Ceviche might just be Peru’s signature food. Typically ceviche consists of raw fish or seafood tossed and served in leche de tigre, a marinade from a special variety of lime called limon here in Peru. It’s super delicious and healthy too. In this recipe, I use different veggies to recreate a vegan version of the traditional dish, which usually includes raw fish and cooked octopus, squid, scallops, shrimp and more. Vegan mixto ceviche makes a perfect appetizer dish for dinner or a party food.
The ingredients to make vegan mixto ceviche
In this recipe artichokes, cremini mushrooms and zucchini make up the “mixto” of the ceviche dish. I like these options because they are mild in flavor, easily absorb the flavor of the leche de tigre and also the pair well together. But don’t be limited by these recommendations. Mix it up with different varieties of mushrooms and other vegetables. And, hearts of palm make a great substitution for the artichoke hearts.
Want to make it a little bit heartier? Throw in some cooked soy beans or edamame to make the dish more substantial. Soy beans are super similar in texture to tarwi or chocho an Andean bean that is sometimes found in vegetarian or vegan versions of ceviche in Peru. It’s tricky to cook with though due to it’s super bitter flavor and to be honest, you are unlikely to find it in the US.
The variety of lime used in Peruvian ceviche is called a limon. If you ask for a lemon here, that is what you are going to get. Since my arrival over a year ago I’ve found the yellow variety doesn’t exist in any market or grocery store. In many cases, Peruvians unless they’ve lived or traveled outside of Peru don’t even know about a yellow lemon. In terms of flavor, the limon is more acidic and stronger in flavor than other varieties of lime.
The best option for buying limes to make your ceviche is to look for Key Limes. This variety will be much closer in flavor to Peruvian limon. If you are super lucky and live in a large city with access to a Latin American market you may check to see if the Peruvian limon is available as some is being exported to the US.
Aji refers to chili peppers in Peru. The most commonly used are the Aji Amarillo and the Aji Limo. Traditionally the aji limo is used in ceviche to add a bit of spiciness. The best chili pepper to use in place of these two ajis is the habanero pepper. The habanero is much spicier but is closer in flavor to these types of ajis. The trick is to use less of it and to also make sure you de-seed the pepper and scrape out a portion of the inner membrane.
Choclo is a large kernel corn that is not sweet in flavor at all. It is super delicious but more challenging to find in the US and my best suggestion if you can’t find it is to simply leave it out as the sweetness of American corn in my opinion will not pair well with the rest of the dish.
When I lived in NY the choclo was available in the Latin market in Queens but I feel like that was rare and mainly because there was such a large population of Latin Americans living in the area. But check just in case.
If you really want your ceviche experience to be authentic, another option is to purchase a comparable product online such as this canned version displayed here, Choclo desgranado del Peru 6 latas de 20 oz c/u. It’s a little bit pricey and you have to buy six cans but it’s an option!
How to cut onion for vegan mixto ceviche
Red onion is another classic and necessary component when making vegan mixto ceviche. The cut used in ceviche is called plumas or feathers and is pretty easy to cut once you know how. This cut is important because it contributes to the overall look and appearance of the dish. If you want to see step by step instructions on making this cut check out, How to Cut Red Onion Feathers.
Basically, you cut the onion in half and then scoop out the core part, leaving only the outer layers of the onion. Then you slice these longwise to produce long, thin onion slices.
Peruvian Vegan Mixto Ceviche
Leche de Tigre
- 1 cup celery diced small
- ½ cup red onion diced small
- 3 garlic cloves diced small
- 1 ounce cilantro minced
- 20 key limes
- 2 T salt
- 1 ½ T sugar
- 1 sheet nori
- 1 small zucchini whole
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms
- 4-6 artichokes hearts in jar or cooked
- 1 large red onion
- ½ whole Aji limo or other spicy pepper*
- salt as needed
- 2 tsp vegan mayonnaise
- 1 whole sweet potato cooked whole and peeled
- 1 cup choclo
- 1/2 cup cilantro chopped
Leche de Tigre
- Place all the chopped vegetables into a bowl. Juice the limes over the top.
- Add the salt and sugar.
- Use a pestle to crush the vegetables and release the juice in the veggies.
- Tear up the nori sheet into small pieces and add to the vegetables. Mix well.
- Place into the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- When the time has elapsed. Strain the liquid from the veggies and reserve the liquid. Keep refrigerated until ready to combine with ceviche.
- Clean mushrooms well. Then slice into very thin slices. Place into bowl.
- Slice the red onions into fine julienne and set aside.
- Dice up the chili into small pieces and add to bowl of mushrooms.
- Add the cilantro and mix to combine.
- Add the leche de tigre and mix well. Taste and add salt as needed.
- Add the red onions and the mayonnaise. Mix well.
- Slice up the sweet potato into ½” slices.
- Divide up the ceviche into four bowls and add the sweet potatoes and choclo.
Did you try out this recipe? Tell me about it in the comments. I especially want to know how you fared with the substitutions. If you like this recipe for vegan mixto ceviche, please be sure to give it a 5-star rating in the recipe card!
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If you are thinking about making this recipe, here are a couple of my favorite tools to have on hand when preparing vegan mixto ceviche.
First up is the pestle to smash your veggies and release all their yummy flavor into the lime juice. It’s a bit old-fashioned by a game changer in my book. All you really need is the pestle but if you prefer the mortar and pestle combination and plan to use it for other tasks that’s also a possibility!
One recipe calls for squeezing 20 limes!! This little kitchen gadget will make this process so much easier. I LOVE mine and don’t know how I managed for so long without one!
Check out these other Peruvian favorites!