Indulge yourself in this healthy and full of flavour South American dish
Ceviche used to be one of South America’s best-kept secrets; eaten with gusto and passion it is a unique way to eat a healthy and small fresh fish dish. There are numerous varieties of this dish depending on the region and even landscape of the particular region, ranging from the simple to the complex.
The preparation of ceviche is unique in itself, instead of heating the fish to create a firmer and more opaque texture, citric acid is used, either lemon or lime. The chemical reaction creates the same effect, and if you do go to a restaurant where they cook the fish in the lemon juice then you should maybe question their methods!
History of ceviche
Dishes similar to Ceviche have been recorded in South America as long ago as 2,000 years, originally thought to have been brought across by the Spanish it is a plate of food that suited the climate and also complimented the beautiful seafood the area is so renowned for. The ceviche we know and love today was developed in Peru and Ecuador, but is now widely spread across the whole continent.
Originally the dish would have been far simpler, being only eaten with a little salt and the widely popular South American spice Ají. Now there are a range of fabulous variations, playing on the popular ingredients from each area, some adding corn, onions or fresh tomatoes. However, at its heart Ceviche is still best when eaten at its simplest with the ingredients only seeking to enhance the natural flavour of fresh fish with an acidic edge.
Varieties of Ceviche
As we have mentioned in previous articles Peru has a special Japanese fusion cuisine called Nikkei, and this strong influence can be seen in their ceviche dish, where they will sometimes use a citrus Daikon mix for the curing process and hints of ginger, a unique Asian twist on a classic.
Ceviche from Ecuador comes with a little bit of a crunch, with popcorn kernels and sweet corn on the side. It is a smokey and intriguing way to enjoy this dish, the accompanying textures really do add to the experience and enhance the flavour of the fish.
Ceviche from Chili has a little bit of a spicy kick with the famous Ají chili paste, because of the quality of fish from that country they tend to experiment with different fresh ingredients including the delicious Chilean sea bas or the more unusual Patagonian Tooth fish. Ceviche from Chili really does play on the natural bounty from the South American continent.
The Mexican take on Ceviche is probably the most recognizable to an international palate. The type we tend to seen on the appetizer menu. It is served very simply, cured in lemon juice with fresh tomatoes and onion, acidic, sweet and packed with flavour. This is probably my favourite plate of food to while away a warm summer evening.
Ceviche Restaurants In Dubai
South American cuisine has really taken off in the UAE, with chefs from the region eager to show off the stunning plates of food and flavours associated from the continent. There are a number of excellent restaurants to name; however, here are a few of Keep Dining’s recommendations for your next Ceviche based meal!
La Luz in the DIFC offers a fusion cuisine of the Mediterranean with a few South American classics, including a Peruvian Nikkei style Ceviche. With popped corn kernels and roasted corn, this dish has an earthy and fresh taste, a great introduction to the Japanese/Peru fusion cuisine.
Located on The Palm Ají offers you a number of different Ceviche dishes. From the purely classic to the more unusual, you will be able to try a number of flavour combinations, including coriander, truffle oil or basil, and fresh fish, including Flounder and salmon. This is the perfect restaurant to go if you are eager to experiment and have your taste buds challenged.
Maya is a stunning restaurant to spend the evening enjoying modern Mexican cooking. You can choose between their Acapulco Ceviche, with shrimp and avocado or the unusual vegetarian Mushroom Ceviche, featuring the hot Chili Poblano from Mexico. Contemporary cuisine enjoyed with views across the beach, a fantastic way to spend a meal.
Located in the Hilton on the Walk, Pachanga is headed by Chilean born Chef Esteban Gomez, who has developed a menu featuring classic South American dishes from his country and beyond. The Ceviche at Pachanga has been inspired by ingredients from Easter Island; it is a fresh and vibrant dish, a lovely way to start your meal.
The modern Toro Toro at the Grosvenor Hotel is an excellent place to go for a fun filled night out with great food. Featuring a fusion mix of South American cuisine, this restaurant is a place to go to dress to impress, with salsa music and an intriguing sounding cocktail menu. Their Ceviche dishes are varied, featuring Nikkei style and even one where the sea bass is marinated in orange. So head over there for an evening to remember.