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Recipe courtesy of Julio-Cesar Florez

Cebiche Carretillero

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Peru is the birthplace of cebiche (ceviche), a dish of acid-cooked seafood that is all about freshness. This version is popular in Lima; the term ''carretillero'' means that it is served from a street cart. The crunchiness and temperature of the warm fried octopus provides a nice contrast to the cold fish. Peruvians call the tangy liquid the fish has soaked in ''leche de tigre'' (tiger's milk) and consider it an aphrodisiac and hangover cure; when you are done eating the fish, pick up your bowl or plate and drink it.
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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 35 min
  • Active: 35 min
  • Yield: 1 serving
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Ingredients

Directions

Special equipment:
a deep fryer (optional), deep-fry thermometer
  1. Heat a few inches of oil in a deep fryer or small heavy pot set over medium-high heat until it reaches 350 degrees F on a deep-fry thermometer. Put the pieces of octopus in a bowl and toss with 1 1/2 teaspoons of the garlic puree. Place flour in a shallow bowl and coat the pieces of octopus evenly with flour. Shake off the excess flour, place the octopus in the oil and fry until golden. Drain on a rack or paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and set aside.
  2. Combine the aji limo, cilantro, remaining 1 teaspoon garlic puree and a pinch of salt in a medium bowl and mash with the bottom of a spoon. Cut the fish into 1/2-inch-thick slices and place in the bowl with the aji limon. Sprinkle the fish with salt and toss to coat evenly. Set aside for 2 minutes, then add the lime juice and toss again. 
  3. Line a plate with lettuce leaves. Place the sweet potato, choclo kernels and cancha on one side.  Next to it place the cebiche, along with the liquid in the bowl (''leche de tigre''). Top with drained strips of red onion and fried octopus and enjoy. 

Cook’s Note

Cebiche is not a dish eaten very cold; it tastes better when the ingredients are room temperature, so don't worry about chilling the ingredients or the plates it's served on. Choclo corn is a Peruvian variety with very large kernels, often sold boiled and frozen. Cancha corn is a kind of toasted corn similar to corn nuts. You can buy both types of corn in some larger supermarkets and in grocery stores catering to Peruvian or South American customers, or find them online.

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