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Peru gave us Macchu Picchu, pisco sours and Paddington Bear, but the real national treasure is its food.  Visually pleasing, texturally rich and colorful, Peruvian food is a real gastronomic experience. As the Organization of American States honors Peruvian cuisine with The Award for Cultural Heritage of the Americas, one of Lima’s top chefs generously shares his ceviche recipe here with GMF.

Chef Coque Ossio is currently chef and owner of restaurants in Lima and Cuzco, the gastronomic consultant to a luxury hotel chain, a food stylist, known for his work in Tony Custer’s acclaimed Art of Peruvian Cuisine and professor at La Escuela de Chefs de la Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola. Ceviche can be found in most Peruvian restaurants, and it’s fish and/or seafood marinated in fresh lime and spices.

In ancient Peru, the Mochica marinated fresh fish with fermented juice of the tumbo, a local fruit. The Incas used chicha, or corn beer.  Later, the Spaniards arrived with lemons and onions, and the rest is delicious history…

Chef Coque Ossio’s Ceviche

1¾ lbs flounder fillets
1 red onion, very finely sliced
½ red ají limo or chili peppers, very finely chopped
½ yellow ají limo or chili peppers, very finely chopped
Juice of 16 key limes

1 boiled ear of corn, cut into rounds
1 boiled sweet potato

Cut fish into bite-size pieces and mix together with onion in large bowl.

Wash onion and fish and drain well. Season with salt and ají limo. Toss fish preparation quickly in lime juice. Refresh by adding a couple of ice cubes, mixing well and removing immediately before they have a chance to melt.  Serve ceviche immediately in a deep dish, accompanied by boiled sweet potato, fresh cooked corn and lettuce leaves.  Serves 4.