Ceviche is a popular dish in the coastal regions of South America and even gained popularity in the kitchens of the southern states of America. Historians believe that this delicacy has it’s roots in Peru, where it was already on the menu two thousand years ago. Nowadays Peruvian cuisine is hot and happening, with ceviche as one of its most famous and popular dishes.
Basically ceviche contains raw fish, that is marinated in lemon or lime juice. The fish is often served together with raw onions, salt, cilantro and chili peppers. The result is a refreshing and salty ‘summer soup’, rich of flavors and textures.
There are many ceviche variation possible: ceviche with white fish, octopus or shrimps. Or with grapefruit, mango or coconut. Another variation is a fish friendly version: vegan ceviche, the subject of this post. For this version I got inspired by a lovely mango ceviche with coconut I ate in Santa Marta, Colombia. So this version will have a Caribbean – Colombian twist.
So, how to ‘veganise’ ceviche? For making a vegan version there are a few challenges. The first one is to create a savoury, fishy flavor. I found the solution in seaweed. I use two sorts: samphire and kombu. Seaweed contains many important minerals like magnesium, calcium, folate, zinc, iron, selenium and iodine. It’s also an excellent source of protein, fibre and vitamins, especially vitamin K and folic acid. But be aware: it’s important to wash the salt from seaweed because you don’t want to get an overdose of iodine. And not to use too much seaweed if you’re stomach is not familiar with it.
The second challenge is to create the fleshy texture of fish. Therefore I chose palm heart. You can by them in cans or jars. But also mango has a fleshy texture. Another option is to use mushrooms. Marinated and steamed oyster mushrooms and shitake have a very similar ‘bite’ and taste like fish.
- This ceviche is great as a starter. It also goes well with side dishes like sweet potato, corn and avocado.
- You can serve the ceviche together with tortilla or plantain chips.
- I am not very precise with the exact amount of the ingredients. If you prefer more or less chili’s, onions, garlics, palm hearts or whatsoever feel free to adjust to your taste!
- The palm hearts from a jar I used were very hard, so I cooked them for ten minutes to soften. Maybe this isn’t necessary when you use canned palm hearts.
- The ceviche can also be served in a cocktail glass. It looks fancy!
For some Colombian music during cooking and eating go to te article ‘Viva Musica Colombiana ‘Nueva’‘.
Vegan Mango Ceviche Recipe
Serves: 8 small portions
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Waiting time: 2 hours
juice of 5 limes
coconut water (about 200 ml)
1 tsp garlic paste (from 2 garlic cloves)
2 tbsp agave syrup
a pinch of sea salt
a piece of kombu, washed very well
1 mango, peeled and diced into chunks
150 gr. palm hearts, chopped into chunks
100 gr. samphire
1 red onion, finely chopped
3 red chilies
fresh coriander/cilantro, finely chopped
3 tbsp peanuts
Cook or steam the samphire for 5 minutes with a small amount of water.
Prepare the marinade. Pour the lime juice, coconut water, agave syrup, garlic paste and salt in a big bowl and stir. Add the kombu.
Add the mango, palm heart, onion, chilies, cilantro and samphire to the marinade and mix everything well. All ingredients should be covered with the marinade.
Cover the bowl and put in the fridge. Wait at least 2 hours. Then take out of the fridge. Remove the komby. Optionally you can leave some little pieces of kombu in the ceviche for some extra sea flavour. Add peanuts to the ceviche and serve. Buen provecho!