National Ceviche Day
The first dish that comes to mind when most people think of Peruvian cuisine is ceviche…and for good reason. A source of pride and national identity here in Peru, the tasty dish, which in its simplest form consists of fresh raw fish marinated in lime juice, has been around for over 500 years and holds a significant cultural importance. So much so, that in 2008, Peru’s Ministry of Production named June 28th a national holiday, National Ceviche Day, celebrating and showcasing the country’s national dish.
Ceviche: Peru’s National Dish
Widely consumed all around the country, this emblematic dish is the perfect combination of an addictive amount of spice, tanginess, and fresh fish flavor. According to the traditionalists, a good Peruvian ceviche is composed of only five ingredients – fresh fish, onion, chili peppers, lime juice, and salt – and it is typically accompanied by choclo (corn) and sweet potato. However, that doesn’t stop chefs from creating their own preparations and combinations, and all throughout Peru you can find different takes on ceviche. Some incorporate different types of seafood, herbs like cilantro, and others utilize asian elements like yuzu and soy sauce. The possibilities are endless. Read more on our guide to Peruvian ceviche.
Recommended restaurants in Lima for ceviche
In honor of the holiday, here are a few of the best restaurants in Lima to enjoy ceviche:
- El Mercado – Another hit from top chef Rafael Osterling, serving delicious Creole seafood favourites in a variety of different house styles with both local and international influences.
- Pescados Capitales – Well prepared traditional seafood dishes with playful names related to the seven capital sins
- La Mar – A well-established Gaston Acurio restaurant that can now be found around the world as far as New York and San Francisco
Download our free culinary guide e-book for more top restaurant recommendations.
And if you can’t make it here to celebrate National Ceviche Day then what better way to celebrate than to make your own at home. Watch Aracari’s Founder Marisol Mosquera demonstrate in this video how to make ceviche.
Here’s a quick and easy recipe for a traditional ceviche:
- 1.5 pounds of filet of sole, sea bass, or any fresh, white fish cut into cubes
- 1 red onion sliced thinly
- ½ aji limo chili pepper chopped fine (if you can’t find aji choose any relatively spicy chili pepper available ex: habanero or jalapeno)
- Juice of 8 to 10 limes (preferably key limes or Peruvian limes)
- Salt and Pepper
- 2 Sweet potatoes
- 1 giant kernel corn cob (white corn as an alternative)
Boil sliced corn and sweet potatoes. Peel and slice sweet potatoes. Wash fish with water and salt. Cut in squares 1/2 inch thick. Slice onion thinly and add salt. Cut aji limo in halves – seed and devein. Place fish on serving dish and season with salt. Add finely chopped aji limo, key lime juice, and pepper. Let set for 10 minutes (taste juice to check spiciness). Place onions over fish. Decorate the platter with the slices of corn and sweet potato.
Culinary Travel Peru with Aracari
Aracari specializes in taiormade travel to Peru. Contact us for more information on the top foodie experiences, from dining at the world’s best restaurants to learning to make a ceviche in the private home of a professional chef.