Chef Franz Conde is Executive Chef at the Athénée Palace Hilton Bucharest following nine years at Hilton Amsterdam. In the Netherlands he developed and launched the menu and the concept of Roberto’s Amsterdam restaurant and his cookbook Roberto’s Pura Cucina Italiana was published.
Here, for OZB Magazine, Chef Franz explains how to make Ceviche.
The origin of the Ceviche is hotly disputed and fertile subject for speculations. Some claim it came to Perú with the Conquistadores, others that it has a Polynesian or Japanese origin, as it is likely that waves of these people came to the Americas via the Pacific Ocean before Columbus. Related preparations can be found around the world. The Japanese have sushi and sashimi, the Italians have crudo di pesce, the French like to do tartar de poisson, and many seafood delicacies are eaten raw in many cultures, like oysters or sea urchin, to name just two.
In Latin America, there is general agreement that the “masters” of ceviche are the Peruvians, however, there are fantastic Ceviches to be found in Ecuador and Mexico, with other seaside countries like Honduras, Colombia and Venezuela offering their own versions.
When raw fish enters in contact with lime or lemon juice, the protein changes its physical properties (it is called denaturation) and it can be kept edible for longer, while becoming more digestible. Ceviches are very healthy, delicious, protein rich and an absolute delicacy when paired with cold beer or Pisco sour. Wine pairing is difficult due to the acidity and chili-hotness of the dish. Would you like to hear a crazy but amazingly good pairing? Ceviche and ice-cold Romanian Palinka!!!
PREPARATION TIME: 1+ hour
QUANTITY: 4 people
- 400 gr. raw seawater fish. Sea bass or red snapper are ideal
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced and washed with cold water
- 1 habanero chili, thinly sliced, without seeds
- juice of 4 limes
- 3 tsp. of salt
- 1 bunch of coriander
- 2 sweet potatoes, boiled in water with sugar and salt
- 2 sweet corns, boiled in water with sugar and salt
- Roasted crispy corn
- Clean the fish fillets and slice or cut into cubes. The smaller the fish is cut, the faster the ceviche will be cured, but the less succulent will be
- Mix the lime juice with the salt, the onion, one chili cut in half and some sprigs of coriander. This is the marinade and, once the fish has been cured, it will become the sauce of the ceviche, known in Perú as “leche de tigre” (tiger´s milk)
- Marinate the ceviche for 1 hour at least. The old-fashioned way is to marinate it for longer, even overnight, but for delicate fish, the marinating time can be reduced to minutes
- Serve the ceviche, garnish with extra onion, chili and coriander. Accompany with something sweet and something crispy. Like boiled sweet potatoes and sweetcorn, plus roasted crispy corn.
Originally from Venezuela Chef Franz Conde’s professional development was helped greatly by gastronomic giants such as Patrick Dwyerand Armando Scannone, who he had the privilege of working with.