Do you like sushi? Do you like citrus? If the answer to both of these are yes, then ceviche is the food for you! This delicious Peruvian dish is a marriage of the two. Ceviche at its core is raw fish that is cured (cooked) in citrus. The result is a mouth watering sensation of sushi-like fish exploding with flavors of citrus and spices.
A true meal is the sum of its parts, and the sides included with traditional ceviche are an important part of your eating experience. There are three key sides which any traditional ceviche cannot be without:
Sweet Potato: The sweet potato offers a sweet and savory flavor to offset the sharp citrus flavor. We also love letting the sweet potato marinate and soak up all of the juices from the ceviche and having it at the end for a last treat.
Choclo: Choclo is also known as Peruvian Corn. This is not your typical corn. These kernels are big bois and 2 to 3 times the size of your classic corn. Choclo provides a very neutral flavor to counteract the intense citrus and spice flavors. It helps cleanse the palate.
Corn Nut: Corn nut offers a savory, salty sensation (very similar to beer nuts) that gets those taste buds watering. The texture of the ceviche is buttery like sushi, so the crispness of the corn nuts offers to the “yin” to the ceviche’s “yang.”
Now that we have the sides out of the way, let’s talk about what types of seafood you can expect in a typical ceviche:
Fish: There is no wrong or right fish to use for ceviche. In most cases, where you go in the world will determine the type of fish offered for ceviche. Since ceviche is raw fish cooked in citrus, having the freshest fish possible will lead to the best taste and most satisfying mouth feel.
Shrimp: Imagine shrimp cocktail but instead of having to dip it in cocktail sauce, it is already packed with citrus flavor. When getting a mixed seafood ceviche, shrimp offers a great change of pace from the classic fish ceviche adding a slightly different texture and crunch.
Squid/Octopus: For those that are fans of grilled octopus and calamari– you’ll enjoy this version of ceviche. However, for those are sensitive to different textures, this style can be very off-putting. Similarly to shrimp, squid/octopus is great in the seafood mix to add a different element.