Our seventh destination on our culinary trip around the world is Peru… a country rich in history, culture, and warm-hearted people.
Imagine a beautiful hike through the mountains to the magical ruins of the lost kingdom of the Inka, in Machu Picchu…or a boat ride on Lake Titicaca, one of the highest and biggest sweet water lakes of the world, locating the floating reed islands of the Uros people in the distance…
In contrast the hustle and bustle of Lima, Peru’s capital on the Pacific Ocean. Well known for its historic old town and for its delicious cuisine, Lima has a bounty of seafood restaurants, which all serve the most famous Peruvian dish - Ceviche.
A refreshing combination of raw fish, lime juice, cilantro, chili, onions, and tomatoes, ideal for a hot summer day. There are a lot of variations, for instance with avocados, sweet potatoes, corn, or cucumbers. As Ceviche is also popular in Colombia, Chile, and Ecuador there are even more delicious recipes to try…Ceviche is usually served as an appetizer, accompanied by tortilla chips
As Ceviche contains raw fish it is crucial to use extra fresh skinless fish filets, ideally sushi grade, like halibut, sea bass, mahi mahi, or snapper. You should buy it from a trusted source like a specialized fish store. Do not be afraid to ask about freshness and let your vendor know, what you will use it for. Always make sure that you transport it on ice or in a cooler right away into your fridge.
For a classic Ceviche, as a small appetizer for 4 you will need:
½ pound skinless raw fish fillets like halibut, snapper, sea bass or mahi mahi cut in small bitesize cubes
¾ cup fresh lime juice (you will need 5-6 limes for that amount)
½ medium onion, finely chopped
1 big or 2 small tomatoes, deseeded, finely chopped
1 - 2 small green chillies (jalapenos or serrano) depending on your taste, deseeded and finely chopped
1/3 cup cilantro leaves chopped
1 large or 2 smaller avocados, diced
½ teaspoon Himalayan salt
Combine the fish cubes with the lime juice and the onions in a glass or a porcelain bowl.
The fish needs to be covered completely with the lime juice.
Cover and chill in the fridge for 3 - 4 hours
Drain the mixture in a colander and discard the fluid
In a separate bowl combine the tomatoes, chilies, and cilantro
Stir in the fish mixture and season with ½ teaspoon of Himalayan salt
Add the diced avocado shortly before serving
You can drizzle your ceviche with some olive oil before serving, if you prefer your ceviche less sour in taste or spice it up with some dried chilli pepper.
Raw fish like halibut is an excellent source of Protein, Selenium and B-Vitamins. It also contains Omega-3 fatty acids which are known to fight inflammation and to support heart health.
Avocados are one of the most nutritious foods on earth. Besides a substantial number of antioxidants like Lutein and Zeaxanthin, which are especially important for your eye health, Avocados are loaded with mono-unsaturated fatty acids which also support heart health. They contain more Potassium than a banana. Additionally, they provide a substantial amount of soluble and insoluble fiber, which feed the friendly gut bacteria and help to maintain a healthy weight.
Limes are a good source of antioxidants as well as of Potassium and Magnesium. Their rich contents of Vitamin C and Bioflavonoids helps to reduce inflammation and fights infections like the common cold.
Cilantro contains an abundance of antioxidants like Quercetin, Vitamins such as A, C and K as well as Minerals like Potassium, Manganese, and Iron. It supports the detoxification process of heavy metals and acts anti-bacterial and anti-fungal.
Chilies are loaded with Vitamin C and Beta-Carotene both supporting a healthy immune system. The most potent ingredient in chili peppers is Capsaicin, its heat can stimulate secretion to help clear mucus from a congested nose for instance. Capsaicin has been shown to boost the metabolism by stimulating heat production. Topically it is used for backpain or sprains.
Onions contain Sulphur compounds which are especially important for the liver detoxification process. Additionally, they have a good amount of Vitamin C and several phytonutrients like the antioxidant Quercetin.
Unless you are allergic to vegetables of the nightshade family, tomatoes are a powerhouse of antioxidants. They contain Lycopene, a carotenoid which helps to protect from heart disease and cancer.