Ready in: 30 minutes
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 2-inch rounds
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 pound fresh, skinless salmon (or your favorite fish)
1 serrano pepper, thinly sliced*
12 ounces of key limes (about 24 limes)**
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Romaine lettuce to plate
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the sweet potato until fork tender. Transfer to a bowl of iced water to chill. Remove and set aside for plating.
2. Place the red onion in a bowl of water. This will mellow the flavor of the onion so it doesn't overpower the ceviche.
3. Lay the salmon flat on a cutting board. Slice the fish into 1-inch strips, then cut strips to make 1-inch cubes. Place the fish in an even layer in a shallow baking dish. Season with sea salt.
4. Cut the limes in half, then use a lemon squeezer to gently squeeze the key lime juice over the salmon. In the JW kitchen, there isn't an exact measurement as to how much lime juice you need; it's done "al ojo", or as you go. Squeeze enough lime juice to cover the pieces of fish halfway. (Chef Rely's tip: Don't "over-squeeze" the lime, as doing so will draw the oils from the rind which can make the ceviche taste bitter.)
5. Add the sliced pepper, then cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 15 minutes, gently tossing the fish after seven minutes or so to make sure it's evenly "cooked" by the lime juice. Taste for seasoning and add an extra pinch of salt as needed. Gently stir in the cilantro so the fish keeps its form.
6. Plate the ceviche over Romaine lettuce. Garnish with drained red onion and extra cilantro. Serve with chilled sweet potato.
* The Limo chili (or Ají Limo) is a super hot chili from Peru, ají being the word for chili pepper in South America. They are commonly used in ceviche, and other Peruvian dishes and garnishes. Because I couldn't find ají limo at my market, I went with a Serrano pepper instead.
**One reason ceviche made in the U.S. doesn't seem to taste like the one they make in Peru is the limes. The limes there have a more robust flavor, whereas the limes we find here leave you feeling like there's "something missing" -- when it comes to ceviche, at least. We decided key limes would be the best option to recreate this dish at home, as they are typically juicier (I'll say!) and have a higher acidity than Persian limes.