Throughout South America, various countries have their own unique interpretations of ceviche, but the essence remains the same - it's a dish that celebrates the natural flavours of quality seafood and the artful balance of tangy citrus juices.
Shitake (Ve) ceviche at Crudo
Ceviche is a traditional South American delicacy that boasts a refreshing blend of fresh seafood and vibrant flavours. We'll be delving into the key factors that define a good ceviche, backed by culinary knowledge and expertise - a.k.a Crudo's head chef!
Freshness is king
At the heart of a good ceviche lies the freshest of ingredients. Opt for high-quality, sustainably sourced seafood like fresh fish, shrimp, or scallops. When preparing ceviche, the seafood is essentially "cooked" by the acid in the marinade or leche de tigre, so starting with the best catch is the foundation for a a flavourful result.
Select the right seafood
Seafood, or feature ingredient actually. If we are talking fish and seafood, aside from quality, the type of fish you use will have a huge impact on the texture and flavour of your ceviche. Delicate white fish like sea bass is a great starting point but fattier fish like salmon and tuna also lend themselves to punchy citrus marinades. For those that want a vegan or vegetarian option, the Vegano bowl at Crudo uses Chickpea as its primary protein. We treat it exactly as we would a piece of fish - infusing flavour and making it just as exciting as our Classico or Nikkei.
Master that marinade
When making ceviche there’s a sweet spot between over-marinated and under-marinated. Leave your fish in for too long and it will disintegrate. Not long enough and it won’t have the right flavour profile. Then there’s what you actually put in the marinade. There isn’t a hard and fast rule to what you have to put in a ceviche, but it’s basically citrus and seasoning. Peruvian marinades, or Leche de Tigre is made up of lime juice, raw onions, chilis, garlic whilst a Nikkei ceviche (Japanese-Peruvian), adds another layer of variation with with soy sauce, togarashi, ponzu and/or sesame oil. Lastly, you don't want to over squeeze the limes, if using. This releases a bitter flavour that we want to avoid in a ceviche. We are looking for a tangy citrus taste.
Top it off with tasty toppings
Part of what makes a ceviche delicious and beautiful to look at, is how you dress it. Peruvian iterations include cancha corn, cooked sweet potato, and green herbs such as coriander that play nicely with the dish's refreshing flavors. At Crudo, some of ceviches come with generous helping of avocado, plantain chips, crispy onions or edamames.
A good ceviche is a culinary masterpiece that celebrates the harmony of fresh ingredients, bold flavours, and artistic presentation. The key lies in selecting the finest seafood, mastering the art of marination, and embracing the delightful toppings that elevate the dish to a gastronomic delight. ¡Buen provecho!