Ceviche classico

F rom Australian Gourmet Traveller, March 2012, p.46. Recipe written by Peruvian chef Diego Munoz. Tested on 18/1/2013, and proven to be quite authentic and very tasty!

 The Recipe

“In a classic ceviche, the mixture of lime juice, salt, and flavourings in which the fish is marinated is known as leche de tigre, “milk of the tiger”. Drink it when you’ve eaten the fish and the sweet potato.”

  • 1 sweet potato, cut into 1 cm thick rounds
  • 30 gms caster sugar
  • 1 star anise
  • 0.5 cinnamon quill
  • 400 gms firm white-fleshed fish (eg. ling or Palmers Island mulloway) trimmed and cut into neat 1 cm cubes
  • 200 ml fresh lime juice (approx 5-6 limes)
  • 140 mls fish stock
  • 75-100 gms white-fleshed fish trimmings
  • 10 cm piece of celery, coarsely chopped
  • 4 cm piece of ginger, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 large or 2 small spanish onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup coriander (or 2-3 tsp of coriander in a tube)
  • 2 small coriander springs, for garnish
  • 1 small green chilli, de-seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 small birdseye chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped

1. Blend the lime juice, stock, fish trimmings, celery, ginger, garlic, half the onion and 2 tsp sea salt in a blender until smooth. Add coriander and green chilli and blend further until finely chopped. Pass the mixture through a fine sieve and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

2. Place sweet potato in a saucepan with sugar, star anise, cinnamon and 1 litre of water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until tender (10-15 minutes). Drain and set aside.

3. Combine the chopped fish with the refrigerated lime juice mixture and a teaspoon of salt, and stir well. Place the bowl you are mixing everything in into a larger bowl, and put ice cubes and a little water in the bottom of the larger bowl. This ensures the mixture remains icy cold while final assembly is completed. Check for seasoning, especially salt, and add more salt plus a few drops of fresh lime juice (if needed) to taste. Meanwhile, soak the remaining sliced onions in iced water for 5 minutes.

4. Drain the onions (which have now gone crispy) and add to the fish/lime mixture along with the birdseye chilli. Stir frequently until the fish/lime mixture has had at least 10 minutes to marinate. When ready, place 4-6 discs of sweet potato on the bottom of each serving bowl. Pile a third of the fish onto each plate and sprinkle a little of the chopped coriander garnish over the top. Spoon a small portion of the leche du tigre over each plate so there is a small amount pooled in the bottom of the bowl, but not so much that it is soupy. Serve the remaining leche du tigre in a jug.


Use a combination of different fish, or fish and seafood, to create different kinds of ceviche. The most important thing to remember is that because it is served raw the texture of the fish must be suitable for the purpose. In particular, use nothing too stringy, and don’t cut the pieces too large, or the dish will be unpleasant to eat.

A popular varation in Peru is to serve ceviche with cancha, or dried fried corn kernels. Simply sprinkle about 10-15 gms over the each of the finished plates as a garnish. Cancha can be obtained from specialist Latin American suppliers such as Tierras Latinas en Australia: tierraslatinasenaustralia.com (Sydney)


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Born in New Zealand, now living in Australia. When I'm not travelling, that is... Though I have travelled quite a bit before, 2012 is the first time that I've taken a year off to roam the world. Spending this time with Kristen exploring some of this planet's finest sights has been the best decision I've ever made. Who knows what 2013 will bring?

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