliced
1 stalk celery, small dice
1 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
1. Place red onion in a small bowl and cover with hot water.
2. Place fish in a collander and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
3. Put a little salt in the bottom of a medium-sized pot. Add the garlic and then mash the garlic with the back of a wooden spoon.
4. Squeeze the juice out of the limes into a small bowl.
5. Dice the fish into 1/2" pieces, remove any bones you find.
6. Place the fish in the pot with the garlic and stir.
7. Add the aji amarillo molido and stir.
8. Flatten the mixture in the pot with the back of a wooden spoon. Pour the lime juice over top.9. At this point Victor leaves the mixture on the counter for 20-25 min. to "cook". If this makes you nervous, as it would me, I would put the pot in the fridge and let it "cook" for up to 1 hour until the fish is white throughout.
10. Drain the water off the onion and add.
11. Add the diced celery and chopped cilantro.
12. To serve, place on a bed of lettuce, or as Victor did when I was there, on top of some fried calamari rings.