Ceviche of Ecuador

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The worst month of weather for Tucson is probably June. Temperatures are hitting 100 degrees and higher day in, day out. Monsoon season doesn’t begin until July, and those downpours act like a beacon of deliverance. As we wait for heavy sheets of rain, we also wait for our collective fever to break. The dark clouds push their way over the mountains, and I wait patiently for the sky to pull them across like a blanket. That is what helps the air cool the most: complete coverage and protection from the unrelenting sun. [Sweet relief.]

Understandably, it’s hard to turn on an oven when the air conditioner is pumping and working so hard. Ceviche, a chilled soup, is the perfect summer dish to stay cool. I consulted my former roomie and destined friend, Amy Balto, how to make this dish authentic. She spent a semester abroad in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, plus she’s an encyclopedia of all things cuisine.’Top it with fried plantains or popcorn!’ Done.

We were lucky to have yet another visitor, even in the middle of blistering heat – Wesley Miller. Spencer and his brother have a lot in common, including their sense of humor, affinity for quoting movies, and music talent, and his interest of international cuisine was no different. We were all excited for Ceviche, and it did not disappoint! It’s fresh, crisp, chilled, and filled with delicious ingredients. The plantains on top add the needed textural, starchy component. It’s also easy to assemble: simply chop everything, cook the shrimp, squeeze the limes, and let it sit for several hours for the flavors to mingle. Enjoy, and stay cool!

Ingredient List

  • Shrimp
  • red onions sliced very thinly
  • tomatoes sliced very thinly
  • 1 bell pepper (red or green)
  • The juice of 10-15 limes
  • The juice of 1 orange
  • ketchup or freshly blended tomato juice
  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • Salt, pepper and oil (sunflower or light olive oil)

Quick Quotes

Spencer: “Onions are my thing. Citrus is my thing. Shrimp is my thing. This dish was my thing.”

Wes: “The plantains complimented the ceviche… in such a way. I give it the perfect 5 out of 7 rating. It was really good – super fresh.”

Teresa: “Light, fresh, and delightful. A little too much onion for my taste, but the fried plantains made it.”

Trivial Trifles

  • The capital of Ecuador is Quito
  • The official language is Spanish
  • The country has four main geographical regions, the coast, the highlands, the Amazon Jungle, and the Galapagos Islands
  • It is one of seventeen megadiverse countries in the world, and has the most biodiversity per square kilometer, according to the Conservation International
  • There are 1,600 known bird species in Ecuador, (15% of the world’s known bird species) and 38 of them are found on the Galapagos Islands only
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