Indulge in the healthy, delicious national dish of Peru at La Costanera Restaurant: Peruvian ceviche. This classic dish, which originated in Peru, combines light yet complex flavors with the freshest ingredients. Although many North Americans have still never tried this entree, it is growing in popularity in the United States. Those who live in cities with at least one good Peruvian restaurant will have no problem finding ceviche.
Its roots can be traced back to almost 2000 years ago, when the Moors brought a similar recipe to the site that is now Peru. This prototype, in which the fish is thought to have been marinated in a fermented juice or beverage, was served to conquistadors and other Spaniards coming to colonize the area. The dish remained over the centuries, evolving into modern-day ceviche. Today, it’s a common dish throughout Central and South America.
The dish, known in Peru as cebiche, is prepared in a number of varieties throughout different countries and regions. Leche de tigre, or tiger’s milk, is the addictive common component in the Peruvian variety. The recipe for this tangy marinade, however, does vary slightly from chef to chef. It’s naturally somewhat milky in texture, but some chefs add evaporated milk. Lime and/or lemon juice is used to “cook” the Peruvian seafood used. However, citric acid, the active “cooking” ingredient, doesn’t heat the fish in the way that conventional cooking would. Sea bass, flounder and sole are common choices, and one regional specialty calls for shark.
Leche de tigre is believed to be both an aphrodesiac and a hangover cure. It may be served alongside ceviche in a shot glass. Onion and garlic are often used to complement Peruvian ceviche, and common garnishes include corn, sweet potato and butter lettuce. La Costanera Restaurant, a popular Peruvian restaurant in Montara Beach, offers four varieties of ceviche. Select three varieties for a ceviche tasting. In addition to amazing ceviche, La Costanera offers other Peruvian seafood, salads, vegetarian entrees and meat dishes in a beautiful oceanside setting.