June 28th is National Ceviche Day in Peru, where it’s one of the national dishes. The holiday has arrived in the U.S.—a healthy celebration for trying new ceviche recipes.
Ceviche—shellfish cured by citrus juice acid—has been popular in Latin America for many centuries. It dates some 2,000 years to an Inca dish of raw marinated fish.
The dish was discovered by Spanish conquistadors in the 1500s; they added the lime juice and onion that are integral to modern ceviche. The name “ceviche,” pronounced say-VEE-chay, is thought to come from the Spanish “escabeche,” meaning marinade.
Today, ceviche—spelled seviche or sebiche in some countries—is so popular that there are cevicherias, restaurants that specialize in ceviche.
There’s a whole menu of ceviche, from different types of fish and seafood to country-specific preparations. Each country adds its own spin based on local seafood and preference for ingredients like avocado. Some add a dressing of ketchup or a combination of ketchup and mayonnaise.
Ceviche is delicious “health food.”
> More on the the history of ceviche.
Executive Chef Damian Gilchrist of the Ocean Reef Club in North Key Largo, Florida serves Florida Lobster “Ceviche-Style” with Watermelon Salad. Here’s his recipe, which serves four as a main or eight as a first course.
You can substitute other crustaceans—scallops, shrimp—or fish.
1. Mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl to thoroughly combine. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
2. Serve atop watermelon planks with mache and drizzled with balsamic syrup. For balsamic syrup, reduce balsamic vinegar or buy a ready-made balsamic glaze.
 Shrimp ceviche (photo © Shrimp Council).