I am a full-time traveling registered nurse, fitness enthusiast, and nutrition expert. Every morning I wake up intending to bring awareness of the importance of health and spiritual wellness, especially to the traveling community. At Messy Bun Traveler, we promote travel that allows the traveler to either kick-start, maintain, or enhance a healthy lifestyle. So whether you're someone who travels for business, travels for pleasure, or new to travel and looking for health advice while on the road, this blog is for you!
Privacy & Disclosure
The Messy Bun Traveler is designed to bring you fun stories, destination guides, and healthy travel advice. To help cover the cost of running this site, all posts are sprinkled with hand-selected affiliate links. When you click on one of these links and make a purchase, I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only accept affiliate links and paid advertisements from brands I believe in, trust and use personally. Thank you for your continued support!
Typical ceviche contains raw fish or seafood tossed and served in a marinade called Leche de Tigre. This marinade is one of the signature flavors that put Peruvian ceviche on the map for international foodies.
It’s a lime-based mixture with freshly squeezed lime, garlic, cilantro, spicy peppers, and onions. You may see it prepared slightly differently in each region of Peru, but this ingredient list is basically the gist.
Ceviche has a long history in Peru. It was typically served at lunchtime as soon as the local fisherman arrived with their catch of the day. This was due to their lack of refrigeration abilities all those years ago.
Archaeologists have even uncovered remains of ancient fishing nets, and the tradition of using boats called caballitos de tortora continues even today in certain areas of Peru.
What truly makes Peruvian ceviche so tasty is the Leche de Tigre marinade. Also, the chiles used in its preparation are powerfully spicy, colorful, and aromatic.
I firmly believe that you can have the best of both worlds of enjoying delicious ceviche while maintaining a vegan or whole-food plant-based diet.
In Peru, ceviche is prepared slightly differently than what you’ll see in other countries like Mexico or Ecuador.
In Central Latin American countries, you’ll see the ceviche as more of a soup-like dish.
However, in Peru, the ceviche is prepared with less lime juice and served on a plate rather than in a bowl. You’ll also see it served with some of Peru’s local superfoods such as sweet potatoes, purple potatoes, and even large kernel corn called choclo native to the country.
The fish marinates in less time and incorporates the use of spicy hot peppers to wake up those taste buds!
While many countries will claim their ceviche to be the best, Peru is the only country that marks the recipe as their national dish.
There is also strong evidence that this recipe was utilized in Peru over two thousand years ago by the Moche people! There is even a holiday (National Ceviche Day) dedicated to its honor!
This Peruvian ceviche recipe has been made vegan by substituting the raw fish for hearts of palm. Hearts of palm is the perfect seafood substitute as it has the consistency and slight flavor of white fish.
Peruvian ceviche, whether vegan or not, is inherently healthy because of its incorporation of fresh and nutritious ingredients. This vegan-inspired Peruvian ceviche is particularly high in vitamin C, protein, essential fatty acids, and fiber.
Until you can go to Peru to experience it for yourself, or if you’re a strict vegan but interested in food that’s bursting in Peruvian flavor, here’s how to make it at home. It’s an opportunity to enjoy ceviche and the flavors of Peru yet still maintain a plant-based (or vegan) diet.
For the side: 1 small sweet potato or ear of corn*, husked
*Peruvians use a large kernel corn called choclo. I tried finding it in my local grocery store with no luck. From what I’ve gathered, it’s pretty challenging to find this specific variety of corn in the United States.
For this recipe, I used Love Corn. Their sea salt flavor is a personal favorite of mine.
Set up a fine-mesh strainer over a bowl. Puree the first four ingredients and a couple of large ice cubes in a blender until smooth. Next, add the onion and pulse 3-4 times. Strain all the liquid into the bowl and season with salt. Cover and chill while prepping the ceviche.
Drain the hearts of palm and rinse under cold water to remove some of the brine. Chop up the cucumber, onion, cilantro, and avocado and add to a large bowl.
Pour the Leche de Tigre marinade over the ceviche mixture and toss to combine. Add salt to taste.
Fill your plate with a heap of ceviche, garnish with the chopped cilantro, and serve with your sweet potato or corn kernels. It can be served immediately or be refrigerated for later.
As a side note, Peruvians love their spice. When making the Leche de Tigre marinade, keep in mind that the habanero pepper has quite the kick. If you’ve got a sensitive palate, scale back the habanero pepper to a quarter slice instead of half. Or substitute it with a deseeded jalapeno pepper instead!
* We will never share your details with any third party