Peruvian Ceviche with Pickled Red Onions

This recipe comes from Ciudad in downtown Los Angeles. The onions need to pickle for a day, so plan ahead before making this.  This recipe calls for halibut, but you can use any firm white fish.  It also uses aji amarillo chilies, but jalapeno peppers can be substituted if need be.


Peruvian Ceviche with Pickled Red Onions



For the pickled red onions:

  • 1/2 pound red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon roughly chopped cumin seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 small beet, trimmed peeled and cut into 8 wedges

For the ceviche:

  • 1 pound halibut, skinless boneless and cut into 1/4 inch dice (or other firm white ocean fish)
  • 1 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 red onion, finely diced
  • 1 aji amarillo chile, seeds removed and minced
  • 1/2-1 jalapeno peppers, seeds removed and finely diced
  • 1/2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons aji amarillo chili paste
  • salt, to taste
  • plantain chips or tortilla chips, for garnish
  • 1/3 cup pickled red onions, more as desired, for garnish (recipe included)
  • avocado, sliced for garnish



The day before making the ceviche, place sliced onions in a medium saucepan and cover with water; bring to a boil, remove from heat, then strain onions and set aside.  In the saucepan, combine vinegar, black pepper, cumin seeds, oregano, garlic, sugar, salt and beet; bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 7 minutes.  Add the onions and simmer an additional 7 minutes.  Place mixture in a covered container and refrigerate at least one day.  This makes more than is needed for the ceviche, but the pickled onions can kept up to a month, in the refrigerator, and used in other dishes, like salad, and as a garnish.

To make the ceviche, place fish in a large glass or other nonreactive bowl; cover with lime juice and allow to marinate for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Drain fish, but reserve 1/4 cup of the lime juice.  To the fish, add the onion, chile peppers, ginger, oil, cilantro and chile paste; stir in the reserved lime juice.

Chill thoroughly (I chill overnight).  Drain ceviche and season to taste with salt.

Serve in a chilled martini glass, if desired, and garnish with plantain chips or tortilla chips, pickled red onions, and slices of avocado.


Serves 4.

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