Peruvian Ceviche

panca chilli recipes

photo: Karen Hart

This is one of those dinner party snacks that people will go crazy for when done right. You need really fresh fish to make it work, and let the ingredients do the talking. It’s a lot of staple ingredients and pretty fast to make. Ceviche is usually done with sea bass, but other white fleshed fish such as grouper, sole and flounder will work very well too. Just ask your trusted fishmonger for the freshest saltwater fish they have – it should smell like the sea, and not fishy / old. The true peruvian secret is of course in the rest of the ingredients: most of which are fresh, but our favourite is the panca chilli. It’s fruity, and very aromatic, not too spicy, and one of peru’s favourite home grown chilli. You absolutely must use the correct chilli for the dish to bring it to life.

Recipe: Peruvian Ceviche

Serves: 4

– 400g sea bass, filleted
– few thin slices of mixed bell peppers
– few thin slices of tomatoes, deseeded
– few thin slices of red onion
– 2-3 sprigs of fresh coriander leaves
– juice from 6 limes
– 2 teaspoons of panca chilli powder or flakes (substitute for 2-3 freshly chopped green chillies)
– 1 teaspoon of pink himalayan salt (or you can substitute for sea salt)
– 1/2 teaspoon of sugar
– 1 and 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
– 1/4 tsp freshly ground black peppercorns
– Optional extras: Sliced avocados, sliced cooked pumpkins, mustard cress, slices of iceberg lettuce, spring onion

Cooking method


1. Make sure your fish is super fresh, and keep chilled on a block of ice until serving. This is one of the most important steps to a brilliant ceviche.
2. Cut your fish fillets into 1 inch cubes. Put into a bowl with the bell peppers, tomatoes and onions. Cover and put into the fridge until just before serving.
3. Mix the lime juice, panca chilli, pink himalayan salt, sugar, cover and keep in the fridge until a few minutes before serving.
4. Lastly, wash and coriander, and other extra ingredients and store in the fridge until just before serving.
5. Finally, few minutes before you’re about to serve, remove all the ingredients from the fridge.
6. Mix the marinade into the bowl with the fish. It should marinate for a maximum of 10 minutes, ideally just 2-5 minutes while setting the table. Any longer and the fish will get overly sour and could fall apart.
7. Now add in the coriander and other extra ingredients, stir for about 5 seconds, and drain the marinade out.
8. Get creative and assemble your dish!
9. At the very end, drizzle the extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle on the freshly ground black pepper.

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