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Fish lovers, here’s the recipe for you: the Peruvian ceviche!

peruvian ceviche

Peruvian ceviche: history, ingredients and all the steps to prepare a perfect dish for those who love raw fish and strong flavours.

Raw fish doesn't necessarily mean sushi and sashimi. Yes, because among the many international recipes we cannot fail to mention that of the Peruvian ceviche, a fish-based dish which is marinated in the juice of an acidic fruit , mainly lime or lemon, to then be served with other ingredients.

Like the vast majority of typical recipes, there are many countries that claim paternity. From Guatemala to Mexico, passing through Colombia and Costa Rica, it is truly impossible not to come across this fresh fish dish whose history dates back to before the Inca empire .
According to the Peruvians themselves, ceviche is nothing more than an invention of the Mochica civilization who marinated fish with lime juice, the local tumbo fruit, corn and chili peppers.

For the variety of fish, there are those who use perch, amberjack, plaice or grouper. Generally, the Peruvian variant requires the fish to be served with corn, sweet potatoes and lettuce. Are you ready to discover the recipe step by step?

peruvian ceviche
peruvian ceviche

Preparation of the Peruvian ceviche

  1. First, rinse the fish under cold running water, then pat it dry with kitchen paper, cut it into pieces of approximately the same size and transfer it to a glass bowl.
  2. Peel the onion, wash it and slice it finely. Now clean the pepper, remove the seeds and internal filaments then cut it into cubes .
  3. Finely chop the chilli and lastly peel and chop the garlic clove. Add onion, garlic, pepper and chilli to the fish.
  4. Season with salt and pepper then pour over the lime juice squeezed and filtered with a sieve.
  5. Mix, cover the container with transparent film then put it to rest in the refrigerator for at least an hour .
  6. After the standing time, serve the fish, completing with a sprinkling of freshly chopped coriander. Enjoy your meal!

Don't miss out on the seafood salad recipe .


After marinating, we recommend consuming the cold fish dish at the moment .

Variations of the Peruvian fish ceviche

There are many variations of this dish, which is served both as an appetizer but also as a second course without cooking. Let's see them all together:

  • Mixed ceviche : It has the same ingredients as regular ceviche, but different shellfish are also added. It is served with sweet potatoes and decorated with lettuce leaves.
  • Black shell ceviche : a typical dish of the coasts of Tumbes and Piura and is prepared with the black shell or Anadara tuberculosa, marinated with lemon and seasoned with red onion, garlic, red pepper and rocoto, a particular Peruvian pepper. It is accompanied with chifles, thin slices of fried banana, Egyptian sweet or toasted corn.
  • Shrimp Ceviche .
  • Octopus ceviche : the preparation is similar to fish ceviche, but it is important that the octopus is tender, so it is boiled to soften the meat.
  • Chinguirito : prepared with dried guitarfish and seasoned with lemon and leche de tigre.
  • Mushroom Ceviche : Popular in upscale restaurants in Lima, it is made with pork.
  • Ceviche de chochos : prepared with lupine (tarwi), a product native to the Andes. It is also known as “Anchash ceviche” or “chilli ceviche”.
  • Ceviche with animal testicles : typical of the Cajamarca region, it is prepared with the testicles of a young ram.
Read also
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History of ceviche

In ancient Peru, during the Mochica era, about two thousand years ago, a dish based on raw fish was prepared. This dish was cooked using the fermented juice of tumbo , a typical fruit of the region called Passiflora tripartita of the mollissima variety. During the Inca empire, however, fish was macerated with beer. According to some chronicles , along the Peruvian coast fish was eaten with salt and yellow pepper or with chili. Later, due to the Spanish conquest, two common ingredients of Mediterranean cuisine were introduced: lemon and onion. The spread of lemon cultivation in Peru has made it possible to reduce the preparation time of this traditional dish, contributing to its diffusion.

In 1820 , scholar Jaime Ariansen mentioned this recipe in a popular song called "La Chica." During the period of independence, the soldiers sang the verse: “Venga la guatia Un liguero en Europa…: The 'Guatia'…, after the sebice, which still invites us to drink and get excited…” . The song was written by José Bernardo Alcedo and José de la Torre Ugarte, the authors of the national anthem of Peru. In 1866 , Manuel Atanasio Fuentes wrote in a chronicle that the predominantly national foods were very spicy and pleasant to the people, but among all of them, the spiciest dish and capable of making a tear escape was the cebiche. The same author, in an 1860 chronicle , described the preparation of seviche with cubes of fish, chili peppers, salt and orange juice. Another testimony of the time is reported by Juan de Arona in 1867 , who delighted us with these verses: “I would like my muse to sing / or at least decant / a just torment / the delights of spicy / and Peruvian sevice ” .

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