I love grouper. I love ceviche. Grouper is a great ceviche fish. Peruvian ceviche recipe with grouper is a wonderful thing! This version makes for an easy appetizer or if eating alone it’s substantial enough when made with sweet potatoes to be an entree.
Inspiration for Peruvian Ceviche Recipe
The first time I ever heard of ceviche was during my college days. I was at a local Dallas spot Aw Shucks Oyster Bar in Greenville Avenue. I would become a regular at Aw Shucks but mainly staying in my lane with the gumbo, gulf oysters and a can of Tecate cerveza. I was always impressed by the presentation of this shrimp dish there and finally asked about it. The server called it ceviche, and I was like, what is ceviche? She gave me a sample on a spoon and I was like, give me an order of that!
Back in my college days I was listening to a lot of my fellow St. Mark’s alum Steve Miller or any number of hip hop acts that have sampled his music including EPMD, the Geto Boys, Nas, and Ice Cube. My buddy Luke introduced me to The Steve Miller Band back in middle school. Interestingly the boys in my hood, especially my brother clowned me and threatened to revoke my hood pass for my new tastes in music. But then they recognized many of their favorite hip hop songs were based on cats like Steve Miller and I got a pass.
What makes this Peruvian ceviche?
Peruvian ceviche is actually more filling and can be eaten as a main dish vs. the more appetizer like of most other regions. Most ceviche recipes are enjoyed with tortilla chips as an appetizer. Peruvian style includes citrus, fish, and peppers like most, but also includes sweet potatoes and corn. The presence of the sweet potatoes and corn combined with a meaty fish like grouper provides more substance and makes the version of ceviche as a main dish.
Peruvian Ceviche Ingredients
This ceviche is more filling compared to the typical lighter fare. The sweet potatoes and corn add a bit more sustenance to the dish.
- Red Onion
- Garlic cloves
- Sweet Potato
- Serrano Pepper
How to make Peruvian Ceviche
Ceviche Cooking Tips
- Freshness is key to fish choice followed by firmness.
- Have your fish guy put the fish on ice for transport. Keep it on ice until you prepare the ceviche. Ice helps keep fish fresh and protects the texture and flavor.
- Probably goes without saying but make sure all bones and skin have been removed
- Use a long, very sharp knife to cut the fish
- Marinate the fish completely covered to limit exposure to air which can adversely impact texture
- Don’t combine the fish with the other ingredients until the fish has completed marinating. You want crisp vegetables and fully infused fish and the only way to ensure this happens is by keeping them separate
- 15-20 minutes is best length of time for marinating the fish. Anything longer and the fish begins to become mushy. If you prefer softer, mushy texture then let the fish sit longer.
- Ask your fishmonger for the freshest firm white ocean fish available
Our trip to Peru made such an impact, I'm an advocate for Peruvian night. Serve these up with a few other Peruvian inspired dishes like:
How to choose the freshest fish?
- The flesh should look firm and translucent
- If you're using whole fish, inspect the eyes. They should be bright, shiny and clear. Cloudy or milky eyes = been sitting out a while
- If the skin is still on, it should be shiny, metallic-like
- Look at the gills and fins to make sure they’re still bright
- Poke the fish with your finger. Too soft, then avoid.
- Make sure there is no fishy smell. You want ocean-fresh so the fish should smell more salty
- Fish flesh should be wet and glossy looking
- Whitefish should look translucent vs. opaque and very white.
Ceviche Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How long should the fish marinate?
After deciding on your citrus and picking the freshest fish, the next decision is how long to marinate the fish. Too long and you’re chewing chalky fish, too short and its raw fish you’re eating. Opaque is what you want. If the fish is flaking then its been cooking too long. 15-20 minutes should be enough time.
Can ceviche be made ahead?
Most people make ceviche for party appetizers and thus want to make ahead for planning purposes. Ceviche, the best kind is not a make-ahead dish. If time is an issue for you, feel free to prep all the other ingredients, i.e chop the onions, peppers, and any other vegetables you’re using.
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- 6 oz white fish fillet (Grouper) cut into ¾ in cubes
- 2 teaspoons green chile (jalapeno or serrano) seeds, vein removed and diced
- 2 cloves garlic very finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro chopped
- 2 small lemons juiced
- 1 small red onion thinly sliced
- salt and pepper to taste
- ½ whole sweet potato peeled, boiled and cut into 4 slices
- 1 corncob cooked and kernels removed
- 1 medium avocado diced
- Place the fish in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. After a minute add the garlic and chile. Mix together well.
- Pour lemon juice over the fish. Stir, place in refrigerator covered and let sit for 10-15 minutes.
- Add the cilantro and red onions. Mix well and adjust seasoning for taste.
- Serve with sweet potatoes, corn and avocados.