Key features of Chilean ceviche:
- Seafood Selection: Chilean ceviche typically includes one fish: sea bass, sole, or rockfish. Mariscal is a similar dish, including fish and shellfish such as mussels, clams, and shrimp. The selection may vary based on regional preferences and availability.
- Fresh Ingredients: The freshness of the ingredients is crucial to making a good ceviche. The seafood is typically marinated lemon juice or limon sutil (lima). Using the freshest seafood available ensures the best flavor and texture.
- Aromatics: Chilean ceviche often includes a variety of aromatic ingredients, such as finely chopped onions, bell peppers, and cilantro. These ingredients add depth of flavor and a fresh, herbal note to the dish. Ají cristal or ají verde (Chilean chili pepper) adds flavor and, in some cases, heat.
- Accompaniments: Ceviche in Chile is served with fresh bread: marraquetas, toast, or rolls.
- Regional Variations: Chile’s diverse geography, stretching from Arica to Patagonia, means there are regional variations of ceviche.
Chilean ceviche is a refreshing and vibrant dish perfect for warm weather. It’s often enjoyed as an appetizer or light meal and is a great way to showcase the abundance of fresh seafood available along Chile’s extensive coastline. It’s delicious and a testament to Chile’s culinary diversity and cultural richness.
What differentiates the Chilean ceviche from the Peruvian and other versions from countries in Latin America?
Let’s see the size of the fish pieces: in the Chilean ceviche, the fish is cut small. I remember how sometimes my grandmother did it with cubes of 1/2 cm, almost ground. In the Chilean version, the onion variety is always Spanish or yellow. And finally, the other ingredients that are minimal in the Chilean case are bell peppers if desired, and cilantro. In the Peruvian version, the corn and the sweet potato abound, and the onion is the purple variety and chopped in half-moons.
I am a super fan of all ceviches; I’m always happy to try all its variants. Use fresh fish, and hopefully, make friends with your fisherman or fishmonger. I buy mine at the local Farmers Market at Airline Seafood in Houston.
Maybe you’re interested in the recipe: Sauteed white fish.Print
- 1/2 kilo of firm white fish (in Chile: sea bass, in the USA red snapper)
- 1/2 Spanish or yellow onion, chopped into tiny cubes
- 1/4 red bell pepper, chopped into small cubes
- 1/4 green bell pepper, chopped into small cubes
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves without stems
- 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- salt, pepper, and merkén if desired
- 5 lemons
- The previous night if you want to serve it for lunch or in the morning if it is for dinner. Wash the fish and cut it into small cubes of 1 cm per side. Place in a container and squeeze enough lemons to cover the fish. I used three.
- Before serving, put the fish in a large bowl and add the onion, pepper, paprika or Merkén, and cilantro — the juice of half a lemon, oil, and salt.
- Stir everything and taste. Adjust the seasoning.
- Serve cold.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 0 minutes
- Category: Appetizer
- Method: Raw
- Cuisine: Chilean
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 250
- Sugar: 2.7 g
- Sodium: 647.4 mg
- Fat: 14.3 g
- Saturated Fat: 6.7 g
- Carbohydrates: 6.5 g
- Fiber: 0.8 g
- Protein: 24.4 g
- Cholesterol: 75 mg
Keywords: Chilean ceviche