Since Winter in San Francisco is feeling more like Summer, I was inspired to cook ceviche for lunch today. There are many ceviche variations, but this recipe is one of the simplest ways to combine protein with refreshing citrus and spicy aji. If this is your first time making ceviche, this recipe is for you.
My adaptation is based on a recipe by Tony Custer in the Art of Peruvian Cuisine and another by Gaston Acurio in 500 Años de Fusion. It uses a smaller amount of fish, specific measurements for the ingredients, and no sweet potatoes or corn.
Though many white fish are used for ceviche, I chose a sea bass from Berkeley Bowl. Also, during my last visit to the Evergreen Market in The Mission, I picked up a jar of Aji Limo in various colors as well as some key limes.
This dish is typically served as an appetizer and this recipe is enough for 2 persons, but can also be served in smaller portions to 4 or more persons. I like using porcelain soup spoons to serve the ceviche, they look great and are very practical.
Be sure to save some of the ceviche juice or leche de tigre. It is an excellent cure for your Pisco Sour hangover. Look forward to more ceviche recipe variations in the coming months, or sooner if we continue to have Summer in San Francisco!
- 1/2 pound sea bass
- 1/4 red onion
- 1/2 aji limo (jalapeño or serrano peppers can be also be used)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup key lime juice
- Wash and cut the fish into small bite size pieces. Slice one aji limo in half, wash and remove seeds, and mince 1/2 of the aji limo. Julienne 1/4 of a red onion. Squeeze about 5 key limes to make 1/4 cup of juice.
- Combine the fish and onions in a bowl, rinse with cold water and drain thoroughly.
- Add the aji limo and salt to the fish and onions, toss by hand.
- Slowly pour the lime juice over the fish, a little at a time, while tossing using a spoon. Toss for a few minutes until fish becomes white and opaque.
- Serve immediately.
2 small bowls or 8 porcelain soup spoons
The original recipes are for a corvina but the chefs recommend a firm flesh white fish like sea bass, flounder, sole or halibut. If you can’t find aji limo, jalapeño or serrano peppers can be used as a substitute. The acid in the lime juice will cook the fish and you should notice it change color, from more clear and flesh-like to white and opaque. Remove some of the juice before serving so that the focus of the dish is on the fish and not the juice. Remember to save the leche de tigre for hangovers.