Lime-Marinated Raw Fish (Cebiche)

Serves     6-8


If Peru had an official national dish, it would probably be this preparation of raw fish marinated in citrus juice. Here’s what Morena Escardo, the author of the blog “Peru Delights” has to say about this iconic dish: “For us, cebiche is not something that has recently become fashionable, following the buzz created by chefs like Nobu, Jamie Oliver and Douglas Rodriguez. Peruvians have been polishing plates of raw fish clean, from dusk till dawn, for many centuries.”

Typically this dish is served with boiled sweet potato slices and Peruvian giant kernel corn. I’ve suggested corn on the cob as a reasonable substitute. If corn on the cob isn’t available I think another great way to garnish this dish would be with corn tortilla chips.

The acid in the lime “cooks” the fish, so technically it’s not still raw, for those of you who are squeamish about those sorts of things.


1 ½ lbs. sea bass, halibut, flounder, snapper or other firm ocean-going white fish, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 red onion, cut in fine slices
½ aji amarillo chili pepper, chopped very fine (can substitute jalapeno)
1 garlic clove, chopped very fine
Juice of 12 limes
2 tbsp. cilantro leaves, sliced
1 large sweet potato, boiled, peeled and sliced thickly
1-2 ears of corn, sliced through about 1-2” thick, boiled
Lettuce leaves


Combine fish and onion and wash them together. Drain well.

Place the fish in the serving bowl you wish to use. Season the fish with salt, chili pepper and garlic.

Add the lime juice, and a couple of ice cubes or a couple of tablespoons of iced water.

Let rest for 5 minutes, but no longer than 45 minutes. Discard the ice.

Sprinkle with coriander leaves. Serve immediately with lettuce, corn and sweet potatoes.


Adapted from:

Photo credit:


Notes and Instructions