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Peruvian ceviche, an ancient seafood dish, joins UNESCO’s intangible heritage list

Peruvian ceviche, a traditional dish that consists of raw fish or seafood marinated in lime juice, onion, chili peppers, and cilantro, has been recognized by UNESCO as part of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity.

The dish, which is served with corn, sweet potato, plantain chips, or corn nuts as sides, is a national symbol of Peru and a reflection of its cultural identity and diversity. It is also widely enjoyed in other Latin American countries and across the globe.

Peruvian ceviche has a long history that dates back to pre-Columbian times, when the indigenous people of the coastal regions used to preserve fish with the juice of tumbo, a local fruit similar to passion fruit. The dish evolved over time with the introduction of lime juice by the Spanish colonizers and the incorporation of influences from African, Asian, and European cuisines, creating a unique fusion of flavors and techniques.

In 2019, Peruvian ceviche was added to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO, acknowledging its value as a culinary expression that showcases the history, creativity, and diversity of Peru. The inscription also aims to support the preservation and transmission of the traditional knowledge and practices related to the preparation and consumption of ceviche.

If you are interested in making Peruvian ceviche at home, here is a simple recipe that you can follow:


– 1 ½ pounds of fresh and high quality white fish fillets (such as halibut, mahi mahi, or sea bass), cut into small cubes
– 1 cup of freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 15-20 limes)
– 1 red onion, thinly sliced
– 1-2 habanero peppers, seeded and minced
– ¼ cup of fresh cilantro, finely chopped
– Salt and pepper to taste
– Lettuce leaves, corn, sweet potato, plantain chips, and corn nuts for serving


– In a large glass bowl, toss the fish cubes with salt and cover with cold water. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
– In another bowl, rub the onion slices with salt and rinse with cold water. Drain well and set aside.
– In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, habanero peppers, and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
– Drain the fish and discard the water. Return the fish to the bowl and pour the lime juice mixture over it. Stir well to coat the fish evenly. Refrigerate for another 10-15 minutes or until the fish turns opaque and firm.
– To serve, divide the fish ceviche among four plates and top with onion slices. Serve with lettuce leaves, corn, sweet potato, plantain chips, and corn nuts on the side. Enjoy!

Source: Conversation with Bing, 10/12/2023
(1) Peruvian fish cebiche or ceviche – Laylita’s Recipes.
(2) Authentic Peruvian Ceviche Recipe by Eat Peru.
(3) Peruvian Fish Ceviche Recipe | Food Network.

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