The result of a nearly 500-year melting pot of native Quechua culture with immigration from Spain, Africa, Japan and China, its cuisine is known for its masterful use of ingredients such as aji amarillo chile, pisco grape brandy and over 3800 varieties of potatoes.
Satisfying, yet relatively light, Peruvian cuisine plays with acid and spice to create irresistible flavors.
My husband and I frequently eat at a Peruvian restaurant in Miami where my favorite dishes include:
- ceviche (raw seafood flavored with lime juice, onion and chiles)
- papas a la huancaina (potatoes with a spicy cheese sauce)
- lomo saltado (stir-fried chopped steak with onions, tomatoes and fried potatoes)
MAKE YOUR OWN RECIPE
After experimenting at home, I developed the Ceviche recipe below. Using this as background information on Ceviche’s basic ingredients and technique, how might you make your own recipe? What if you:
Vary the fish you use?
- Any firm white fish works, as do shrimp, squid, mussels, octopus and clams.
Mix up the chile selection?
- Depending on your tolerance, how about incorporating serranos or habaneros?
- Or replacing the aji amarillo paste with rocoto pepper?
Diversify the flavors?
- For an Asian twist, add ginger, garlic, soy sauce and sesame oil.
- For a Thai version, add basil, coconut milk and sugar.
- And for an Indian adaptation, add mango and garam masala.
MY CEVICHE RECIPE
- 1 tbsp. – Aji amarillo paste
- ½ cup – Fresh lime juice (use key lime if available)
- ½ lb. – Corvina (the FRESHEST you can get, cut into bite-size pieces)
- ½ – Jalapeno pepper (remove seeds and finely mince)
- ¼ – Red onion (thinly sliced)
- 1 tbsp. – Cilantro (minced)
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- Mix the aji amarillo paste into the lime juice
- Combine the fish, jalapeno, onion and cilantro
- Pour the lime juice over the fish mixture
- Add salt and pepper (taste) and toss well
- Let the ceviche rest for no more than 15 minutes and serve