This summer in Panama I got the chance to enjoy a marvelous dinner at El Trapiche a Panamanian cuisine restaurant very popular among tourist and locals as well, which is always a good sign.
There I ate a classic menu with fried everything…and a corvina ceviche. Everything was delicious as expected. But lately is fashion in Panama to eat “ceviche gourmet”, which is like an elevated version of this classic, so I tried too.
There are many variations, but the common base is ceviche, mayo and herbs. From that point on you will be amaze with the flavors and combinations available.
The first ceviche follows the simple recipe for ceviches in Panama, and just a few ingredients are needed: fish or seafood, lemon juice, onion and cilantro. Garlic and chili peppers are actually optional, but very advisable.
Ceviche First way
- 400 g cooked octopus, chopped
- 1 small red onion, chopped
- Juice of 3 lemons
- 2-3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
- Salt to taste
- Chilli pepper chopped (optional)
- Minced garlic (optional)
Clean and remove the suckers from the arms of the octopus. Cut into small squares and put it in a bowl, pour the lemon juice, salt, onion, cilantro (chili pepper and garlic).
Mix and cover with a plastic wrap, put it in the fridge until serving. The octopus is already cooked, so no need to wait long before eat it, but a few hours in the fridge will help intensify the flavors.
- 1 cup octopus ceviche (approx.)
- 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons crème fraîche or Greek yogurt
- A handful of dried cranberries
- A handful of chopped walnuts
- Half chopped apple
- A pinch of sugar
- Chives for decoration
Drain the marinade from the ceviche. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and add sugar to correct the acidity or a bit of the marinade if it’s too bland. Don’t add too many extra ingredients because we don’t want to overpower the taste of the ceviche.
Both Ceviches are served in a cup with saltine or soda crackers and a cold beer.