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Ceviche Recipes



The Marinade

Variations in the flavor of seviche depend upon the particular citrus juice or combination of juices and the other ingredients used in the marinade. the marinade juice could be lemon, lime, or sour orange, or a combination of two, or even all three juices. the acid in the citrus juice and the action of salt called for in recipes prevent the growth of micro-organisms in the fish, softening the fibers as they penetrate. The enhancing ingredients - hot peppers, green peppers, garlic, and onion - give seviche its pleasing gusto.
Each Latin American country has given seviche/ceviche its own touch of individuality by adding its own particular garnishes. In Peru, seviche is served with slices of cold sweet potatoes or corn-on-the-cob, while in neighboring Ecuador, it is accompanied by popcorn, potato chips, nuts, or the giant kernels of corn native to that country. Panamanian businesses serve seviche with buttered saltine crackers or in dainty pastry shells. It is also served in a large crystal bowl with the guests helping themselves, either by spearing it with toothpicks or filling the pastry shells. In Mexico, seviche is accompanied by slices of raw onions and served on toasted tortillas.

Here is a version of seviche which Japanese housewives were making hundreds of years ago. They call it sashimi and serve it with horseradish or very strong mustard. (Note the omission of hot pepper.)

2 pounds fish fillets
2 cups lemon juice
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup thinly sliced onions
1/4 cup teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon salt

Remove the skin from fillets and slice 1/8 inch thick. Mix the other ingredients and pour over the fillets which have beend placed in a glass bowl or platter. Let it marinate overnight.

Peruvian Seviche

The Peruvian cook cleans the fish and lets it soak in salt water for 10 minutes and then removes it and pats it dry.

1 lb fish fillets of corbina, red snapper, or any good quality whitefish
juice of three lemons
juice of three sour oranges or limes
one medium onion, thinly sliced
salt and pepper to taste
a pinch of cayenne pepper
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 hot pepper, chopped fine
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (coriander)

Cut fish into pieces and place on a platter. Place the thinly sliced onions on the fish. Then add the remaining ingredients, covering with the juices. Place in refrigerator for at least 4 hours before serving. Serve on bed of lettuce and garnish with cold sweet potato or corn-on-the-cob.

Ecuadorean Seviche

In Ecuador seviche is served with potato chips, popcorn, sweet potatoes or kernels of corn that are about an inch long and almost as broad. Ecuadoreans usually combine three citrus juices plus vinegar in their seviche.

2 pounds whitefish
juice of 6 limes, 3 lemons, 3 sour oranges, or enough to make 2 cups juice
4 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoons black pepper
1/4 cup vinegar
2 medium onions sliced very thin
2 or 3 red or yellow hot peppers, slivered

cut fish into bite size pieces and place in a bowl. Pour juice over it. Add salt and pepper and vinegar. Let stand about 6 hours in refrigerator. Pour boiling water over the onions and drain. Add to the fish. Add slivered hot peppers and let set overnight.
Here is another version of Ecuadorean seviche using lemon juice only:

3 pounds corbina, washed thoroughly and dried with paper toweling
juice from about 25 lemons
2 onions (medium size) chopped
2 teaspoons salt
1 aji chombo, (hot pepper) cut into small pieces

Cut the fish into bite size pieces and place in glass bowl with one cup lemon juice and one teaspoon of salt. Let it set for 15 minutes and then drain, squeezing the fish gently. Add the remaining lemon juice or enough to cover the fish. Add the chopped onions and stir with a wooden spoon. Let set for 15 minutes. Then add the aji and the remaining salt. Let it set for 30 minutes, cover and place in refrigerator. It may be eaten in about 2 hours. (Segundo Franco).

Panama’s Corvina Seviche
1 pound fillets of corvina
juice from a dozen limes, more if necessary
3 medium size tomatoes, chopped fine
3 onions, chopped fine
2 hot peppers, remove part of it after it has
set about 2 hours
1 green pepper, chopped fine
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Place corvina fillets on a platter. Mix the remaining ingredients and spread over the fish, making sure it is completely covered. Let it set for a few minutes and then turn the fillets over so both sides of the fish are well marinated. Cover platter and place in refrigerator. Turn the fish several times. Can be eaten after 8 hours.

Shrimp Seviche
2 pounds of shrimp
approximately 10 lemons
1 hot pepper
1 chopped onion
1 teaspoon salt

Put raw shrimp in boiling water for 5 minutes. Remove and place in cold water immediately. Remove shells and clean shrimp. Place in a glass bowl with the lemon juice, the onion, pepper, and salt. Let it set for 1 hour and serve. (Franco)

Here is another variation of shrimp seviche:

2 pounds shrimp, cooked and cleaned
1/2 pound onions, chopped
1/2 bottle French’s mustard
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup lime juice
1 hot pepper, chopped

Cut shrimp into pieces. Add remaining ingredients and marinate for about 8 hours. (Mrs. Stanley Fidanque).

Scallop Seviche
1 1/2 pounds scallops (Panama Bay scallops preferred)
1 hot pepper
1 tablespoon vinegar
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/2 cup lime juice (or more if needed)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, mashed
2 teaspoons mustard pickle
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons catsup
salt and pepper to taste

Clean scallops and put in a colander. Pour boiling water over them and let drain. Mix the onion and hot pepper (chopped very fine), garlic, mustard pickle, oregano, and vinegar. Put scallops into this mixture and let marinate for 30 minutes. Then add salt, pepper, olive oil, catsup, and lime juice. The lime juice should cover the mixture. Place in a glass container, cover and let stand in refrigerator 24 hours before eating. (Stir with a wooden spoon from time-to-time. Some metal spoons will tarnish from the acids.) (Mrs. Robert Rupp.)

La Fonda Del Sol’s Seviche
1 pound firm-fleshed, fresh, raw, whitefish, boned;
or scallops
1 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup lime juice
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons ketchup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup finely chopped red onions
1 red pepper
1/2 of a small yellow hot chili pepper, grated or finely minced
1/3 cup canned corn kernels
3 or 4 sprigs cilantro

About 5 hours before serving, remove all skin and dark meat from fish. Slice across fish (or scallops) making strips about 1 1/2 inches long by 3/4 inch wide, no thicker than 1/8 inch. Place fish in bowl; pour about 3/4 cup lemon juice over fish. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate at room temperature about 1 hour. Stir occasionally; let marinade reach all pieces. Meanwhile, prepare other marinade. Combine remaining 1/4 cup lemon juice, lime and orange juices with ketchup, salt, onion, and finely chopped red and green peppers; reserve two slices of peppers for garnish. Add hot chili pepper, if available, to this mixture. Drain and discard first lemon marinade; cover fish with seasoned marinade, using airtight container (onions emit a pwoerful aroma). Refrigerate 4 hours. Turn fish occasionally. Serve seviche over a bed of lettuce leaves on a chilled platter. Include chopped vegetables but drain most of the juice from fish. Garnish with sliced red and green pepper circles, corn kernels, finely chopped cilantro, and parsley. Provide toothpicks. Makes about 50 bite size servings.
(From: Culinary Capers by Fannie P. Hernandez. The Panama Canal Review, Feb. 1971.)

Big Corvina!
Picture taken by Tomas Carey at Panama City Fish Market, June 1999.

MORE Ceviche Recipes:

Gatun Tarpon Club Ceviche
7 lbs. firm white fish
(ie; barracuda, marlin, grouper, snook or corvina)
3 large green peppers
3 tablespoons salt, heaping
6 oz. apple cider vinegar
4 large onions
6 hot peppers plus seeds
1 qt. fresh lime juice

Remove all red meat from fish. Dice in 1/4 inch cubes. Put in large pan. Finely dice onions, sweet peppers and hot peppers. Lay diced vegetables on top of fish; add vinegar and salt, add the lime juice and stir about 5 minutes. Place contents into a gallon jar with lid. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour; then refrigerate. Ready to serve in 3 hours. (R.J. “Butch” Tobin)

Ceviche de Corvina
1 lb. boneless corvina
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
1 1/3 cups fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 hot pepper finely minced (optional)
Cut fish into bite-size pieces and place in a glass bowl, at least 2 inches high. Add all the other ingredients, mix, lemon juice should cover the fish. Cover with plastic wrap, put in refrigerator. Allow one day for fish to cook in the lemon juice. Garnish with onions, serve with crackers or saltines.

Escabeche of Corvina
2 lbs. fillets of corvina (or other firm white fish), boned and cut in bite size pieces
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup oil
3 garlic cloves; finely chopped
3 green peppers, julienned
3 medium onions, julienned
3/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup water
salt to taste
1 bay leaf
dash of paprika

Season the fish with the garlic salt, paprika, white pepper and curry powder. Dip the pieces in the flour and fry them in hot oil until browned. Drain and place in a glass bowl or pyrex dish.
Cook the garlic, pepper and onions in the hot oil from 3-5 minutes. Place the vegetables in a bowl with the vinegar, water, salt, bay leaf and paprika. Mix well. Pour over the fish and let cool. Cover with plastic wrap. Place in refrigerator for 24 hours. Serve cold.

Willy’s Hot Shrimp Ceviche
500 grams (1 lb.) peeled fresh shrimp
1 onion, sliced as thin as possible
2 stalks celery, finely diced
1 aji chombo pepper, finely diced
3 limes
1 teaspoon minced fresh culantro
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Saute the garlic and black pepper. Add the shrimp and salt and stir. When the shrimp turns color, add the aji chombo and other ingredients. Cover, lower heat, simmer for about 10 minutes. Test for flavor - the longer you cook this, the more the oils in the pepper and aji chombo are released into the rest of the food, so it gets spicier. Serve this with boiled yucca or potatoes. (From The Panama News & Friends.)

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