Fish,  Recipes

Salmon ceviche: a brief look to South American cuisine

Happy Monday everyone!

Are you feeling how the country is hotting up again? Temperatures in Oxford have soared up to 30 Celsius all over the weekend, but according to the recent BBC weather forecast rain may pays another visit this week. How crazy!

Despite this, I am coping very well with it. I am cooking summer, refreshing recipes that are helping me along with drinking plenty of fluids. On Saturday I cooked a South American signature dish very appropriate for the occasion: salmon ceviche. Yes, I know I am here to showcase mainly Spanish traditional food, but it’s impossible to deny the massive influence of the colonisation era in both cuisines. Honestly, I think it also deserves some space in this humble cooking blog. So today I will turn my eyes towards the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. Believe me: it will be worth.

Ok, then. What is ceviche? In most South American countries, it is a dish consisting of a citrus-marinated fish with vegetables. It dates back to the early Pre-columbian, coastal civilizations of Northern Peru, who already cooked fresh fish with some fruit juices or even liquors. Time after, with the landing of the Spaniards, lemons and limes were introduced and gained a place as key ingredients. Ceviche extended to neighbouring countries and today you can find many recipes in Ecuador, Colombia, Nicaragua, Chile and other areas touched by the Pacific Ocean. As a matter of fact, it is Peru’s national dish. Less common, however, is in Argentina, Brasil and Uruguay, whose culinary traditions are more European-minded.

I began to know about ceviche thanks to the great migration of Ecuadorians and Colombians to Spain at the beginning of the 2000’s. I have been in contact with many of them since age 10 (so did my younger brother too) and eventually you get to know them in depth. The guys would talk about eating this dish at home, but back on the day I didn’t have too much interest on it-we used to debate mainly about football. It hasn’t been until recently that I, at last, I discovered what it was. And the first time I cooked it I fell in love with it.

In terms of accessibility, salmon is probably the number 1 fish in the UK as you can find it everywhere. This is why my recipe is a Salmon Ceviche inspired by Ossie Barrientos from Cocinemos Juntos. It’s super easy to make, refreshing and very nutritious at the same time. I made a few tweaks as I am not a big fan of ketchup, but I must admit that it’s a game changer. Anyway, I will leave this at your discretion and will appreciate a lot if you leave me some feedback in the comments box.


INGREDIENTS (SERVES 2)

  • Salmon (500 g)
  • Juice of four limes
  • Tomatoes (1 large / 2 small)
  • Green pepper (1)
  • Avocado (1)
  • Onion (1 small)
  • Cucumber (half)
  • Fresh coriander (a handful)
  • Salt
  • Tabasco sauce
  • Ketchup (optional)

DIRECTIONS FOR COOKING

  1. Carefully remove the salmon skin, cut it in dices and put everything in a bowl. As the skin is quite hard, you may strip some salmon when removing it. If that happens, try to recover as much as possible.

2. Squeeze the limes and add the juice to the salmon. Stir thoroughly until its completely soaked. Cover with a cling film and store in the fridge for 30 to 60 minutes. After that time, the colour will have changed from orange to pale pink-meaning that it’s already cooked.

3. Finely chop all the vegetables, the coriander and add them to the bowl. When doing the cucumber, halve it and remove the seeds with a teaspoon beforehand. Season with the salt and the sauces.

4. Store in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving. Eat it with crackers and a cold beer.

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