One of the great pleasures of traveling through the coastal regions of Ecuador is the abundance of fresh seafood. The Ecuadorians love their seafood and they prepare it exquisitely. Sailing around the Galapagos and hanging out along the coast for a bit during my month long stay in 2016, gave me the opportunity to often try Ecuadorian style seafood. My favorite method of preparation is of course…ceviche.
Ceviche is a meal found all across Latin America but the best I’ve ever had (thus far) was in Ecuador. Perhaps it was because I could see the fish was extremely fresh or I knew the veggies and fruits used for the meal came from a nearby farm or the local forest. Whatever the reason, ceviche in Ecuador seems to just taste better.
The meal is a preparation of fresh fish, acidic juice such from limes, and vegetables. It resembles a soup of sorts and is eaten cold. There’s definitely no more refreshing meal than ceviche after spending a hot day hiking, swimming, snorkeling, and laying on the beach. You can make it at home by following this recipe.
Ceviche de Pescado
- 2 lbs of fresh white fish (corvina, halibut, tilapia, mahi mahi, or snapper) cut into small square pieces
- 2 hot peppers slice in half lengthwise
- 4 garlic cloves crushed
- 1/2 bunch of shredded cilantro (I include the stems)
- 2 small red onions (Ecuadorian-style paiteña or substitute 4 large shallots)
- 1 diced mango
- 2 diced tomatoes
- 1 diced bellpepper
- Lime juice from 20 limes
- 2 tbs of light olive oil
- Salt to taste
- Add-ins: Popcorn, patacones, chifles, mote corn, aji
- Place the diced raw fish into a large dish with the sliced peppers, garlic, a handful of chopped cilantro, and salt. Mix. Cover with lime juice. The fish should be completely covered by lime juice. Allow to sit in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 hours.
- Put the onions in a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Cover the onions with enough warm water so that they are fully submerged. Let sit for about 10 minutes then drain and rinse with cool water.
- Combine the onions, tomatoes, bell pepper, and mango in a bowl. Add lime juice and a bit of salt. Allow to marinate for about 12 minutes. You can prepare this the day before and allow to sit in the refrigerator until you need it.
- Once the fish has “cooked” in the lime juice, it should be solidly white. Remove the hot peppers and garlic. Drain the lime juice leaving as little or as much as you prefer based on your taste for acidity level.
- Combine the fish and the marinated onion, tomato, bell pepper, and mango mixture. Add the rest of the cilantro, oil, salt, and additional lime juice to taste. I also add a bit of orange juice to cut the acidity of the lime but it isn’t necessary.
- Serve immediately or allow to rest for up to 30 minutes before you serve.
- Serve with popcorn, chifles, mote corn, and aji or hot sauce.
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