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La Receta del Dia: CEVICHE DE PESCADO, Panamanian style edit

This is a traditional summer appetizer and party food in Panama. We have such an abundance of marvelous superfresh fish, seafood, vegetables, fruits, and the always growing tendency of -fusion cuisine- finds interesting ways to transform this traditional, all time-favorite dish into a delicate or adventurous trip to the tropics. Welcome to my kitchen, my cyber friends. smile

The one recipe I am presenting today is the traditional, well loved -ceviche de corvina.  D
uring the following days I will share with you variations and new ways to prepare and dress up this delicious ceviche.

Corvina is one of our most common and highly rated fish for the quality of the meat, its white color and texture.

It is delicious just grilled with lime juice, served with some patacones (plantain chips)---hmmm, or arroz con coco (coconut rice), or arroz con porotos (beans and rice).

When you prepare ceviche, it is the lime (or lemon juice) that "cooks" the fish.

We are very proud of our internationally famous method of serving fish
tidbits. A mixed assortment can include squid, octopus, scallops, clams,
lobster, crab as well as longorones, a black shellfish similar to scallops. You can use what you have available or what you like the most...,
what insures a variety of textures and flavors.
Now the recipe:

Ceviche de Pescado

2 pounds FRESH white-fleshed skinless fish fillets such as seabass, sole,
cod, or corvina
1 cup fresh lime juice (about 12 limes)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 small clove garlic, chopped very fine
1 or 2 fresh aji chombo (Habanero pepper), seeded and chopped fine
1/4 cup celery stalks, diced
1 teaspoon chopped cilantro
1 medium red onion, chopped fine (1/2 cup)
6 romain lettuce leaves (1 for each plate)
cherry tomatoes (optional)


1. Cut the fish into cubes 1/4 by 1/4 inches.
2. Soak the fish cubes in lightly salted water for 1 hour to tenderize. Drain well.
3. Put the fish in a bowl and fold in the lime juice carefully. Add the salt, garlic, aji chombo, cilantro, onion, celery and refrigerate for 24 hours.
4. To serve, line a bowl or large platter with the lettuce. Place the ceviche in the center and garnish with the cherry tomatoes, if using.

Serves 6

  • by Chef Melissa
  • March 13, 2005
  • 10:09 pm


Picture of Moira Moira said on...
03.14.05 at 07:29 AM |

Hi Melissa,

Your ceviche sounds and looks wonderful…I’ll have to give it a try soon!
——THANKS Moira for visiting smile Yes, the recipe is simple and delicious—-the best part is that you can prepare it and store it in the fridge up to a week…and the juice,...hmmm is very energetic.

Picture of Karen Karen said on...
03.14.05 at 12:28 PM |

Hello Melissa,

This does look refreshing. I’ve never had ceviche with cilantro and celery before. Will try your version one of these days. Do you think I can substitute shrimps?
——HOLA Karen! celery adds a very special touch—-If you cannot find, or do not like cilantro, it`s ok to substitute Italian parsley. Shrimp ceviche is very good too. If you are using frozen shrimp, thaw them in the fridge and when ready to prepare try to get as much liquid out using a sieve or paper towels. Good luck!

Picture of Anomia Anomia said on...
03.14.05 at 08:18 PM |

Mi blog sirve para elaborar recetas políticas y críticas, con palabras soeces y esas cosas un tanto vulgares. Pero estoy algo cansado, así que me he decidido a dar una vuelta por la Cocina del Mundo y ... olé ... me la he encontrado a usted.

Así que me la quedo para mi feed en Bloglines.

Saludos ... y enhorabuena por su deliciosa profesión.

Picture of Karen Karen said on...
03.15.05 at 01:00 PM |

Hi Melissa,

I like cilantro, that’s no problem. smile We always use fresh shrimps for ceviche, but I don’t have any at the moment. My question is, will frozen tuna or salmon work as well? I’ve used the same fish before but they were fresh from the market. I am not sure if thawing them will damage the flesh and not be good enough for this recipe.

Picture of Poledra Poledra said on...
03.26.05 at 03:33 AM |

Melissa, he encontrado tu web de la manera más curiosa, y me he llevado una grata sorpresa.

Intentaré preparar el ceviche lo antes posible, ya que parece un plato fantástico.

Sigue así, es una delicia leerte.

Un abrazo desde el otro lado del océano.

Picture of Dream Dragon Dream Dragon said on...
04.04.05 at 07:09 AM |

Thank you….glad you enjoyed my cast drawings.  I LOVE your blog….adding it to my friends list here.

Picture of Jany .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) said on...
08.07.05 at 08:04 PM |

Hola Melissa,

encontre tu website de casualidad y me ha encantado..una pregunta, para el ceviche ademas de corvina se puede utilizar tilapia??? no afecta la textura del mismo?

Picture of Ahalia Ahalia said on...
08.18.05 at 06:54 PM |

Hola Melissa,
Wow que delicia,  I lived 5 years in Panama and the ceviche well all the food I miss so much , this website inspired me to cook it muself,la receta del ceviche la prepare ayer , use shrimp congelados y una variedad de mixed seafood congelada y telapia, estaba preocupada que tal vez no quedara bien , pero la escurri bien y los deje secar un poquito, tambien use pepino cocombro pues lo tenia y todos me dijeros que querian la receta, asi que te los envie . Gracia por compartir tus ricas recetas.

Picture of GiGio .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) said on...
03.22.07 at 05:13 PM |

Hi Melissa I just discover this website and i am fascinated with your comments and your recipes.. They are amazing… and talking about this Cevice recipe… One i tried a ceviche with cream (I guess it has green grapes too..) do u know which kind of cream does it have?



Picture of melissa melissa said on...
03.22.07 at 10:27 PM |

Hola Gigio! thank you for your visit smile There is one called “ceviche Inglés” that sounds like the one you are describing. Just follow: http://panamagourmet.blogs.com/cookingdiva/2005/03/la_receta_del_d_1.html

recipe and use fish ceviche instead of the one called in this recipe. Add fresh green seedless grapes instead of yellow raisins… Then you are all set smile

Picture of Kenton Brown .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) said on...
04.26.07 at 02:48 AM |

HI!  Thanks for all the work on your website!  I just have some comments regarding ceviche in the RoP.  Fifteen or so years ago, when I lived there, the ubiquitous version was made with only diced corvina, lemon (limon amarillo) juice, finely chopped white onion & aji chombo (habanero), and salt.  It was served in nearly every restuarant in a coctail glass w/ a bib/butter lettuce base and saltines.  Some “mixto” versions had other seafood, such as camaron or pulpo, but I never encountered it with celery, cilantro/culantro, or tomato.  I love all verisons of ceviche from Latin America, but my favorite remains the simple, elegant version I describe above.  I really miss those restaurants on Via Espana, Via Argentina, etc.

Picture of melissa melissa said on...
04.26.07 at 07:34 AM |

Thank you for your visit.  By influence of people from other countries, right now you can find all kinds of versions here in Panama. Celery is popular in the traditional version, although my grandmother would say that the use of such ingredient in ceviche is sacrilege. It all depends on exploring and finding what you want wink

Have a tasty day!

Picture of Moráles .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) said on...
09.03.07 at 10:33 AM |

I had a question…I know from my mother that ceviche gets better the longer you let it sit, however how long is too long ahead of time? Is 2-3 days bad? A week?

Picture of melissa melissa said on...
09.12.07 at 02:51 PM |

Hola Morales! I would say that if you store it in the fridge, well covered, it could last 3-4 days. But, if you are making ceviche with “steamed” octopus or shrimp, it could last a couple of days more.

Happy Cooking!

Picture of Albert .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) said on...
01.02.08 at 09:05 AM |

Hi Melissa,
First, thanks for this recipe!
Second: Reality check: I think that making Panamanian ceviche in the cold regions of the world is impossible. We do not have the sweet and tangy “limon panameno” that makes the dish so “energetic”.
Lime is too sour, and lemon is too sweet but not sour enough. How can we in Europe of North America approximate the “limon” ripened by the sun?

Feliz Ano!!!

Picture of melissa melissa said on...
01.02.08 at 10:13 AM |

Hola Albert, thank you for your visit and Happy New Year! I know what you mean…I do not recall I have seen the"limón Panameño” outside of Panama in any of my trips. In those cases I have used a blend of lime and fresh orange juice. It is a nice combination and you will be able to adjust the sour and the sweet of your ceviches!

Un abrazo,

Picture of Kathy .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) said on...
02.07.08 at 05:34 PM |

Hi Melissa,

I love your website. Can you please tell me how to make “hojaldras” The real Panamanian style. I am from Panama, and remembered tasting those yummy hojaldras!- a long time ago.

Please send me the recipe. Thank you so much.



Picture of Jany .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) said on...
03.16.08 at 02:56 PM |

Hola Melissa,

I simply love your site, it has tons of wonderful information and very delicious recipes!! smile)  Una pregunta, para el ceviche se puede utilizar frozen fish o tiene que ser fresh fish? would frozen fish change the texture of the final product?

Picture of melissa melissa said on...
03.16.08 at 05:36 PM |

Hola Jany!gracias por visitarnos!de haber disponibilidad, sugiero que el pescado a utilizar sea fresco, de otra forma…el “flash frozen” funciona bien, solamente dejar descongelar desde la noche anterior en la refrigeradora. Luego, seguir el procedimiento de acuerdo a la receta.
Que lo disfruten! Un abrazo desde Panama…

Picture of Rick Beck Rick Beck said on...
02.26.09 at 03:12 AM |

Your recipe is great. I do a variation which uses (in proportion) juices of 5 limes, 1 lemon, 1 valencia orange per pound of seafood. This approximates the missing Panamanian limon. I also add diced jicama and tomatillos which are available locally in season. The rest as you state. The added ingredients add a bit of crunch and color. I’ve been told it is the best by numerous aficianados. I lived in Panama and miss the cuisine. Especially the clams. Rick.

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