White Fish Ceviche with Peruvian Aji Amarillo Peppers Marinated in Lime Juice and Ginger

by Lynne on November 20, 2011

Post image for White Fish Ceviche with Peruvian Aji Amarillo Peppers Marinated in Lime Juice and Ginger

Peruvian Ceviche with Aji Amarillo Peppers

This recipe was inspired by the one tablespoon of Ceviche prepared by Mary Sue Milliken that I had at the Cadillac Culinary Challenge in October. It was served in a little plastic glass, but the taste impact of the Aji Amarillo Pepper Sauce was so profound I had to try to make it myself. I can’t remember the last time I experienced a totally new taste or ingredient, but this was definitely one of those times. I watched her prepare the ceviche and listened carefully as she explained the recipe as she went along. As I prepared my version I wrote down the amount of each ingredient I used and was very satisfied with my end result. More than satisfied, I was ecstatic.

Peruvian Ceviche with Aji Amarillo Peppers 1

Chef Mary Sue used Red Snapper in her recipe, but I chose to use a less expensive (think cheap) fish called Swai, which is a fresh water Catfish from Vietnam found in the Mekong River Basin. I, however, bought it frozen at Ralph’s Market. Each fillet was individually frozen in cryovac, and thawed quickly in a warm water bath.

Ceviche is fresh raw fish that is “cooked” by marinating in citrus juice, usually lime juice. The proteins in the fish are denatured by the acid in the juice, which means their chemical bonds come apart. It is the same chemical undoing that happens when meat, fish or eggs are exposed to high heat.

Pervnian Ceviche with Aji Amarillo Peppers 2

I found the jarred Aji Amarillo Peppers and the Aji Amarillo Pepper Paste at El Gaucho Latino Market in Manhattan Beach. They have a whole panoply of South American items, including Peruvian beer. I asked the checkout lady if she cooked with the Aji Amarillo peppers and she said to go on the computer and look up Aji de Gallina. So I did, and it turns out to be one of the Peruvian national dishes, made with chicken, evaporated milk and the Aji Amarillo peppers. Peruvian cuisine has been influenced by immigrants from Spain, Africa, China and Japan. Many recipes might be familiar because they are a twist on Japanese dishes. Like ceviche. Raw fish. There is an interesting article in The Wall Street Journal about Peruvian food being “The Next big Thing.” If you live in Los Angeles, have you been to Mo-Chica or Picca, two of our Peruvian restaurants? I see them in my near future.

Peruvian Ceviche with Aji Amarillo Peppers 3

This is the way my plate looked when I actually ate my Ceviche. I loved the Aji Amarillo Pepper Paste so much that I put some in a little bowl to be spooned onto the tortilla chip before piling on the ceviche. Just a small smear, however, because it does have significant heat and will make your nose run. But the taste is so sublime, it’s worth it.

Peruvian Ceviche with Aji Amarillo Peppers 4

Fete your Holiday guests with Aji Amarillo Ceviche and some Peruvian Cusquena Malt Lager Beer. They’ll never forget it and they will love you forever.

Peruvian Ceviche with Aji Amarillo Peppers 5

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Peruvian Ceviche with Aji Amarillo Peppers

As an Appetizer serves 6

1 ½ pound firm white fish, boneless, such as Red Snapper or Swai
1 cup lime juice
2 teaspoons grated ginger
1 Aji Amarillo pepper, from a jar, 1/4-inch dice
¼ cup minced red onion
1 tablespoon minced jalapeno chile
3 tablespoons minced cilantro leaves, stems discarded
1 1/2 teaspoons Aji Amarillo paste, or more to taste

Tortilla chips (I use Tostito brand) to serve

1. Cut the fish fillets into ½-inch strips length-wise, then across into ¼-inch pieces. In a large bowl, combine diced fish and lime juice, making sure the fish is completely submerged. Let marinate for 20 minutes at room temperature, or up to 3 hours in the fridge.

2. Drain fish, reserving lime juice. Add the remaining ingredients to the fish along with ½ cup of the reserved lime juice. Place in a serving bowl surrounded with tortilla chips.

Note: If you like the heat of the Aji Amarillo Pepper Paste, serve with a small bowl of the paste with a little spoon, to put a small smear on a tortilla chip along with the ceviche.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Amanda November 21, 2011 at 4:52 pm

Mmmm this is such a great recipe! If you love Peruvian dishes, please try out my aji marinade for chicken. I think you’ll really enjoy it!


Magic of Spice November 21, 2011 at 5:13 pm

Absolutely delicious and gorgeous to top it off…this would make a wonderful appetizer around the holidays 🙂

Lynne November 21, 2011 at 6:18 pm

Hi Amada! I checked out your Aji Chicken and the marinade looks fabulous. Now I know the dish I am going to try with my left over Aji Amarillo Pepper Paste. Thank you so much for the recipe. Lynne xo

Jekka November 23, 2011 at 12:24 pm

This looks Amazing!! I’m definitely going to try it – soon! 🙂

Bee (Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine) November 23, 2011 at 12:42 pm

I’ve always wanted to try making ceviche! It sounds so complex but also fresh and delicious.

Lentil Breakdown November 23, 2011 at 1:19 pm

Looks wonderful, and I have been to Mo-Chica and had Cusqueno beer in Cusco. It’s the main beer in Peru. Picca (same chef as Mo-Chica) is on my list!

Monet November 30, 2011 at 3:53 pm

Don’t you just love it when you can recreate a recipe that you’ve enjoyed? Thank you for teasing me with this post. I’m hungry now! I hope you have a lovely end to your week. I can’t believe it is already Thursday! Hugs and love from Austin.

mjskit November 30, 2011 at 8:21 pm

What a beautifully delicious looking ceviche! I’ve never made it but I always order it when I see it on a menu. Yours looks quite easy to make.

Rose July 25, 2012 at 6:40 pm

Good recipe!! I like it with french bread, instead of tortilla chips.
One little correction on the aji de gallina, it is not made with condensed milk, it is made with evaporated milk. Condensed milk has lots of sugar.

Lynne July 25, 2012 at 8:01 pm

Hi Rose ~ Thank you so much for giving me the correct information and I have changed my post accordingly. I will have to try the ceviche with French bread, as you suggested. Thanks again. xo

Nena August 3, 2012 at 9:36 am

Looks good! Except Peruvian ceviche would never be with eaten with tortilla chips, those are Mexican so a huge no-no. Peruvian ceviche is sufficient eaten with just a fork, maybe cancha!

Stewart February 4, 2014 at 12:05 pm

I’ve had ceviche alone, with cancha, and with chips. I’m always happiest with chips. Chips are great at picking up ceviche and the combination of tortilla chip crunchiness with ceviche is the most satisfying.

Things don’t have to be 100% authentic all the time. Just delicious!

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