For those who are partial to a bit of fresh and delicious seafood on their plates, then a must-try dish is ceviche! Most popular in the Caribbean regions and on the coast of Latin America, ceviche (sometimes spelled cebiche) is a meal that is made from raw, fresh fish that has been cured with lemon or lime juices (or sometimes both) for a tasty, citrusy flavor. Not only that, but the acidity of the lime or lemon actually works to “cook” the fish so there is no need for heat.
Depending on where the ceviche is eaten, it may be found served up with chopped onions, cilantro and a dash of salt. It is often dished out with side dishes of vegetables such as lettuce, avocado and sweet potato, just to name a few.
On National Ceviche Day, it’s time to discover the fishy goodness that is this tasty, seaborn dish!
History of National Ceviche Day
Any good food should certainly get its own day of observance, and this one is no exception. Although it is popular in some parts of the world, it might not be so well-known in other places. However, this day is meant to make sure people can find out exactly what they have been missing out on!
Ceviche, or at least something very similar to it, looks to have been eaten way back 2000 years ago, according to archeological records. In fact, according to some historians, the meal was brought to Peru by the Moorish women of Granada. It started out at the time in the form of a dish that would eventually become what is known today as ceviche.
The United States started serving up this meal in around the 1980s and, as such, it may be found prepared in a number of different ways if it is sought out throughout North America.
Traditionally, ceviche is prepared by marinating fish in a citrus mixture, but there are many different variants of the way it is ultimately presented for consumption. In Ecuador, it might be found to be more soup-like in appearance, whereas in Mexico it can be found served with tortillas. Ceviche is especially loved in Peru, where it is generally considered to be part of the national heritage and is often referred to as their national dish.
How to Celebrate National Ceviche Day
Celebrating ceviche and all the seafood things surrounding it can be a load of fun! Try these ideas or come up with other creative ways to honor the day:
Try Out Ceviche
For those who may have never tried ceviche before, now is the perfect day to try it! Ceviche is commonly found served up in the Caribbean or Latin American restaurants, and sometimes it can be found at Mexican eateries. Call ahead or check online to find out which local restaurants might have ceviche on the menu.
Make Ceviche at Home
For those people who wish to try making their own ceviche at home, with a little time and effort it’s possible to have a delicious and healthy meal. Just be wary that it is necessary to take the normal precautions with the preparation of the raw fish, as would be prudent for any meal that includes raw fish.
As mentioned previously, ceviche can come in all different types, but here’s a basic recipe that comes from the classic Peruvian style.
Peruvian Ceviche Recipe
Start with a pound or two of high-end fish filets, whether choosing halibut, mahi-mahi, Corvina, escholar or another quality fresh fish. Cut the fish into small cubes, place in cold salted water and refrigerate.
Thinly slice one red onion, rub onion slices with salt and run under cold water. Squeeze several limes to create one cup of lime juice.
Rinse the fish, then add to a glass bowl with half of the sliced onions, 1-2 habanero peppers (halved with seeds removed), and 2 sprigs of fresh cilantro. Pour lime juice over the top. Sprinkle with salt and add a few ice cubes to minimize the acidity. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Remove the cilantro sprigs and hot peppers from the fish mix. Place in serving bowls and salt as desired. Add additional fresh onions to the bowls, along with lettuce leaves, fried sweet potato, fresh boiled corn, popcorn kernels, hot peppers or lime slices.
Invite Friends Over For Ceviche
Once it has been discovered how simple ceviche is–without any actual cooking needed–it will be time to invite friends, family, or neighbors over to enjoy this delightfully fresh, summery dish.
For the wine connoisseurs in the crowd, an excellent beverage pairing to go along with ceviche might include a Chilean Sauvignon Blanc. For those in the younger crowd, channel that inner Peruvian and drink some imported Inca Cola, Coca Cola or a cold beer. Popular beers in Peru include the Pilsen Callo, Cristal or Cusqueña
Make sure to take photos of those delicious creations and share with friends and family so that they can all be aware of National Ceviche Day and enjoy it too!
Take a Trip to Lima, Peru
To appreciate this seafood dish in all of its true glory, a trip to the capital of Peru may be required! Lima, known as the City of Kings, offers beautiful architecture, a fun nightlife, surfing and, of course, world-class food. Take a bike tour around the city, go shopping, enjoy a leisurely walk, tour the catacombs visit museums and top off the day with, of course, a dinner of ceviche!