After 17 years of living in the US, making new connections, pursuing new dreams, eating new food, and learning a new language, my parents are yet to fall out of love with Lima, Peru. Lima is home. To my grandparents, aunts, uncles, beautiful architecture, foggy weather, really good food. Despite merely two visits to the city that molded and nurtured my most favorite people on this Earth, the memories long ago created stay just as real and animated in the minds of my parents as they do in the minds of the friends who still live there. Though replicating these moments of warmth and comfort have proved difficult, my mom has developed the best tried and true method. Food. In any community, any family or place, food can create togetherness. The mutual love for something yummy is enough to make anyone feel connected to another, and I’m thankful that this effect can spread across oceans and continents. My mom’s greatest recipe and the best dish in this world (at least in my opinion) has brewed a love almost as strong as the one in the hearts of my parents for a place and a community that have made me who I am…despite the fact that I live thousands of miles away. I hope this recipe for my favorite dish incites something in you. Whether it be love, appreciation, or maybe even a connection with someone you only know of because of this article.
Peruvian Ceviche: A seafood dish accompanied by Sweet Potato, Corn, and Lettuce trimmings
1 lbs White Fish Filets (preferably Tilapia)
1 ½ Tablespoon of Salt
½ Teaspoon of Pepper
½ Teaspoon Ajinomoto (optional)
¾ lb. Limes (about 3-4)
1 Teaspoon Ginger (peeled and chopped finely)
1 Garlic Clove (peeled and chopped finely)
1 Tablespoon of Cilantro (chopped extremely finely-make sure to only use and cut leaves)
2 tablespoons of Celery (chopped finely)
¼ Teaspoon Cumin
1 Red Onion
2 Sweet Potatoes (optional)
1 Ear of Peruvian Corn (or any sweet corn)
4 leaves of Lettuce
- Squeeze juice out of all limes into a medium sized bowl. Strain juice twice and set aside.
- Wash fish fillets and cut into small cubes- length of each cube should be about half the length of your finger.
- Place all fish cubes in bowl of lime juice and make sure fish is completely covered by juice.
- Stir in ginger, celery, pepper, and ajinomoto.
- Cover bowl and let sit for approx. 45 minutes
As the fish “cooks”:
- Peel and cut red onion into thin, long slices. Rinse and then submerge into a bowl of water. Let sit.
- Squeeze orange juice into a small bowl.
*If adding sweet potato, place a pot on the stove and boil water. Peel sweet potatoes and boil for approx. 10-12 minutes. Cut sweet potato into round slices right before plating.
Once 45 minutes have passed:
- Mix in salt and add more for taste (if needed).
- Pour and stir in orange juice.
- Strain red onion and mix into a bowl along with cilantro.
Immediately before plating, stir Ceviche slowly, ensuring that all ingredients are evenly distributed.
Plate sweet potato and lettuce (make sure to rinse beforehand), and follow with placing Ceviche directly on top of lettuce leaf. Serve with corn and enjoy!