Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Cooking Ecuadorian Style

We love living in our new culture here in Cumbaya!! God has truly blessed us with a love for the people, the country, the culture, and the food. We have always been fairly adventurous when it comes to food. One of the foods that we love is ceviche! It is a specialty in this part of the world, and we have started making it in our home.
A man in our church works in Manta, a town on the Pacific Ocean about six hours from here. He brought us several pounds of this very unusual fish from a trip. The family told us it was " muy rico" ( very good); so, we could not wait to try it. We tried sautéing it. Then, we tried frying it. We just were not getting it right. What we did not know is this fish is to be used for ceviche.

The "cooking process" in ceviche is different than others you may have tried, but it is perfectly safe. You marinate the fish in acidic lemon juice and it "cooks" the fish. You can see it happen, and it can actually overcook too.
The magic of ceviche is the combination of flavors and textures with the toppings that you add to your fish. You layer on generous amounts of your favorites of chopped tomatoes, Spanish purple onions, scallions, cilantro, plantain chips, popcorn, and corn nuts.  Ecuadorians have taught us the varieties are endless with additional choices of condiments on top such as hot sauce, mayonnaise, ketchup, even mustard.  Each person makes their own little masterpiece. Ceviche also comes in a shrimp version or in a "cho-cho" vegetarian bean version if the fish marinated in lemon juice is really just too much for you. Whichever one you try, they are fantastic! Oh, my mouth is watering just thinking about it!! You really need to come and taste it for yourself.