Most South American countries now have their own version of ceviche but it’s thought to be Peruvian in origin. Essentially it is marinated raw fish or crustacean that is "cooked" by the acidity of citrus juice (you can try prawns in this recipe instead of fish if you like). Passionfruit and tamarillo have been added to the marinade for extra flavour. It is a delightful, refreshing, hot-weather meal and reported by some South Americans to be a cure for a hangover! Alejandro serves it with cinnamon-scented sweet potato, but it is often served with cancha serrana (dried corn kernels that are roasted and salted).
- 1 small sweet potato, peeled
- 1 tbsp raw sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 long red chilli
- 2 limes, juiced
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 skinless, boneless white fish fillets such as snapper, as fresh as possible, cut into 2 cm cubes
- ice cubes
- Â½ red onion, finely sliced
- 1 tbsp finely chopped coriander
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Boil the sweet potato with the sugar and cinnamon until just soft. Leave to cool, then cut into 2 cm cubes.
Blanch the chilli then peel off the skin and remove the seeds. Place in a mortar with a little lime juice, salt and pepper and grind to a paste.
Combine the fish, remaining lime juice and a few ice cubes in a bowl. Add the onion, a pinch of salt, a little pepper and a little chilli paste to taste and mix together. Stir in the coriander. Place in a serving bowl with the sweet potato on the side. Eat immediately: the fresher, the better.