Once you make this authentic Peruvian Ceviche with Tiger’s Milk recipe, you will never make ceviche any other way!
This refreshing seafood dish is perfect as an appetizer or main entree. It is also hearty, healthy, and delicious with the roasted sweet potatoes and boiled corn.
Now, I know what you’re thinking…why does my recipe have corn and sweet potatoes instead of avocado or mango like Caribbean ceviche? Well, ceviche originated in Peru, and this is the traditional way of eating ceviche.
When we went to Peru, we too were intrigued by our bowl of ceviche, but after one bite, we were sold. This is the way to enjoy ceviche!
The Peruvian Ceviche is a perfectly balanced dish. It has a lovely hint of sweetness with a little kick of heat from the Aji Amarillo pepper. I guarantee every bite is packed with incredible flavor!
Enjoying Peruvian Ceviche in Cusco
Before our trip to Peru, we already loved ceviche. We had Caribbean ceviche countless times, including our honeymoon in St. Lucia. So when we learned that ceviche is a traditional Peruvian food you must try in Peru, we knew had to.
It did not take us long to find Peruvian ceviche. You can easily find ceviche at almost every restaurant Cusco, especially at the Plaza de Armas (main square).
The first time we had Peruvian ceviche was at this incredible restaurant called Limo. The Peruvian ceviche was everything and more than we expected.
We had it again after our hike on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Aguas Calientes. After 4 vigorous days of hiking, the fresh seafood dish was exactly what the doctor ordered. Finally, we learned how to make Peruvian ceviche (3 different ways) paired with a Passion Fruit Pisco Sour during our fun Cusco cooking class.
We honestly could not get enough of this delicious national dish. I am thankful I learned how to make this recipe in Peru to recreate it and share my recipe with you.
What is Peruvian Ceviche?
Ceviche is a seafood dish that originated in Peru. Moreover, it is the national dish of Peru. It is traditionally made with fresh raw fish cured in fresh citrus juices, such as lime.
Although ceviche originated in Peru, other countries worldwide have embraced this refreshing dish and added their own cultural influences and techniques to it.
Traditional Peruvian ceviche uses fresh white fish, Aji Amarillo Pepper, and Tiger’s Milk.
Tiger’s Milk is not milk from a tiger, but actually, a citrus-based marinade for the fish. It is so flavorful that people drink it to cure hangovers! It is an essential component of an authentic Peruvian ceviche.
Peruvian ceviche is also traditionally served with corn and sweet potato. Both ingredients add sweetness and texture to the acidic seafood dish.
List of Ingredients for Peruvian Ceviche with Tiger’s Milk
Of course, the most important ingredient of Peruvian Ceviche is the fish. It would be best if you chose the freshest fish possible. Read my tips and tidbits below to learn how to pick fresh fish.
The second most important ingredient is the Aji Amarillo Pepper because, in addition to Tiger’s Milk, this is what defines Peruvian ceviche. It isn’t easy to find Aji Amarillo Peppers outside of Peru. However, you can find Aji Amarillo paste, which works just as well.
- Fresh firm white fish (halibut, trout, sole, grouper)
- Red onion
- Key limes (or limes)
- Clam juice
- Garlic clove
- Ginger (fresh)
- Aji Amarillo Paste
- Sweet potato
- Ear of corn
How to Make Peruvian Ceviche with Tiger’s Milk
This is a brief overview. Please refer to the full recipe description at the end of this post.
Roast the Sweet Potatoes – preheat the oven to 425° F. Lightly spray a baking sheet with oil. Cut the sweet potato into 1/2-inch cubes. Sprinkle the sweet potato with salt and pepper. Roast the sweet potato for 20 – 30 minutes, flipping it every 10 minutes. You want the sweet potato crisp and golden brown with some black edges. Set aside.
Boil the Ear of Corn – bring a pot of water to a boil. Sprinkle salt in the water. Add the ear of corn and boil for 5 minutes. Remove the ear of corn and cool completely. When the ear of corn is cool, remove corn kernels while still intact by slicing your knife downward as close to the base of the kernels as possible. Repeat until all the kernels have been removed.
Prep Fish – cut the fish into small cubes (1/2-inch). Place fish in a bowl and season with salt. Set aside in the fridge.
Slice Red Onion – thinly slice half of the red onion and place it in a bowl of cold water with ice. Soaking the red onion in cold water with ice helps get the “bite” out of the onions and makes them sweeter. It also helps keep the red onions crisp. Set aside.
Prepare Tiger’s Milk – add the fresh lime juice, clam juice, the other half of the red onion (diced), fresh ginger, and garlic clove into a blender. Pulse for 15 seconds or until smooth. Add the Aji Amarillo paste and cilantro and pulse again for 5 seconds. Strain the Tiger’s Milk into a container.
Marinate the Peruvian Ceviche – pour the Tiger’s Milk over the fish and gently toss the fish to get fully marinated. Let the fish “cook” for 30 minutes or until the fish turns white.
The fish ceviche should look like medium-rare steak. Cooked on the outside (opaque) while slightly raw on the inside.
Toss Everything Together – once the fish is “cooked,” you can prepare the Peruvian Ceviche with Tiger’s Milk. Add the fish, sliced red onion, sweet potato, corn, and fresh cilantro to a bowl. Pour some Tiger’s Milk over the ceviche and serve immediately.
Tips and Tidbits
Here are a few tips and tidbits on Peruvian Ceviche with Tiger’s Milk to help you prepare this recipe.
How to Tell When Ceviche is Ready
As mentioned, ceviche is fresh fish “cooked” in an acidic marinade. Some may get wary the fish is not cooked enough, so I hope this little tidbit will help put you at ease.
The general rule of thumb for knowing when ceviche is ready is the exterior has an opaque appearance. Typically it goes from raw to white.
The fresher the fish, the less time it takes to cook in the acidic marinade, but 30 minutes is an average time of success. Moreover, most people like their ceviche cooked like a medium-rare steak.
Some people will cook ceviche for 10 minutes and have quite the raw interior. Others will cook ceviche until it’s barely raw. At the end of the day, the way you cook ceviche is completely up to your preferences.
How to Pick Fresh Fish
One of the first signs of fresh fish is its smell. The fish should smell clean and like the ocean. It should not smell “fishy”.
The fish should also be nice and firm. When you touch the fish, it should have a little spring. It should not be soft and squishy.
Lastly, the fish should be completely intact. The fish should not be flaky or broken.
How to Properly Squeeze Limes
Did you know that you can over squeeze a lime? Yes, and if you do, it leads to a very bitter taste.
When you squeeze limes for juice, you only want to give one hard squeeze. Moreover, DO NOT squeeze all of the juice out because the last bit is the most bitter.
Roll the limes on a hard surface, cut in half, place in a citrus squeezer, press down firmly once, and that is it! You may go through more limes now but trust me, you do not want bitter lime juice.
More Seafood Recipes
Authentic Peruvian Ceviche
Peruvian Ceviche with Tiger's Milk is a perfectly balanced dish. It has a lovely hint of sweetness with a little kick of heat from the Aji Amarillo pepper.
- 1 pound fresh halibut (or other fresh white fish such as trout or flounder), cut into 3/4 inch cubes
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- 8 ounces sweet potato, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
- 1 ear of corn
- 1/2 cup fresh lime juice (about 20 key limes)
- 1/3 cup clam juice
- 1/4 cup red onion, diced
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and diced
- 3 springs of cilantro
- 1 teaspoon aji amarillo paste
- Preheat the oven to 425° F. Lightly spray a baking sheet with oil. Cut the sweet potato into 1/2-inch cubes. Sprinkle the sweet potato with salt and pepper. Roast the sweet potato for 20 - 30 minutes, flipping it every 10 minutes. You want the sweet potato crisp and golden brown with some black edges. Set aside.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil. Sprinkle salt in the water. Add the ear of corn and boil for 5 minutes. Remove the ear of corn and cool completely. When the ear of corn is cool, remove corn kernels while still intact by slicing your knife downward as close to the base of the kernels as possible. Repeat until all the kernels have been removed.
- Cut the fish into 1/2-inch cubes. Place fish in a bowl and season with salt. Set aside in the fridge.
- Thinly slice 1/2 a red onion and place it in a bowl of cold water with ice. Soaking the red onion in cold water with ice helps get the "bite" out of the onions and makes them sweeter. It also helps keep the red onions crisp. Set aside.
- Now we will prepare the Tiger's Milk. Only make this when you are ready to marinate the fish - the citrus needs to be fresh! Add the fresh lime juice, clam juice, 1/4 cup diced red onion, fresh ginger, and garlic clove into a blender. Pulse for 15 - 30 seconds or until smooth. Add the Aji Amarillo paste and cilantro and pulse again for 5 seconds. Strain the Tiger's Milk into a container.
- Pour the Tiger's Milk over the fish and gently toss the fish to get fully marinated. Let the fish "cook" for 30 minutes or until the fish turns white. The fish ceviche should look like medium-rare steak. Cooked on the outside (opaque) while slightly raw on the inside.
- Add the fish, sliced red onion, sweet potato, corn, and fresh cilantro to a bowl. Pour some Tiger's Milk over the ceviche and serve immediately.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, when you click on the link you will have the option to purchase a product at no extra cost to you, but I would receive a small commission. I want to thank everyone for following and supporting us on all of “Our Sweet Adventures” and for cooking with my recipes on "Christina's Culinary Creations".
Thursday 28th of July 2022
Hello Christina, It seems that you had a wonderful time in Cusco.... and you have put together an amazing web site.
But I'm a bit disappointed about your recipe =( While the recipe can certainly has similarities, there are key factors to have in mind...
Sweet Potato : It is normally boiled, but ok if you want to bake it. Corn: Sorry but Peruvian white corn cannot be replaced by sweet yellow corn, that will kill the taste, if not available better not to replace it...
For the tiger milk (in the blender) Garlic & Ginger are optional (personally I do not use it) you can add the parts of the fish that didn't make the "cut" to be perfect squares.. Celery.... this is a must lime and clam juice (can be fish juice as well.... ) Aji Amarillo.... (now this is what you can use abroad, as the ceviche is made with aji limo , which is a spicy red pepper... never with aji amarillo, but ok , almost imposible to find outside Peru)
And the most important part.... do not let the ceviche to "cook"... once the leche the tigre is pour on the fish, gently mix it for a minute or two, and serve it immediately
hope this help...
Once again , great website!! cheers Bruno