During our amazing vacation at the Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort of Costa Rica, we were taught how to make ceviche ~ Costa Rica Style! Craig and I were treated to a private cooking lesson with Chef Hanier from the resort’s fine dining seafood restaurant, Ostra. We learned how to combine fresh fish with local ingredients to create the most delectable ceviche ever!
What is ceviche?
Ceviche (pronounced “seh-VEE-chay”) is a Latin American recipe for raw fish and seafood marinated in citrus juice, usually lime and lemon juice. The acid in the citrus juice breaks down the proteins in the fish, effectively cooking the fish. Because the protein is cooked by the acid, ceviche isn’t heated and can be served cold or at room temperature.
Isn’t enjoying the local food and culture the best part about travel?
Chef Hanier made it very easy for us. All of the ingredients were already assembled, sliced and diced. The freshly caught fish and shellfish was cut into small, bite size pieces and the vast array of diced peppers, onions, tomatoes, cilantro, corn and garlic was resting in stainless steel bowls on ice and ready to go.
Both Craig and I could choose any combination of these types of fish: Red Snapper, Grouper, Tuna, Octopus, Sea Bass or Prawns. Then we added fresh lemon and lime juice, salt and pepper, cilantro and any of the other colorful ingredients. We mixed it all together and added several tablespoons of the chef’s homemade sauces. I don’t know how to make the sauces, but I could try based upon the ingredients list. Our Costa Rican recipe for ceviche was unbelievably delicious and so fresh!
Special Sauce Combinations
Mango ~ fried plantain, avocado, rocoto
Spicy ~ jalapeño, panameño, rocoto cream
Classic ~ leche de tigre, red onion, cilantro, cancha corn
Yellow Pepper ~ jumbo corn, lemon, red onion
Caribeño ~ coconut milk, tomato, ginger
We had so much fun and honestly I did not realize how easy it was to make! After talking with some of the local people, we learned that ceviche is a very common dish to prepare in every Costa Rican household. Typically, they would mix fresh fish, lots of fresh lime juice, cilantro and maybe chopped onion and/or jalapeño. The family recipe is simple and once it was mixed together, they would put it in the refrigerator for about four hours. When the ceviche was ready to eat, they serve it in large bowls, family-style, with tortillas, chips and spoons to catch every drop!
We were served our own personal preparations in gorgeous glass serving bowls after the Chef had placed the perfect garnish on top. While drinking an icy cold Imperial, a Costa Rican Beer, we scooped up our divine ceviche with house made potato and sweet potato chips. Did I say it was delicious?!
Designed to emulate a personal residence, the exquisite Ostra, is the fine dining seafood restaurant at the resort. The service is impeccable and all of the elegant latin influenced dishes on the menu were out of this world. We enjoyed several romantic dinners there and it felt like we had engaged our own personal chef to create our perfect meal. I am still dreaming of our delicious experience!
25 thoughts on “How to Make Ceviche ~ Costa Rica Style!”
Your ceviche looks delicious! Costa Rica is such a fabulous spot to visit. Your photos of the Ostra and resort make me want to book a plane ticket. 🙂
Sue – You should pack your bags and go!
Looks like you and Craig had much fun and your ceviche looks delicious!
Mary, we had a great time and the ceviche was outstanding!
Love ceviche and you have given some great ideas for different sauce combinations. Some of the ingredients are unfamiliar to me, but I will look them up.
Paula, I wasn’t familiar with all of the ingredients either, but I knew I could try! The sauces really added to the dishes.
I love ceviche. You’ve inspired me to try it with crayfish next summer. Now to choose a sauce to serve with it!
Jenny, I would love to see photos of your dish when you decide to make it!
Looks like a captivating resort! We love ceviche and have enjoyed many types in different parts of Mexico, Peru and Ecuador but never in Costa Rica (yet:-)
Irene, my guess is that the ceviche you have enjoyed in those other countries is very similar to what we made. The resort is out of this world!
How great to have a cooking lesson while traveling — and to have all the ingredients purchased, cleaned, and diced for you. What fun! I have not made ceviche, but must do so soon.
I also love the natural wood wall details and that carved bench — beautiful place! Looks dreamy all around!
Josie, dreamy is a great adjective for this resort!
I’ve never eaten ceviche. I’ve always been a little leery of the raw fish. But after reading this, I think I need to give it a try. The resort looks fabulous.
Donna, if you purchase your fish from a reliable source, it just tastes like protein with a delicious topping. Try it!
I love ceviche in all it’s variations! We’ve found it offered in many restaurants from Mexico and coastal cities throughout Central America and South America and order it every chance we get. Now, with your ideas, I’m going to have to try making it myself.
I can’t wait to hear how you make your ceviche Anita.
mmmhh – I love a good Ceviche! The first time I tried one was in San Jose in CR. I still remember it well, even though by now I have tried numerous variations in Peru and Chile.
Juergen, did you find that the ceviche is similar the South American countries?
Thanks for this ceviche post! I am in competition with a friend of mine (she doesn’t know it) to make the better ceviche, so I’ll be reading carefully and experimenting.
Kristin, I look forward to hearing about your recipe. Photos please!
Sounds like an great cooking lesson. Personally, I only eat my fish cooked through.
Carole, not everyone likes raw fish, but that is ok. It was a very fun cooking lesson.
Wow, fantastic ingredients, I love simple and fresh and of course amazing surroundings like this wonderful place, stunning!
Noel, it was a truly breathtaking place and a super fun cooking lesson.
I’ve never quite believed that citrus can really “cook” fish and seafood, so I’ve steered clear of ceviche. However, based on your experience, I’m willing to give it a try next time the opportunity presents itself.