Easy Peruvian Ceviche Recipe for Beginners

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sweet potato ceviche

What’s Up, Hungry People

As I continue to work my way through the 52 Weeks of Cooking challenge, I’m always on the lookout for the most authentic and delicious version of each week’s topic. Ceviche is one of those dishes I’ve always wanted to try making myself – especially after eating it while on a cruise in the Caribbean – but I’ve been a bit intimidated by the idea of ‘undercooking’ the raw fish! It’s odd, considering my LOVE for sushi, which is essentially 100% raw fish anyway.

Ceviche is actually a fantastic way to introduce someone to “raw” fish before they dive into sushi. While ceviche and sushi come from opposite sides of the world, they both feature raw fish, offering an exciting gateway into the world of other “raw” meats.

sweet corn and sweet potato fish ceviche

The reason I put “raw” in quotes is that ceviche isn’t actually raw at all. While you start with raw fish, the acid in the citrus effectively “cooks” it, so the only real comparison to be made between actual raw fish and ceviche is the texture.

This ceviche recipe may not be 100% authentic to Peru, but it’s certainly packed with flavor. And if you’re not a fan of ceviche in its “raw” form, you can turn it into delicious fish tacos instead!

peru ceviche

Here’s What You Need

  • Raw flounder or fluke fillet: Provides a delicate, mild flavor and a tender texture.
  • Sweet potato: Adds sweetness and a contrasting texture to the ceviche.
  • Habanero pepper: Gives the ceviche a spicy kick.
  • Fresno peppers: Adds a milder heat and a pop of color.
  • Shallot: Adds a subtle onion flavor without overpowering the dish.
  • Sweet corn: Adds a touch of sweetness and crunch.
  • Fresh cilantro: Brings a fresh, herbal note to the ceviche.
  • Salt and pepper: Essential for seasoning and bringing out the flavors.

For Leche de Tigre:

  • Lime juice: The acidity “cooks” the fish and adds a tangy flavor.
  • Lemon juice: Adds another layer of citrusy brightness.
  • Garlic: Provides a depth of flavor and a bit of spice.
  • Fresh cilantro: Adds freshness and an herbal note.
  • Red onion: Adds a sharp, pungent flavor that balances the citrus.
  • Clam juice: Adds a briny, seafood flavor to the marinade.
  • Ice cubes: Keeps the mixture chilled and helps blend the flavors.
leche de tigre sauce

Let’s Cook

Bring a pot of water to a rapid boil. Toss in the sweet potato and let it cook until fork-tender, about 15 minutes. Once done, pull it out and let it cool completely. Slice it in half lengthwise, then use a melon baller to scoop out bite-sized pieces. Set those aside to chill.

Make the Leche de Tigre

Grab your food processor and toss in all the ingredients for the leche de tigre. Give it a few pulses until smooth. Strain it through a sieve into a small bowl. Don’t forget to reserve 2-3 tablespoons of that liquid gold. Cover the rest and let it chill.

ceviche leche de tigre

Combine Everything

Cut your fish into bite-sized pieces. In a large bowl, mix the sweet potato balls, corn, shallot, habanero, Fresno peppers, and cilantro. Pour in the reserved liquid and half of the leche de tigre. Stir it all up and let it sit for 5-8 minutes, just until the fish is no longer opaque.

Serve It Up

Use a slotted spoon to dish out the ceviche. Drizzle with the remaining leche de tigre and sprinkle a bit more cilantro on top.

ceviche at home

Tips for Perfect Ceviche

  • Chilling the Sweet Potato: Let the sweet potato cool completely before adding it to the ceviche to keep the texture firm and pleasant.
  • Balancing the Heat: Adjust the amount of habanero and Fresno peppers to your taste. Start with less if you’re sensitive to spice.
  • Freshness is Key: Use the freshest fish you can find for the best texture and flavor. Ask your fishmonger for sushi-grade options.
  • Leftover Makeover: If you have leftovers, quickly turn them into fish tacos. Just warm up some tortillas and add your favorite toppings.
  • Serving Suggestions: Ceviche pairs well with crispy tortilla chips or on a bed of fresh greens for a light, refreshing meal.
simple homemade ceviche

If you’re looking for a fresh way to enjoy fish, this ceviche is a must-try. The citrus “cooks” the fish, resulting in a unique texture and a burst of flavor that pairs perfectly with the heat from the peppers. Whether you enjoy it on its own or transform it into tacos, this dish is versatile and delicious. Plus, it’s a fun way to experiment with “raw” fish without the worry. Give it a shot and see how you like it. And remember, if you have leftovers, those fish tacos are calling your name!

summer ceviche recipe

Peruvian Ceviche

The Starving Chef
Fresh fish marinated in citrus juices, mixed with sweet potato, peppers, and cilantro for a zesty and spicy dish.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Appetizer, International
Cuisine Fish, International, Peru, Seafood
Servings 6



  • 16 oz raw flounder or fluke fillet chopped into pieces
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 habanero pepper finely diced
  • 2 fresno peppers
  • 1 shallot sliced
  • ½ cup sweet corn
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste


  • cup lime juice
  • cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro
  • ½ cup red onion chopped
  • 2 tablespoons clam juice
  • 4 ice cubes


  • Bring a pot of water to a rapid boil. Boil the sweet potato until it is fork-tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from the pot and let cool completely. Cut it in half lengthwise and use a melon baller to scoop out bite-size pieces of sweet potato. Set aside and chill.
  • In a food processor, combine all the ingredients for the leche de tigre. Pulse until smooth, then strain through a sieve over a small bowl. Reserve 2-3 tablespoons of the liquid. Cover and chill the pureed leche de tigre.
  • Cut the fish into bite-size pieces. In a large bowl, stir in the sweet potato balls, corn, shallot, habanero, and cilantro. Pour the 2-3 tablespoons of reserved liquid plus half of the leche de tigre over the flounder mixture. Stir well to combine and let "cook" in the sauce for 5-8 minutes, until the fish is no longer opaque.
  • Use a slotted spoon to serve the ceviche. Garnish with the remaining leche de tigre and cilantro. Serve right away and enjoy!
Keyword citrus, fish
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