November 4, 2020

Ceviche / Peruvian dish


Ceviche is a tangy and delicious marinated fish salad that is cooked in lemon juice without heat and served along with Avocado, Red onions, Tomatoes, and Chilies. 

Ceviche is a Peruvian dish that is also known as Cebiche and Seviche. This is a unique recipe because of the fact that there is no cooking involved through heat. Ceviche is originated by Moche of Peru some 2000 years ago. Initially, the Moche civilization people used fermented juice of passion fruit to cook the fish, and later it is modified by Spaniards and spread to Latin America. During the olden days, the fish is caught from the ocean and kept in brine for several hours. Later, this method got simplified by reducing the size of the fish which speeds up the cooking process. 

This dish is served as an appetizer and involves science behind the cooking process. Generally, the proteins change their structure either by applying heat or adding acid which is called denaturing. For example, when an egg is cooked, the white part turns hard. Likewise, in this recipe, when acid (lemon juice) is added to the fish, it changes the structure of the fish and gets cooked. The raw fish is marinated in citrus juice for a maximum of 20 minutes. The marination time varies according to the chef but marinating too long will turn the texture of fish rubbery and bitter. This is quite an easy recipe to prepare but needs lots of attention, as the raw fish is used and no cooking involved. The quality of the fish is very important while preparing Ceviche as the marination will not kill all the bacteria. 

The best type of fishes used in ceviche is Sea bass, Bram, Halibut, Polack, Tilapia, and Grouper. The softer and flakier fish takes less time to marinate compared to the denser and tougher fish. The shelflife of the recipe is shorter so, it is always safe to consume immediately when it is fresh. Refrigerating Ceviche is not advisable.  

Ingredients used in this recipe: 

Fish: In this recipe, I have included Tilapia fillets. Since the texture of the fish is very soft, chopping into small dice should be handled gently. The smaller the pieces, the shorter the cooking time. 

Acid: I have used lemon juice to cook the fish. Squeeze the lemon and remove the seeds before adding it to the chopped fish pieces. Marinate the fish with a sufficient quantity of lemon juice. Lesser the quantity will not cook the fish uniformly. 

Herbs: Herbs like Cilantro, Parsely Rosemary, and Fennel can be used in preparing Ceviche. I have used Cilantro in this recipe. The addition of cilantro enhances the taste and gives a refreshing flavor. 

Vegetables: Red onions, Tomato, green chilies, and Avocado were the vegetables involved in this recipe. The addition of red onions makes the dish attractive and also, the natural sweetness in the red onions balances the acid. The tomatoes should be de-seeded before adding to the dish. Chop the avocadoes just before adding it to the dish. Generally, aji chili peppers are used in Ceviche but in this recipe, I have used regular long green chilies which is not very spicy. 

Seasoning: Salt and pepper are used as a seasoning. The freshly ground peppercorns give a lovely aroma to the dish. 


1 cup Lemon juice 

1 Tilapia, Fillet 

1 Small-sized, Red onion, sliced 

1 Small-sized Tomato, de-seeded and finely chopped

1 green chili, finely chopped 

1 Avocado, chopped 

Salt to taste 

Freshly ground peppercorns to taste 

Fresh Cilantro leaves, chopped 


Cut Tilapia fillets into small pieces. 

Marinate the chopped pieces in lemon juice for 15 - 20 minutes or until the texture of fish pieces changes firm. 


In a bowl, add onions followed by tomato and green chiles.


Add chopped avocado. 

Drain the fish from lemon juice and add it to the bowl along with salt and pepper. 

Add the freshly chopped cilantro leaves, toss well and serve. 

Serving Options: 

Serve as an appetizer with Tortilla chips. 

Reason for choosing Ceviche for Sensory Evaluation: 

I always had a curiosity about this dish and wanted to try to understand the flavor of fish since it is cooked in citrus juice instead of heat. Though I have read about this method of cooking, personally I wanted to experience the structural change of the fish. 

My reflection on Ceviche: 

To be honest, I was very skeptical about trying this recipe but to my surprise, I enjoyed the flavor of this dish. The fish cooked in lemon juice tasted almost similar to the cooked ones. The interesting part of this recipe is, the doneness of cooking is done by visual sense. It is always better to look at the fish and check whether it is cooked or not.
I noticed the transition of fish from clear and pliable to firm and opaque texture. The texture of the raw fish was very soft and delicate but the cooked ones were firm. The color of the fish changed from clear white to mild pinkish white. The cooked fish had a mild tangy taste because of the acid marination and also, noticed the absence of the raw smell of the fish. The addition of red onions, avocado, chili, and tomato complimented the acid cooked fish very well. The raw red onions gave a lovely crunch and sweetness to the dish, the addition of chili gave a mild spicy flavor to the dish, the buttery taste of avocado balanced all the flavors and gave a refreshing palate. Overall, the dish "Ceviche" tasted delicious, light, refreshing, and pleasantly acidic. 

The first bite of the dish gave a refreshing taste of fish followed by the pleasant acidic taste, then spiciness from chili, and sweetness from red onions. The mild acidic flavor in the fish was very pleasant to my palate and also, the fish tasted a little buttery for me. The dish looked bright and appetizing because of the ingredients used. 

Since, I am impressed with the flavor of Ceviche, planning to try it again in the future with the variation by including ripe mango, Mexican chilies, fennel, and passion fruit instead of lemon juice as done by Moche of Peru. Preparing marinated fish salad "Ceviche" was great learning for me. This learning has changed my thought on the cooking process and tasting analysis. I am more confident to try interesting and unique recipes which I have never tried so far to understand the five basic tastes. Also, I have decided to do more research on this cooking method and try many more interesting recipes. 

Hope you all loved this interesting and unique recipe. If you try this recipe, please feel free to share your feedback with or tag me at on Instagram. 


About Eat PeruPeruvian foodie. I've been writing about the food of Peru for over 10 years., E., Hosel, H., EatPeru, E., Oban, N., G, A., & Prince, E. (2020, November 04). What is Ceviche? Everything About This Peruvian Seafood Dish. Retrieved November 04, 2020, from

Dupre, B. (2017, August 25). Ceviche: How Peru's Most Treasured Dish Became a National Phenomenon. Retrieved November 04, 2020, from

Says:, G., Says:, S., & Says:, V. (2020, April 17). How to Make Ceviche - Science of Cooking Fish with Acids. Retrieved November 04, 2020, from

17, J., Says, S., Soledad, J., Says, B., & Bev, J. (2020, July 17). Classic Ceviche Recipe. Retrieved November 04, 2020, from


  1. This is an easy to make, quick dish ideal when you want something jiffy. Loved the click Priya.

  2. Priya, I had tasted this in Peru. Initially I was reluctant to eat the raw fish, but my hubby convinced me to taste it and it was too good. They had added corn kernels also