Sushi / Ceviche: A Japanese / Peruvian Fusion

Dreaming about vacations by the sea? Late summer nights sharing dinner with friends? Well, this is THE thing for you....Why? Because you'll have very fresh fish available (this is mandatory for any dish with raw fish!), because it's easy and fast and healthy (low in fat, high in proteins)...and because you'll be able to "lecture" about the differences between sushi and ceviche...and you'll impress all your friends !!! (LOL) Please, don't forget to say that your personal guru Cristina told you all this... ;D  
Seriously speaking, what is called New Peruvian Cuisine has jumped to international recognition and admiration thanks to the job of young Peruvian chefs like Gaston Acurio.

We all know quite a lot about sushi: It is from Japanese origin...basic ingredients are raw fish and Japanese rice with sushi vinegar...then there are pieces of avocado, cucumber, nori seaweed sheets....We talk about sushi in general, but there are technical differences between sashimi, maki, temaki, etc....and the "famous" California rolls, that are not very Japanese...with the addition of mayonnaise and Philadelphia cheese....But I am not going to deal with that here today! I am more interested in ceviche.
Ceviche is from Peruvian origin, and the big difference with sushi is that raw fish is marinated in citrus juice (and sort of "cooked" in this process) plus, there are other ingredients for extra flavor (yes, an explosion of flavor) such as onions, chili peppers, or even cilantro, red bell peppers, olive oil, etc.
Can I marinate my fish overnight to make triple sure that it will be "safe" for eating? Well, no!!!...because marination time varies with the type of fish, for a thin, flaky variety 15 minutes will be enough...for thicker fish like salmon 45 minutes will be almost a maximum....Why? Well, I am not a chemist so I am not entitled to lecture on this...there is an explanation about molecules forming a tougher chain and all that....but for someone like me, who views results from an empirical standpoint, excess in marination time turns the fish tougher, and less translucid, watch out! Sometimes just tossing the fish in the marinade will do....otherwise, it is NOT ceviche...! (This is what Peruvian cooks say...)

So, in this dish, that can be used as an appetizer (if you make it smaller) or a light lunch, or dinner, we mix the two worlds: Japan with its rice, avocado and nori seaweed, and raw fish, Peruvian style, marinated in lime juice, olive oil, red onions, and chili pepper...Finally, to counterbalance the acid of the marinade, a delicious passionfruit/honey syrup....
Can we ask for more?? Well...your favorite dry white wine, very cold...some candles on the table.....

Ah! I was about to forget....the "marinade leftover" is served in Peru in little shot glasses. This is called "leche de tigre" (tiger milk!) and  is drunk while eating the ceviche...
Who dares?
Enjoy it !!!!!

Now for the recipe.....

To make this sushi / ceviche, you will need:
(four servings)
 * very fresh salmon, 400gr
 * passionfruit, 2
 * honey, 2 tablespoons
 * chili pepper, 1
 * nori seaweed sheet, 1
 * avocado, 2
 * cucumber, 1
 * red onion, 1/2
 * lime juice, 1
 * olive oil, 1 teaspoon

 * japanese rice, 200gr
 * water, 300ml
 * sushi vinegar (made with 3tbsp of rice vinegar, 1tbsp sugar & a pinch of salt)
 * sesame seeds, white and dark, to taste

To make the sushi rice: Rinse the rice with water, several times, till the water comes out clear. Put the rice and water in a saucepan, with the lid on. Take it to a boil. Turn down the heat to low/medium. Cook for aprox. 10' (still lid on). Turn off the heat. Let it sit for 15 '. Spread the rice on a baking dish. Sprinke with the sushi vinegar. Fold the rice, trying not to crush it. Add the sesame seeds. Do not overdo the folding process. We want the little grains to keep separate. Keep at room temperature, covered with a plastic film.

For the salmon marinade: Cut the salmon in 1cm cubes. Put it in a stainless steel bowl previously rubbed with the chili pepper. Add the onion, sliced very thinly, the lime juice and the olive oil. Fold well. Refrigerate no more than 40/45'.

For the passionfruit/honey syrup: Put the content of the passionfruit and honey in a very small saucepan. Take to a boil. Turn down the heat to low. Cook a few minutes more till the consistence of a syrup.

To assemble: Slice the cucumber very thinly and put the slices on the dish, forming a circle (photo) wider in diameter than the ring mold you will use for the rice (here I used a 9 cm mold)  Set your ring mold on the cucumber, and fill it with the rice (height? that's up to, it is around 1,5cm) Slice the avocado and place it on top of the rice (unless you serve it immediately, sprinke the avocado with lemon). Strain the juice from ceviche. Arrange the ceviche on top. Sprinkle with the passionfruit/honey syrup. Decorate with the nori seaweed sheets sliced very thinly.

Recipe adapted from "Revista El Gourmet", Argentina.


Denise said…
arrrgggghhh I was happy to see that no one has yet commented and I wanted to be first on the great Cristina’s blog this time! Then what happens? I cannot read the visual verification, AGAIN!!!
This is so maddening, especially when you post such a gorgeous dish – the kind I want to push everyone out of the way for and then just dive in with my fork, er, chopsticks ;)
This is not interesting my friend, it is stunning!!
fromBAtoParis said…
Thank you, Denise !!! Your comments are always so encouraging AND humorous !!!
Muchas Gracias!
Loli said…
Para una "adicta" al sushi como yo....divino!!
Dot said…
What a gorgeous photo! and a great idea... you're combining two of my faves, sushi and ceviche- genius! (I just posted this in the Spotlight today on Foodwhirl:

by the way, i found you through tastespotting, and I'm so happy to have discovered your blog!

Jean said…
What a beautiful dish. Presentation is A+. I can almost taste this. Great job! :-)
Lori Lynn said…
Your plating is lovely. Great post, we love Peruvian cuisine, your explanation is terrific.
Cheers! I'm craving a pisco sour!
fromBAtoParis said…
@ Dot: Thank you Nancy !! and thanks for letting me know It's a great site !! Congrats...

@ Jean: Coming from you, I feel honored! Thanks
sara826 said…
This dish is stunning! I can picture myself eating it on a beautiful day at the shore. All by myself, so I wouldn't have to share it with anyone.
Unknown said…
This looks so fresh and beautiful, like a little rainbow on a plate :)
Have a wonderful weekend.
*kisses* HH
Just lovely! This has all my favorite flavors and MAJOR plate-appeal. Bravo!
Magdalena said…
Hello! Absolutely great ! I love ceviche and I even made one not so long time ago (I used cabbilaud and salmon) and I added fresh cucumbers on the bottom, like you. However, I did not decide to put it on my blog, as the dressing was too acid (I used some Thai spices but despite the fact that I added palm sugar into dressing, it was still a bit too acid). The idea of your dressing is great, as great is your picture and presentation. I will prepare again my ceviche and I will use your idea for the dressing. Take care!
Jessica said…
Very interesting recipe. For some reason I never pictured Peru as having many dishes involving fish, but DUH, they're on the coast! LOL

I guess I've always envisioned llamas... ;-D

Thanks for the great information and the delicious recipe!
I saw your photo on TasteSpotting and had to come and take a look. Your blog is so lovely and I love the drama of your dish. Beautiful.
fromBAtoParis said…
@ Lori Lynn: Wait for me....looking for my pisco bottle...Cheers !!!

@ Magdalena: Thanks for your sincere comment!

@ Jessica: Don't worry !! Peruvians and Argentinians are neighbors and for a long time I also ignored the existance of "ceviche"...Thanks!

@ Lynne: Welcome to my blog and Thanks !!!!
Sara Miki said…
Congratulations.....looks awesome!
Anonymous said…
I had been away and very busy for while and hadn't visited your blog for a long (too long) time...
Already it's hard to keep up with you, but this time I am(yet again) amazed, flabbergasted, stunned, baffled, bewitched ! Such variety, so much know-how, imagination, sense of beauty, elegant and friendly atmosphere ! And to add to your charms, for those who don't know you, such a truly NICE PERSON as well ! Those who haven't seen your blog yet don't know what they are missing... No wonder you are so successful already - and this is only a beginning I'm sure.
Suerte ! Te lo mereces.
fromBAtoParis said…
My Dear YKW,

How do I continue after all your nice words...Wow!!
I don't know if I merit it all, but one thing is are a TRUE friend !
Merci beaucoup !!!!
bunkycooks said…
Your photos are just gorgeous! This is a beautiful combination of flavors.
Barbara said…
Oh Cristina, that is an exquisite photo! You have such a talent for food presentation!
It makes you want to run right to the grocery store to make it for supper. I make ceviche often, but it doesn't hold a candle to this.

Marvelous instructions too...tons of information.
Charlotte said…
thank you for sharing your knowledge about ceviche.. I love knowing the history of food. next time I have a fresh salmon, I'll definitely make a ceviche! :)
Magic of Spice said…
Stunning! Love sushi and this is an absolute must...Beautiful presentation and photos:)
Claudia said…
Que maravilla Cristina, te ha quedado perfecto. Las fotos preciosas.
Un beso.
Anonymous said…
Beautiful! I'm having sushi for lunch and now I'm counting down the hours!
One of the most original fusion dish I have seen. I am a fan of Peruvian food after going there on a trip. Great idea.
Claudia said…
Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. I'm still afraid to make it mind you - I don't know why trust others rather than myself. Would you make me some? The plating is a work of art. The flavors are enticing. Loving this.
Two of my favorite things - magnifique !!
Stella said…
Ooh Cristina, this is beautiful. It looks so delicious and healthful. You know, salmon is my favorite fish. And Peruvian food is so special. It started to be popular here, but the economy is so bad that no one is eating out right now, so... Maybe I will make this for us when I see some super fresh fish.
XO, Stella

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