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Step 1: Prep Your Ingredients
We are dealing with raw fresh fish, so in order to minimize the risk of spoilage prep everything before you take the fish from the fridge.
Small dice one onion and a hot pepper.
Usually some form of hot pepper and some vegetables to give it a little crunch.
Ceviche from Peru uses a powdered yellow paprika called aji amarillo. Really worth it if you can find it.
One of the best ceviches I’ve ever had had habaneros so finelly minced that you almost didn’t noticed them.
Step 2: Acid Denaturation of Proteins
I have a pet peeve with the term "cooked in acid" I'd rather use the "proteins denatured in acid"
The idea is that the acid in the lime juice changes the protein in fish which can be seen by the change in color and texture.
Other acids can be used as well as lemon juice if that is what you have at hand.
I use lime juice in here just because the taste of the ceviche is more authentic.
Step 3: The Fish
Add the onions, pepper and lime juice to a bowl
Wash your hands!
I mean it!
Avoid manipulating too much the fish. As this is eaten raw be careful. You might consider gloves also.
Dice the fish into 1/2 inch cubes or strips. The important part is to have a lot of surface area to react to the lime juice.
As you finish the cubes add them to the bowl.
When you finish cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for 10 to 15 minutes.
Do not let it stay too much (more than 30 minutes) or the fish becomes to firm.
Step 4: Serve It
Where to go from here:
Once you've mastered this simple recipe think on how to add more flavors or textures.
Avocados are nice in ceviche, just don't add too much or it will become too guacamoleish (is that a word?)
There is a yellow paprika from Peru called aji amarillo. If you can find I suggest you try it.
Also keep in mind that “fish” might not have to mean fish.. I had a great shrimp and octopus ceviche once. (the octopus probably was lightly blanched before ceviching)
This is the basic recipe: Cut the fish in small cubes (or strips), place in a bowl cover with lime juice and let it marinate for 10 to 15 minutes.