I can’t think of better dishes for entertaining than ceviches. They are light, refreshing and can be made the day before or a few hours ahead. It is the ideal first course or snack.

Ceviches (also spelled as cebiches and seviches) are marinated foods that can be found in most Latin American countries, but the ceviches from Ecuador and Peru are justly the most famous in South America, definitely the most varied and unusual. Ceviches made with fish and shellfish are the most popular, but in Ecuador and Peru a variety of vegetables are also used to make different variations of ceviches. The fish must be absolutely fresh in order to make fish ceviches. The raw fish is “cooked” in the marinade and some shellfish like scallops are also used raw. Shrimp, chicken, mushrooms and other vegetables have to be pre-cooked before adding to the marinade. The ceviches from Ecuador are soupy because they are served with the marinade, while the Peruvian are more like a salad. Ceviches from Mexico are also famous and better known in the U.S. This is one kind of specialty that captures the heart and the palate of anybody who has traveled to the Latin America countries. Click here for my famous marinated shrimp & hearts of palm ceviche.