This traditional dish is served, with different variations, in all Latin American countries with coast on the Pacific (Mexico, Central America, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and Chile). It was popular in ancient Peru 2000 years ago, where the fish was marinated in passion fruit juice. The Spanish influence added lime juice and onion to the recipe. Today each country or region has a special way of preparing the fresh fish marinated in lemon juice.
My version, Ceviche a la Tica is the traditional recipe we’ve used at home since I can remember. Instead of the sea bass we also use Dorado or Tilapia and even shrimp. When I was a kid we also made it with “chucheca”, a special type of clam found in mangrove forests, now very endangered.
If you are feeling a little tired and run down I suggest the “Vuelve a la Vida” (Back to Life!) version of the recipe which includes a variety of seafood.
Ceviche a la Tica
Ingredients (for 2 bocas* or 1 dinner)
150 g (about 5 1/2 oz) sea bass, diced
1 oz lime juice
1 tsp. onion, chopped
1 tsp. red sweet pepper, chopped
1 tsp. chopped cilantro
Splash of soda water or ginger ale
1 slice of avocado
Salt to taste
1. Marinate diced fish for 2 hours in the lime juice
2. Mix in the onion, red sweet pepper, and cilantro
3. Then, reduce the acid by adding a little soda water or better ginger ale for that traditional sweet taste
4. Serve with tortilla chips and the slice of avocado on top
* Bocas are similar to Tapas in Spain: small to medium sized snacks, often complimentary when you buy a drink at a bar.