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Ecuadorian Style Ceviche

Serves 4-6 Prep time 1-2 hours Cooking time 5 mins




Ceviche is a dish that is believed to have originated in Ecuador or Peru, (depending on who you ask). But either way, its origin and how it arrived to the land of the Incas hasn't been 100% verified by historians. Some believe that the predecessor to the dish was brought to South America by the Andalusian women of Moorish background who accompanied the Spanish conquistadors. Eventually, the popularity of the dish spread throughout the rest of South America, Central America and Mexico.


There are many different amazingly good versions in other Latin American countries, but I think there are three main things that make our ceviche unique:

  1. The amount of liquid in the ceviche. I would say our ceviche has a lot more liquid (a mix of broth and citrus juices) than other ceviches, it's more like a soup.

  2. We cook our shrimp or fish.

  3. We eat the ceviche with chifles (thinly sliced plantain chips), patacones, corn nuts or popcorn (yes, popcorn!)


The first time I tried ceviche was on a family trip to Ecuador when I was about 12 years old. We spent a few days in Salinas (a coastal city in the Santa Elena Province) and I ate some of the best & freshest fish and seafood I've ever had! Literally picked the fish we ate right off the fisherman's boat at the docks.


Last year, my tia Rosa visited us from Ecuador and was kind enough to teach me how to make shrimp and fish ceviche. While they're very similar recipes and basically have the same ingredients, there are a few key differences in the way we put the ingredients together.





Ingredients



Shrimp Ceviche

2 lbs of fresh shrimp (whole w/ peel)

1 large red onion

1 large tomato

1 bunch of cilantro (remove stems but do not discard, we will use the stems as well!)

5 limes

5 lemons

1 orange

salt & pepper

optional: Ketchup



Fish Ceviche

2 lbs of white fish (I used tilapia)

1 large red onion

1 large tomato

1 bunch of cilantro (remove stems)

5 limes

5 lemons

1 orange

salt & pepper




Optional:

Plantain chips, patacones, corn nuts or popcorn to accompany the dish.




Prep:



Shrimp Ceviche


First, make the pickled red onions. If possible, complete this step the night before:

  1. Thinly slice the onion.

  2. In an air-tight container, combine with ~1 tablespoon of salt (to taste) and ~1 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice. Make sure there is enough liquid to completely submerge the onions, about 4-5 lemons.

  3. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator 24 - 48 hrs. Lasts up to 2 weeks in the fridge.

Shrimp Prep:

  1. Peel & remove the tail from each shrimp and set aside in a bowl. Note: We will need the peels + tails later on, do not throw away.

  2. Make sure the shrimp is clean & deveined and add into a deep small or medium size pot with just enough water to cover the shrimp + a few pinches of salt. Place on medium high heat & let cook for 2-3 mins. Remove the shrimp from the pot and let cool.

  3. In a separate small or medium size pot, add the shrimp peels + tails, cilantro stems, a few cups of water & a few pinches of salt and let cook on medium high heat for about ten to fifteen mins. Make sure to stir the broth occasionally. Strain + set aside to cool before adding into the ceviche.

Ceviche Prep:

  1. Once the shrimp broth is cooled, in a large bowl, add about 1 cup of the broth, the cooked shrimp, pickled onions with it's lemon juice, the juice of 5 lemons, 5 limes and 1 orange, finely chopped cilantro and a very finely chopped large tomato (my family uses the cheese grater to get a really smooth texture or you can blend as well).

  2. Combine all and add salt & pepper to taste. Let sit in the fridge for 1-2 hours before serving.


Optional: Add in a bit of ketchup, mix into the broth and enjoy!




Fish Ceviche


First, just like the shrimp ceviche, make the pickled red onions. If possible, complete this step the night before:

  1. Thinly slice the onions.

  2. In an air-tight container, combine with ~1 tablespoon of salt (to taste) and ~1 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice. Make sure there is enough liquid to completely submerge the onions.

  3. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator 24 - 48 hrs. Lasts up to 2 weeks in the fridge.


Fish Prep


  1. Cut the fish into small cubes and add into a deep small or medium size pot with just enough water to cover the fish. Place on medium high heat & let cook for 2-3 mins.

  2. Remove the fish from the pot (so it stops cooking) and let both the fish and the broth cool.


Ceviche Prep

  1. Once the fish broth is cooled, in a large bowl, add about 1 cup of the broth, the cooked fish, pickled onions with it's lemon juice, the juice of 5 lemons, 5 limes and 1 orange, finely chopped cilantro and a chopped large tomato.

  2. Combine all and add salt and pepper to taste. Let sit in the fridge for 1-2 hours before serving.





Both ceviches are typically accompanied by chifles, patacones, corn nuts or popcorn!





Enjoy!



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