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Ceviche

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Ceviche with lime

Ceviche with lime.

Cameron Whitman / Getty Images

Ceviche (pronounced "seh-VEE-chay") is a Latin American recipe for raw fish and seafood marinated in citrus juice, mainly lime and lemon juice. The acid in the citrus juice coagulates the proteins in the fish, effectively cooking it.

Because the protein is cooked by the acid, ceviche isn't heated, so it's served cold or at room temperature.

Other ingredients in ceviche typically include tomatoes, onions, chiles and cilantro.

There's no single recipe for ceviche, and many different fish and shellfish can be used in preparing it. Snapper, sea bass, halibut, mah-mahi and tilapia are popular fish for making ceviche. Other seafood components can include shrimp, scallops, squid and octopus.

Shrimp ceviche, popular in Ecuador, is made solely with shrimp and includes tomato sauce. The Peruvian version can include corn and cooked sweet potato.

One will sometimes hear the word ceviche mispronounced by leaving off the third syllable, thus rendering it "seh-VEECH" instead of "seh-VEE-chay." The effect of this can be compared, not favorably, to fingernails on a chalkboard, especially because the most common offenders tend to be professional cooks, who ought to know better.

Alternate Spellings: Seviche, cebiche

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