Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Costa Rican Ceviche Recipe

Ceviche is a marinated seafood salad where raw seafood (usually a firm white fish or shrimp) is "cooked" (or pickled) by sitting in a citrus based juice (usually lime or lemon juice) for several hours.  If you've never eaten ceviche, the concept might sound strange to you.  But once you've tasted a good ceviche, there's no going back!  It is believed that ceviche originated in the coasts of Peru.  Today it is a common dish in just about every Latin American country, including here in Costa Rica.

It seems to me that just about every restaurant and soda in this country, in fact, offers some variation of a Costa Rican ceviche recipe.  Usually you'll get an incredibly fresh batch of ceviche but, be forewarned, there are places where you'll be a little disappointed.  In spite of this, I've become a Costa Rican ceviche addict!  My boyfriend recently made me his uncle's famous Costa Rican Ceviche recipe which is prepared as follows (also see pics below):

Ingredients for this Costa Rican Ceviche Recipe:
1/2 pound of raw corvina (white sea bass or other firm white fish) cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 cups lemon, lime or limon mandarina juice (squeeze enough juice to completely cover and "cook" the fish)
2 stalks of celery minced
1 chile dulce minced (a.k.a. pimientas or pimentones.  If not available where you are, you can use a red sweet pepper instead)
1small red onion (cut in half and then thinly sliced)
1 handful of fresh cilantro finely chopped
1/2 cup of ginger ale
salt and pepper to taste

Add the cubed fish to a large bowl.  Cover with lemon juice, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit in fridge for 1 hour.  Remove bowl from fridge and add all the remaining ingredients.  The ginger ale in this Costa Rican ceviche recipe is not a typical ingredient, but according to my boyfriend's uncle, it is the "secret" ingredient that will give your ceviche that little tangy bite you may sometimes taste in restaurant versions.  Once all the ingredients have been combined, cover the bowl again with the plastic wrap and refrigerate for another 6 to 8 hours (the longer, the better).

Costa Rican ceviche recipes are usually served with plain saltine crackers or boiled green plantain (as shown in final picture below).  In my opinion this healthy, light and tasty dish is best enjoyed with a ice cold beer on the side!

Veggies that will be added to the Costa Rican Ceviche

Slicing Corvina (white sea bass) into 1/2 inch cubes

Limones (limes that will be juiced in order to "cook" the corvina)

Ginger Ale (the "secret" ingredient in this Costa Rican ceviche)

The final product, served the next day with boiled green plantain slices on the side


Costa Rican Typical Foods, by Carmen de Musmani and Lupita de Weiler

Gallito Pinto: Traditional Recipes From Costa Rica, Zona Tropical Publications


Rue Stahl said...

My family and I used to live in Costa Rica just outside of San Jose in the Hotel Irazu. There used to be a Shopping center nearby the Hotel and there was also a Resturant outside the Center that served Ceviche. I tried it once and loved it. If you still live in Costa Rica is there any chance that you could go by there and check and see if the restuarant is still there and try some of their Ceviche and let me know whats in it. I would love to make some at home.

Rue Stahl said...

There is also a resturant called "Nashville South" and they serve some really good chili.

Rue Stahl said...

Oh one more thing about the shopping center near the Hotel Irazu. They had a Bakery and had some kind of dessert that looked like a "Hershey Kiss"
If you ever go to San Jose and to these places could you ask them what kind of dessert that is?

Lucas Ferrez said...

I think the food of Costa Rica is very tasty, i love all the food from latin america, besides is very alike, just the special flavor they put in each region is what makes the difference. But where did you make your grocery shopping? was like a supermarket or a local market? i love how cheap is down there, i only know San Jose but i think the capital is less expensive because it´s not that touristic.

Roberta Dinerstein said...

Loved your ceviche recipe....ginger ale sounds delish

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