Maria Elena - NY via Ecuador

I come from Quito, a town high up in the Andes, whose name means ray of light.  

The city is alive, it is dirty, busy, always with an energy. Maybe because Pichinca (the volcano that overlooks our city) often spit out smoke, or maybe because the earth shakes with the earthquakes that travel the coast, or maybe, as my mother says, with the happiness of being Quechua....

When I think of home, I think of food..... my mother would make a large tub, yes tub, of ceviche each month.  We would come from school and eat a small bowl, stuffed with fish and popcorn, and if my dad was around, chifles (fried plantain chips). Even now, when I taste it, I am taken right back to Quito, to the Avenida de los Amazones, to El Bosque and to my home. Here is the recipe I use...



  • 1 lb of white fish, cubed (Tilapia, bass, corvina)
  • 1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 red onion, sliced thinly
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 pepper (yellow or green)
  • 10 limes, 5 are for the juice and 5 for marinate
  • small bunch of cilantro, chopped finely
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • salt & pepper to taste



Put the raw fish and shrimp into a glass dish and soak with half the lime juice and salt. Cover with plastic to seal the flavor. Refrigerate for about 4 hours.

Add the chopped tomato, onions, cilantro and peppers to another dish, adding the remaining lime juice. Let this dish marinate for an hour or more.


The marinate 'cooks' the fish in dish one, infusing it with delicious flavor. After you remove it from the fridge, drain the lime juice, as it can be very sour and acidic.

Add the fish to the other marinade of onions, peppers and lime. Add salt and a little oil to your own tasting.

Serve cold with chifles or unsalted popcorn, and enjoy!!