Recipe reprinted by permission from Ceviche: Peruvian Kitchen by Martin Morales, published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson.
Sea bream, Dover sole or any other firm-textured, extremely fresh white fish can replace the sea bass in this recipe. Use fine sea salt for making any kind of ceviche, as it’s higher in quality than other salts and better for “cold cooking” fish.
For the chili paste:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
100 grams frozen or fresh seeded chilies of your choice (or 35 grams reconstituted dried chilies, seeded and roughly chopped)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
For the tiger’s milk:
1 small piece of fresh ginger root cut in half
1 small garlic clove, halved
4 coriander sprigs, roughly chopped
8 limes, juiced
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons chili paste
For the ceviche:
1 large red onion, very thinly sliced
600 grams sea bass fillet (or other white fish), skinned and trimmed
Fine sea salt
Portion of tiger’s milk
A few coriander sprigs, leaves finely chopped
1 limo chili, seeded and finely chopped
1 sweet potato, cooked and cut into small cubes
To make chili paste, put vegetable oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and chilies and sauté over low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring regularly. Add crushed garlic cloves and sauté 5 minutes until everything is very soft but hasn’t browned. Put contents of the saucepan into a food processor or blender and blitz until smooth. (Chili paste can be stored in the fridge in a sterilized jar until ready to use.)
For tiger’s milk, put ginger root, garlic halves, chopped coriander sprigs and lime juice in a bowl. Stir and let infuse for 5 minutes. Strain mixture through a sieve into another bowl. Add salt and 2 teaspoons of chili paste and mix well. Tiger’s milk will keep for 4 hours in the fridge.
To prepare ceviche, soak the sliced red onion in ice water for 5 minutes. Drain thoroughly, spread out on paper towels or a clean tea towel to soak up any excess water, then refrigerate until ready to use (this will help onions stay crisp).
Cut fish into uniform strips of around 3 by 2 cm. Place in a large bowl, add a good pinch of fine sea salt and mix together gently with a metal spoon (the salt will help open the fish’s pores). Leave the fish mixture for 2 minutes, then add tiger’s milk and combine gently with the spoon. Leave fish to “cook” in the marinade for 2 minutes. Add the onions, coriander, chili and sweet potato. Mix gently with the spoon and taste to check the balance of salt, sourness and spice. Divide among bowls and serve immediately.