Just like Simone, I enjoy exploring the food culture of a country while traveling. When we got to know each other in 2009 during a trip to Indonesia, we found ourselves photographing at local markets. Our trip was about the Lesser Sunda Islands and in terms of food there was still some room for improvement at that time. It was white rice, fried rice or noodles and a little vegetables and sometimes a little meat. But I wasn’t complaining because the trip itself was super cool. Somewhere in a hotel with pink bathrooms, Simone showed me pictures of her work and I remember exactly what recipe that was. And after two weeks of unilateral eating, I started drooling on the spot.
A bit of history
In 2019 I went on a tour to Peru. And besides all the beautiful experiences I was hoping to make, I was also looking forward to eating the ceviche there. Ceviche is actually the country’s signature dish. And its history goes back a long way. In Peru, and also Ecuador, people had access to enough different fresh fish, squid and shellfish because of its location. To prepare this, they used chili peppers, salt, pepper and herbs to make a kind of substance that cooked the fish. The precursor to the ceviche, as we know it today. In the 15th century the Spaniards came ashore and on their voyages of discovery they took seeds from the Seville orange tree and lemon seeds and planted them in these areas. Slowly the original inhabitants started using the juice of the new citrus fruits in combination with the seafood and fish and so ceviche was created. Due to the easy way of preparation and the delicious taste, it has been further developed and now almost every country in South America has its own version. The taste and presentation can even differ per region. So I enjoyed discovering that.
In Peru, the ceviche consists mainly of fish or other seafood cooked in lime juice with chili peppers, red onion and coriander. For me they are all ingredients that I love, but not everyone is a fan of cilantro. Or finds raw peppers too spicy in taste. Then you may have to think about it before you eat this. In addition to the ceviche, which is often presented with or on some kind of lettuce, you will also always find cubes of cooked sweet potato and corn next to it. In Peru they have many different types of potatoes and corn. And also different preparation methods. How nice is it if you can discover and taste this during your trip.
When I was barely 24 hours in Peru, I ate my first ceviche. We had started our tour around the country and in Pisco at the harbor, on a terrace in the sun, I couldn’t help but order this. I did ask my tour guide if it would be safe, because of course you do not want to get food poisoning at the start of the trip. But luckily she told me the fish was so fresh there that I could just order it. And it was totally delicious! I would just about order another plate, hahaha. In addition, the raw fish in combination with the acids of the lime are good for your digestion and it is also given to people with stomach and intestinal complaints. So bring it on I thought!
During the trip I regularly ate ceviche. I especially liked seeing it served in a different way everywhere. Of course always with red onions, sweet potato cubes and corn. But that too was prepared in different ways. How about some kind of crunchy corn? Or purple corn? Or a piece of corn on the cob? Or just the grains in a dressing. And all equally tasty! I think I had my best ceviche at the Huacachina Oasis. The taste was delicious, but so was the place where we sat. Think of a terrace with a fantastic view of the oasis and a delicious Peruvian beer. By the way, we had to eat it pretty quickly. The wind was blowing pretty furious so to prevent sand getting into our glasses and our plates we had to eat it fast.
Marcelo Batata cooking class
At the end of the trip, we arrived in Cusco. The city from which you leave for Machu Picchu. We had a day off and I walked through the city with my travel buddy. Somewhere in a street I saw that a cooking course was being given, so we went inside to have a look. It was the Marcelo Batata cooking class. Very funny because while we were there to ask for information, they were making a promotional video and we were asked if we wanted to play a role. Of course, always nice. When I was already home we got the link with the movie and if you didn’t blink you might have spotted us for that one split second. My ten seconds of peruvian fame.
Tips from the chef
During the course that we had chosen, we did not only learn how to make ceviche. But we also got an extensive explanation of all the ingredients used in Peruvian cuisine, there was a pisco tasting and finally we made lomo saltado. In other words, jumping beef. Once I was back home I made ceviche but I left the fish in the pickle fluid for a long time. I was afraid it wouldn’t be cooked through. During the course I learned that it is more a matter of all ingredients together, stir well and you can eat it fairly quickly. Of course it is important to use very fresh fish, but that goes without saying.
After we had eaten the ceviche we were divided into two groups and we had to get started making the lomo ourselves. This is also made with pisco. Pisco is a spirit distilled from grapes and mainly drunk in Peru and Chile. In Peru mainly used in the most famous drink there, the Pisco Sour. A combination of pisco, whipped egg whites, ice cubes, cane sugar and lime or lemon juice. In this dish, the dish is degraded with the pisco, which gives a spectacular sight, especially with the preparation.
The recipe for ceviche below was made during a cooking course in Amsterdam and is therefore not completely original, but it is easy to make at home!
Looking for more travel recipes? Then check here all recipes .
Pers de limoenen en de citroen uit. Snij de knoflook fijn en de rode ui in hele fijne ringen.
Hak de peterselie en de koriander fijn. Snipper een rode peper erdoor. Meng dit alles door elkaar en voeg zout en zwarte peper toe. Het moet fris zijn en een klein beetje pittig
Maak je vis schoon, controleer op schubben en fileer hem indien dit nog niet gedaan is. Leg de schone filets in stukken in je ceviche. Doe dit in de koeling.
Het garen van de vis is een beetje afhankelijk van de dikte en grootte van de filets. Hou ongeveer 15-30 minuten aan maar check het tussentijds. Je kunt de vis ook kleiner snijden, dan gaart het uiteraard sneller.
Serveer de ceviche met de granaatappel eroverheen gestrooid