Ceviche, the national dish of Peru, dates back some 2000 years to the Moche tribe who lived on the coast of northern Peru. They preserved fish by marinating it in the juice of the tumbo, a long fruit related to passionfruit. Ceviche evolved after the arrival of the Spaniards who brought new ingredients, together with citrus fruits, and their juice replaced tumbo juice. All coastal Andean countries have their version of ceviche. Peruvian ceviche is made with a marinade known as leche de tigre, or tiger’s milk. It is commonly served with cobs of Peruvian choclo (white corn) and sweet potato.
Ingredients for the tiger’s milk:
- juice of 6 limes
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 small red onion, finely sliced
- small handful of cilantro leaves, chopped
- 1–2 chile peppers, seeds removed and sliced, or 2 tsp chile paste
For the fish:
- 1lb 5oz (600g) very fresh firm fish fillets akin to bream, sea bass, or John Dory
- 1 avocado, diced
- 2 corn cobs, cooked and cut in half (optional)
- 1 sweet potato, baked and sliced (optional)
Directions: mix all the ingredients for the tiger’s milk in a big nonmetallic bowl. Dice the fish and add it to the marinade. Refrigerate for 10 minutes. Add the avocado pieces to the fish, mix together gently and serve with the corn and sweet potato if you want.