Ceviche is considered healthy

Berlin (dpa / tmn) - A poor people's meal from Peru, that was originally ceviche. It later became the national dish of the South American country. Today it can be found on the menus of the hottest restaurants.

"Ceviche is a phenomenal meal. It is exceptionally healthy and energizing," says Jana Daedelow, co-owner and managing director of "Cevicheria" in Berlin-Kreuzberg.

There is no one recipe, there are countless variations. Why is that? "The word ceviche describes the form of preparation," explains Daedelow. The principle of this dish is to combine fresh fish with vegetables depending on the daily offer. And that's as easy and quick as possible, writes the London-based Portuguese Martin Morales in his cookbook "Ceviche". "The types of fish and ingredients suggested in the recipes are only intended as a guide."

In general, white-fleshed fish with a higher fat content such as salmon, char, trout, but also tuna or turbot are suitable. The fish must be very fresh, otherwise the fine taste will not come into its own. "Old fish remains old fish," says star chef Markus Kebschull from the "Seesteg" restaurant on Norderney. Certain aromas can be whitewashed with acid, but that's not the point.

Once the fish has been filleted, it is cut into thin slices or pieces and soaked in so-called tiger milk for a maximum of 15 minutes. This marinade is at the heart of ceviche. "And every chef's secret," says Daedelow. "The most important ingredient is lime juice. In addition, there are crushed herbs such as coriander, parsley or basil and a bit of spiciness - with chilli, for example," explains Kebschull. Alternatively, grapefruit juice or the juice of another citrus fruit can be used.

There are no limits to the variations, as long as the marinade contains citrus fruits. Because the fish is cooked by the acid. The meat is denatured and the protein's consistency is changed. This kills possible bacteria or microorganisms and extends the shelf life of the raw fish somewhat. This works in a similar way to smoking or pickling fish.

The cold fish dish is rounded off with garlic and onions with some vegetables. "That varies depending on the region. It is often served with peppers, olives or palm hearts," says Kebschull. Boiled sweet potatoes or corn go well as a side dish. The side dishes can also reduce the heat and acidity if necessary.

According to legend, tiger milk awakens incredible powers. "Every Peruvian will tell you about the miraculous properties of tiger milk," writes Martin Morales. The marinade is said to be not only a panacea after a heavy hangover, but also has a stimulating and aphrodisiac effect.

In Peru, therefore, tiger milk is never thrown away, but is often produced more than necessary. It is then served as a drink or mixed with other ingredients in a row of schnapps glasses.

Literature:

Martin Morales: "Ceviche - Peruvian Cuisine", Edition Fackeltr├Ąger, 24.95 euros, ISBN-13: 978-3771645519