As promised, a recipe! I thought this citrus marinated fish dish would be a stellar one to start with, because it is hands down one of my favorites, I’ve made it many times, and its surprisingly simple. It is also a dish which requires high quality fish, or it would be unsafe or unappealing to consume.
I fell in love with Peruvian cuisine four years ago when was fortunate enough to spend five weeks exploring the country. It has dishes with such breadth and unique flavor it completely changed the way I look at food. From the coastal deserts in the south to the Amazon in the far Northeast, from pre-Incan civilizations to Spanish conquistadors and later massive Japanese immigration, history has sculpted a multi-faceted titan of the culinary world.
While I often play around with “cooking” times and spicing, the recipe I first started working off is from The Food and Cooking of Peru by Flor Arcaya de Deloit. I picked this up at a little bookstore in Arequipa to bring home as a gift for my folks. So here it is!
500g/1¼lb firm white fish fillet, such as cod, halibut, or coley, skinned and boneless
½ medium red onion, sliced lengthwise
1 chili, seeded and sliced
2 celery sticks, thinly sliced
juice of 8 limes, about 150ml/10tbsp
15ml/1tbsp finely chopped parsley
Salt and ground black pepper
To accompany: 1 corn on the cob
The recipes in the book suggests medium sweet potatoes, cassava, and corn on the cob as a side. I like to keep things simple and fresh with just the corn.
1 Cut fish into bite size pieces about 2cm/¾ in across, place in a bowl with onion, chili and celery. Season well with salt and pepper.
2 Pour lime juice over the mixture and stir gently to distribute evenly. Cover and leave for 15 minutes, then stir again and leave for another 15 minutes. The fish is ready when it has become opaque.
3 Corn can be left raw (my personal favorite) or boiled for 10-15 minutes.
4 Plate fish mixture as desired, and enjoy with a Pisco Sour*.
*Basically the best libation ever. Peru’s national cocktail, consisting of pisco (a grape-based brandy), egg white, lime juice, simple syrup, and Angostrua bitters.