Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Tio Roberto's Peruvian Cebiche

My friend Sarah is not only a famous graphic artist but she is also a fantastic chef. Sarah made the new banner for Corcoran Street Kitchen so now it looks all fancy and she also made a Peruvian Cebiche with pictures to prove it. Take it away, Sarah.

This is an authentic Peruvian cebiche or ceviche. There's been much debate between the B and V in Cebiche, but that's been put to rest by Gaston Acurio, Lima's superstar Chef, in his new blog, the "Cebiche's Journey," where he travels Peru in search of its origins. I feel more comfortable with the V but who's going to argue with the "Emeril of Peru." Cebiche is Peru's national dish. There is no other. No popcorn adornment from Ecuador, no tomatoes or avocados from Mexico. Peruvians know cebiche, and will tell you if yours sucks. I barely survived making cebiche for 15 hungry Peruvians visiting stateside. Luckily mine was deemed authentic thanks to a recipe from my Tio Roberto. He shared the secrets one afternoon in his beautiful, white tiled, Miami kitchen. The merits of this recipe were confirmed on my visit to Lima where I sipped Cusquena, happily munched cancha and sampled all kinds of cebiche including the delicious and mysterious Conchas Negras. Serves 4 as a main course, 6 as an appetizer.
Tio Roberto's Peruvian Cebiche
2 lbs tilapia (or other firm white fish) fillets
2-4 teaspoons sea salt
8-12 limes, freshly squeezed, enough to cover fish
8-10 garlic cloves
1-2 fresh habanero peppers (to taste - VERY SPICY)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1 red onion
4 ears of corn, boiled
4 large leaves of Romaine or butter lettuce1. Cut the fish into bite-sized cubes and liberally salt with sea salt. Set in a ceramic or glass baking dish.2. Juice limes and finely chop the garlic and peppers (you can use a food processor or jut chop chop chop away). I remove the seeds from the habaneros because I don't have a death wish. If you really like it hot, my only suggestion is to proceed with caution when using these little fireballs.
3. Pour juice, garlic and peppers over the fish and cover with plastic wrap. Let it marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour before serving. Lime juice is very acidic and you are using the lime juice to "cook" the fish so think of this marinading time as a cooking time.
4. Chop a red onion into thin strips and rinse off the strips in cold water to take off some of the acrid burn off the onion.
5. Lay the lettuce leaves out as little bowls and dish cebiche into the waiting leaves.
6. Top the cebiche with sliced red onions and coarsely chopped cilantro.
7. Serve with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and boiled ears of corn.

Tips from Tio Roberto: Don't let any metallic items touch the cebiche at any point (other than your knife). No metal spoons, foil, forks, or spatulas. Only wooden spoons and ceramic or glass bowls. This is EXTREMELY important or you'll end up with a tin taste in your mouth. Second, do not squeeze the limes too hard or you will release the bitter oils. Third, liberally salt the fish. As Roberto would say: "Once you feel you've salted enough, add more salt."

1 comment:

  1. Hola, Sarah! A mi me encanta cebiche y puedes traigalo a mi casa que pronto que quieres. Que sabroso!