Chef Victoriano Lopez explains the significance of this classic dish to Peruvian culture
The sun is blazing, the only breeze is hot, and the pavement seems to be melting. The last thing anyone wants to do on a day like that is to cook using a hot stove or grill. But, there's still one thing you can cook that doesn't involve heat. Enter ceviche, a refreshing dish made with fresh fish or seafood marinated in citrus juices.
As with many iconic dishes, the origins of ceviche are disputed. Most people you ask will probably say that it's Peruvian in origin, but some peg it on the Polynesians who came to Peru, while others will say that the Moors serving their Spanish masters in the 16th century came up with the idea, having brought a dish called seivech with them. Or it may be the case that great minds were simply thinking alike in different parts of the world, as was the case with the dolma, which exists in various incarnations in a region stretching from Greece to Afghanistan.
No matter what the true origins of the dish are, though, there's no denying that it's a delicious, welcoming treat on a summer day. And although it's typically thought of as an appetizer, it can also be turned into a quick, light meal, like with this Salmon-Mango Ceviche that's served on tortillas. (Don't worry, we won't tell anyone that you ate it like a taco.)
Plus, if you think that ceviche is all about pricey fillets of halibut, tuna, or, well, salmon, we have an affordable option for you with this Simple Tilapia Ceviche that takes on the flavors of citrus especially well, with a touch of ginger and serrano pepper for some spice and heat.
And purists, we love you, but sometimes you can be a total buzzkill. So we decided to include a Mushroom Ceviche Recipe just for the vegetarians out there, so that they can join in on the party, too.
So what are you waiting for? Beat the heat and make some ceviche!
Will Budiaman is the Recipe editor at The Daily Meal. Follow him on Twitter @WillBudiaman.