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  • Writer's pictureCarlos Sarmiento

Hot summer, cold dish. A modern spin to a classic dish - Cilantro-Red Chili Ceviche

Updated: Jul 31, 2020

Touching on my Peruvian roots (my father’s side of the family), I would like to share with you a seafood dish that is practically a national treasure...Ceviche.

(Photo: Rodolfo Clix)

Ceviche (pronounced say-vee-chay), is a Latin American seafood dish that originated in Peru or Ecuador (friendly contested fact), typically made from fresh raw fish cured in fresh citrus juices, most commonly lemon or lime, and spiced with ají, chili peppers or other seasonings including chopped onions, salt, and coriander.

(Photo: Catherine Chu)

My ”modern” spin on this refreshing and simple dish is using very basic ingredients since some Peruvian ingredients like typical Peruvian chili (aji amarillo) may be hard to come by. For this dish, I will be using one red chili pepper.

Menu: Cilantro-Red Chili Mahi-Mahi Ceviche with sweet potatoes and toasted corn.

Pairing: 2017 Francis Coppola Winery Diamond Series - Emerald Label Pinot Grigio

This dish serves 2-3.

Note: You will need a blender for this dish.

A cocinar! Let’s get cooking!

(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)


2 (1 lb) fillets of fresh fish. I’m using Mahi-Mahi, but you can also use Corvina (the most traditional type used for Ceviche), Snapper, Bass, or Tilapia. The fish needs to be diced cut in 1/2 inch sized cubes. 1 small yellow onion (quartered)

1 medium size red onion (sliced in long strips/julienned as thin as possible)

1 red chili pepper (seeded)

2-3 garlic cloves

1 celery stick, chopped

6-8 limes (cut for juicing, save 1, quartered, for garnish)

1 bunch (approx 1/2 cup) of fresh chopped cilantro

1 small bag of toasted corn (if available)

1 jumbo (or three small) sweet potatoes

Sea Salt & Pepper (you’re going to have to eyeball it when seasoning but no more than 1 tablespoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper).


In a large bowl, place the diced fish and sprinkle gene with sea salt. Toss lightly and add the juice of 4 limes. Toss lightly. Cover with plastic wrap and marinade in refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours.

Place sweet potato in a saucepan and cover with water. Cook over low heat until the sweet potato is easily pierced with a fork, then drain and set aside to cool at room temperature.

In a blender, blend together the yellow onions, chili pepper, garlic cloves, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, celery (optional), 2-3 tablespoons of cilantro, and the juice of three squeezed limes. Add 3-4 pieces of the marinading fish to the mixture and blend again (make sure that the rest of marinading fish is in the fridge if the 1 to 2 hours have not passed).

Place blended mixture in the fridge until the marinated fish has passed its 1 to 2 hour marinading time.

Once fish is cooked (seafood is cooked by the marinade once it becomes firm and opaque), remove from fridge. Add blended mixture and toss. Lightly season again with salt and pepper. Toss again. Add the thinly-cut/julienned red onion strips and mix.

Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them in 1 inch thick rounds.

Serve it up!

In a large bowl (for individual serving), place a few sweet potato rounds on one side of bowl. Spoon fish mixtures in center of bow, creating a pile. On the other side of the bowl, add some of the roasted corn. Sprinkle some fresh cilantro on top and garnish with a lime wedge...serve it up!

Wine pairing

As you can see, I am paring this dish with a 2017 Francis Coppola Winery Diamond Series - Emerald Label Pinot Grigio

(Available at most grocery stores, including Target $13-16)

For this type of dish, you definitely want a wine that’s young, high acid wine that is oak-free and low in alcohol volume. I highly recommend a Sauvignon Blanc or a Pinot Grigio, even a sparkling wine. Just make sure it is nicely chilled.

Note: Shhh! Ceviche goes great with an ice-cold beer 🍺 but it wouldn‘t be me if I didn’t pair it with a decent wine.

(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)

Buen provecho!

Listo! Disfruten!

Enjoy! Let me know what you think.

Salud (Cheers)! 🍷

(Photo: Bruce Timana)

178 views2 comments



I want to try this some time... I know your aunt makes a version that uses mushrooms instead of fish... it's amazing!!!!


Aida Limongi
Aida Limongi

Easy , delicious , natural , healthy

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