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August 2010 Issue
by Christine Szalay Kudra
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Ceviche is seafood, which has been marinated in citrus juice. Nobody is sure whether it originated in Peru or Ecuador but this dish is famous in Mexico and if you like Mexican food recipes you ought to taste it.

The citrus juice "cooks" the seafood because of its acidity. There are various types of ceviche, ranging from the plain and aromatic to the highly spiced. You can use various kinds of fish, such as shrimp, halibut, red snapper, tuna, and sea bass.

So how long does ceviche take to make? Depending on the type of fish being used, ceviche can be ready in five minutes or it might take three hours. Ceviche is a delicious dish and it can be served as an appetizer, snack, or entree.

Ceviche in Central and South America

In Peru, ceviche is traditionally served with corn on the cob or cold sweet potatoes. This ceviche is made with chunks of raw fish marinated in lemon juice, lime juice or bitter orange juice. Chili, sliced onion, salt and pepper are often added and maybe some garlic, chili rocoto or olive oil. This ceviche is marinated for several hours and then served at room temperature. Shark, sole, or sea bass feature in many Peruvian ceviche recipes.

In Panama, it is made with white sea bass and comes in small pastry shells. Other Panama ceviche recipes feature shrimp, squid, or octopus. Ceviche in Panama is made with onion, celery, salt, habanero pepper, and lime juice. The Ecuadorians enjoy their ceviche with thinly sliced plantains or corn nuts and they use tomato sauce and shrimps. Sometimes clams are used in Ecuador to make ceviche, as well as crab, octopus or sea bass.

Chilean ceviche recipes are made with Patagonian toothfish or halibut. Lime and grapefruit juices are used for the marinade and minced chilies and garlic are added too. Cilantro and fresh mint are other popular ingredients. Cuban ceviche is made using mahi mahi, salt, green bell pepper, allspice, habanero pepper, onion, and lime juice. Tuna and squid feature in some Cuban ceviche recipes.

Costa Rican ceviche is spiced with salt, pepper, onions, minced peppers, cilantro and lime juice. It comes with lettuce and soda crackers. Tabasco sauce and ketchup might also be served with it. Corvina, tilapia, marlin, shark, and mahi mahi are popular in Costa Rica. Hawaiian ceviche is made with shrimp, lobster or crab, lime juice, chilies, soy sauce, candlenuts and seaweed.

Ceviche Outside the Americas

Raw fish is cubed and marinated in calamansi juice or vinegar in the Philippines. Onions, garlic, tomato, peppers, and ginger are added for flavor. A lot of people do not know that ceviche is also popular in the Philippines, although the style is different from the Mexican and South American recipes because of the ginger.

Salmon, turbot, halibut, or sea bass are used to make this dish in Spain and lime juice, olive oil, and chilies add the flavor. You can always adjust the amount of chili when making ceviche. Not everyone likes it really spicy.

Mexican Ceviche

Ceviche is very popular in Mexico and it is one of the traditional Mexican foods you might see on a menu if you visit Mexico, especially in the coastal resort areas. Mexican ceviche can be made with shrimp, crab, tuna or another kind of fish and chilies, nopales, passion fruit, Tabasco, lime juice, garlic, and bell peppers might also feature in the recipes.

Fans of Mexican recipes will love the taste of traditional Mexican ceviche. Authentic Mexican recipes such as shrimp and nopales ceviche or tuna ceviche are easy to make because there is no cooking required. You simply have to follow the recipe and combine the ingredients for a perfect result every time. When it has to be Real Authentic Mexican Food!

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