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Even though this is not an official Lent dish, it has all the requirements to be one of the favorites of the season because it is made with none of the “forbidden” foods; just a mixture of fish and seafood (octopus, shrimp, squid, scallops, etc), with the addition of chifles (thinly sliced and fried plantains). As a matter of fact, people do love to have it at the beach during Lent weeks, as they coincide with the end of the summer in South America.
Salsa criolla, ají amarillo and rocoto sauces are always served with this entree or shared appetizer, as are very thin yucca chips, and even cancha. Mayonnaise, tartar sauce, and lime wedges are also part of the tasty display of condiments, so each person can add the right amount and combination of flavors to his / her jalea.
Although it’s very easy to make at home, in Peru it’s so widely available in any cebicheria that we prefer to eat it there. When making it yourself, you can use only fish, only seafood, or both. The contrasting textures of the crispy chifles and the tender fish and seafood fritters is one of the things I enjoy the most about this dish, as well as the lemony and spicy flavors.
Tell us, what do you like to eat during Lent?
- 10 ounces fish filets
- 10 ounces squid cut in rings
- 10 ounces shrimp, cleaned
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup all-purpose flour or rice flour
- 3 cups vegetable oil, divided
- 2 green plantains, thinly sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 onion, finely sliced
- 1 tablespoon cilantro leaves, chopped
- ⅓ cup red or orange bell pepper, cut in thin slices
- 6 limes, divided
- Ají amarillo sauce
- Cut the fish in 1.5 x 1.5 inch squares. Season fish and seafood with salt and pepper, and dredge in the flour.
- Put in a colander and shake the excess flour.
- Heat 2 cups vegetable oil in a saucepan over medium heat. When hot, add the seafood in batches and cook until golden. Transfer to a plate covered with paper towels.
- In another saucepan heat 1 cup vegetable oil until very hot and bubbly, and fry the plantain slices until they turn a lightly golden color.
- In a bowl combine garlic, onion, cilantro, bell pepper, salt, and pepper. Add the juice of 2 limes.
- Combine seafood with fried plantains in a dish, and serve accompanied with the onion sauce, mayonnaise or ají amarillo sauce, and limes slices.