In the past year, I’ve seen more and more Peruvian restaurants in Lima adding Ceviche Frito (Fried Ceviche) to their menu. The concept sounds perplexing, but really isn’t. It’s basically battered and fried seafood that is given the same treatment of purple onions and bits of rocoto or aji amarillo that are soaked lime juice (basically, leche de tigre) poured over it just like a typical Peruvian ceviche.The original Ceviche Frito was invented by chef Luis Alberto Sacilotto (now at Amor Amar) at the Lima restaurant La Gloria and included fried anchovies and chunks of fish in leche de tigre. The combination of the crunchy seafood and zing of the lime added just before serving is both refreshing and filling.
El Mercado – The Ceviche Mercado, a type of fried ceviche, is the perfect combination of texture and flavor. The batter on the calamar (squid) and pejerry (sort of like an anchovy) makes it more filling than most Peruvian cebiches, though the leche de tigre and aji amarillo help it retain the bright and fresh flavors. Hipólito Unanue 203 (1 block from Av. La Mar) Miraflores, Lima, Peru; tel: 221-1322.
La Gloria – Apart from their typical cebiche Frito, La Gloria offers a sort of Amazonian version with fried Paiche, heart of palm, and aguaymanto. Calle Atahualpa 201 Miraflores, Lima, Peru; tel: 511-445-5705.
Embarcadero 41 Fusion – Casual Cevicheria chain Embarcadero’s fusion restaurant prepares their Ceviche Frito almost like a Jalea: all of the sea food is fried and so are the slices of purple onion. There’s no leche de tigre to go with it, just a few slices of lime to squeeze over the mixture. Av. Joaquín Madrid 490, San Borja; tel: 511-260-4790; www.embarcadero41.com.
Writer and photographer Nicholas Gill is the editor/publisher of New World Review. He lives in Lima, Peru and Brooklyn, New York. His work has appeared in publications such as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, CondeNast Traveler, National Geographic Traveler, Afar, and Penthouse. Visit his personal website (nicholas-gill.com) for more information.