Another zestful flavor is making its way to Minnesota restaurants and bars from south of the border. Food lovers are discovering the delicacy of fresh seafood not cooked, but marinated in citrus until the flesh is firm and opaque, much like cooked fish. Herbs and spices indigenous to the western coast of Mexico and South America make for a stimulating marinade. Whether for main course or appetizers, each restaurant prepares its own signature ceviche in a manner as diverse as there are countries in the Americas. Here are five of the best places in Minnesota to get ceviche.
Peruvian Flounder Ceviche
5601 W. 78th St.
Minneapolis, MN 55439
Server Paul Eaton says Lela’s Peruvian Ceviche is a uniquely large portion of white, fleshy, meaty flounder presented on crispy plantain chips. This is classic Peruvian as the fresh flounder is marinated in lime, cilantro and habaneros. Crunchy radishes on the side contrast nicely with the tender, subtle taste of flounder. See the video here and read more about this new Bloomington restaurant as reported by WCCO’s Katie Fraser.
Mexican Fusion Striped Sea Bass Ceviche
603 N. Washington Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55401
“We like to prepare each ceviche when it is ordered so it is fresh as it can be,” Smack Shack Chef Dave said. This cool café serves striped sea bass ceviche in a marinade of fresh lime juice, a variety of peppers from the West Coast and cilantro. Each order comes with a side of homemade tortilla chips. Dave likes to rotate the Smack Shack Raw Bar menu with a seasonal assortment of fresh fish, crudos and tartars.
Peruvian Ají Amarillo Pepper Ceviche
4601 Grand Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55419
The sunny, fruity taste of Peruvian ají amarillo peppers makes this ceviche appetizer of fish, shrimp and scallops special. The medium to hot zest of these peppers allows the flavor of tomato and cilantro to come through, creating the perfect blend for a subtle seafood marinade. This new south metro café is lovingly named after the daughter of owners Hector Ruiz and Erin Ungerman. The couple is introducing the south metro to Latin fusion foods served in classic French technique and presentation.
Ecuadorian Ceviche De Camarón
2851 Central Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55418
Marcos Pinguil honed his craft of cooking in the small town of Cañar on the Ecuadorian tropical coast. He now shares the many hearty dishes of Ecuador and the Andean highlands as owner and chef of Chimborazo. His ceviche de Camarón is shrimp in lime, tomato and red onion served with fried plantain slices or patacones.
Veracruz-Style Shrimp Ceviche
The Oceanaire Seafood Room
50 South 6th St.
Minneapolis, MN 55402
“You will find a wonderful depth of flavor and complex tastes brought out by fresh vegetables, Jalapeno chiles and garlic in a delicious red sauce,” General Manager Robert Wohlfeil said. His Veracruz-style dish is served almost every day, subject to market availability. Oranges in the lemon-lime citrus marinade give it the signature of a Veracruz ceviche. Wohlfeil has a few other secret ingredients he would not disclose.
Related: Best Mexican Cuisine
Robin Johnson was born in Annandale, Minn. and graduated from Richfield High School and then the University of Minnesota where he studied Political Science, Business and Industrial Relations. A writer for Examiner.com, he also consults with a variety of organizations and individuals helping them develop and grow. His work can be found at Examiner.com.