Your ceviche bowl (or martini glass, or… goblet) will look very different depending on where you are in the world.
If you’re in Peru (many consider it to be the birthplace of ceviche), your dish will come with boiled corn, sweet potato, and corn nuts. Popcorn, fried green plantain (patacones), and plantain chips (chifle) may be served on the side in other parts of South America. Tostadas, or fried corn tortillas, are popular in Mexico.
We know the best fish commonly used in ceviches can be hard to find in the states, we went with something that wasn’t: salmon fish. But not traditional doesn’t mean it’s not delicious! If you’ve eaten salmon fish raw before you know it’s insanely smooth and decadent.
We used techniques and ingredients from all over the world, from Japan to Mexico, to create this rather unusual ceviche. Continue reading to find out how all of these pieces fit together.
With crunchy red onions, fresh cilantro, and a finely chopped hot pepper, we kept the mix-ins mostly true to Peruvian-style ceviche. Lemon drop peppers (also known as aji lemon peppers) are traditionally used to add heat and a tropical citrus flavor to dishes.
Because those are difficult to come by, I recommend using a serrano, jalapeo, or scotch bonnet pepper instead. Always taste a small amount of pepper before using it in your ceviche; each pepper is unique. Remember that you can always add more spice, but once you’ve added too much, it’s difficult to take it back.
We did use one ingredient from Mexican ceviche: avocado. We like a little extra creaminess, but you can leave it out if you prefer.
Again, we’re borrowing from Peru and making a blended ceviche marinade known as leche de tigre*. Before being strained and added to our fish, citrus juice, garlic, ginger, cilantro stems, red onion, and fish scraps are blended together. This flavorful, magical marinade is entirely Peruvian, though one ingredient may catch you off guard: ginger!
Take a look at Peru’s past to understand why. Japanese immigrants began arriving in Peru in the early 1800s, bringing with them ingredients and cooking methods. Not only in the ingredients, but also in the technique, we see Japanese influence in this recipe. Peruvians used to marinate their ceviche for hours before Japanese immigration.
The Japanese immigrants taught Peruvians to appreciate fish in a more “lightly cooked” form, using a marination method that takes minutes (if not seconds) to complete, forever changing the way one of the country’s most popular dishes is prepared. Today, Japanese-Peruvians have developed their own cuisine, known as Nikkei.
Serving Salmon Fish Ceviche
As mentioned earlier, ceviche is accompanied by so many delicious products. We were inspired by Mexico and went out of a bag with fried corn tortillas. Whatever you eat it, it’s going to be delicious, we promise. Happy marinating! Happy marinating!
*Wondering why is tiger milk called? In Peru, a few people think that taking a shot of your marinade on the bottom can heal a harem, and that the savory sip elicits the drinker with a tiger-like roar. Others say this is an aphrodisiac, and in the bedroom you can make “tiger.”
Ingredients For Salmon Fish Ceviche
- 1 lb. sushi-grade or previously frozen salmon fish, defrosted, with skin removed
- Kosher salt
- 1/2 medium red onion
- 1/4 c. freshly chopped cilantro
- 1 lemon drop chili pepper, Serrano pepper, or jalapeño, thinly sliced
- 1/2 avocado
- 1/2 tsp. toasted sesame oil (optional)
- Corn chips, for serving
Directions to Make Salmon Fish Ceviche
- Cut salmon fish into ½-inch cubes and place in a large glass bowl, reserving any oddly shaped, fatty, or dark pieces of salmon fish for the tiger’s milk. Season cubed salmon fish with salt. Refrigerate while you prepare the onions and tiger’s milk.
- Prepare onions: cut ½ onion in half, then thinly slice 1 half and place slices in a medium bowl. Add sliced pepper and cilantro to bowl with onions.
- Make tiger’s milk: into a blender or food processor, combine reserved salmon fish (if using), remaining quarter red onion, lime juice, orange juice, garlic cloves, ginger, and cilantro stems. Pulse mixture 10 times in rapid succession, until solids are broken down but not completely pureed. (Alternatively, combine all ingredients in a bowl and let sit for 10 to 30 minutes.)
- Assemble ceviche: cut ½ avocado into small ¼” cubes and add to bowl of salmon, along with onions, peppers, and cilantro. Strain tiger’s milk over salmon and stir to combine.
- Let ceviche marinate for 10 minutes, then serve with corn chips. It is best to eat freshly made ceviche within the hour it is prepared, to avoid fish that is “overcooked” and soft.
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