Gastronomes will delight in Latin America's seafood, whether served curried, skewered or simply griddled with a splash of lime - all you need to bring out the unbeatable freshness of just-caught fish. We've brought together three of our favourite dishes.
A delicious discovery from Baja California, Mexico.
- 300g fish or seafood of your choice
- 8 small corn or flour tortillas, wrapped in foil and kept warm in the oven
- 2 cups green cabbage or lettuce, shredded
- 2 avocados, sliced
- 2 limes, halved
- 1/4 cup of flour
- 2 tbsps cornmeal (optional)
- 1 tbsp chilli powder
- Bunch of coriander, finely chopped
- Mexican salsa (bought or home-made)
- Cooking oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
1. Toss the seafood pieces in lime juice and allow to marinate for 5-10 minutes (if using fish, cut into 3cm strips first).
2. Combine the flour, cornmeal, chilli powder, coriander and salt in a large mixing bowl.
3. Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in a wide frying pan over a medium-high heat.
4. Coat the fish/seafood in the flour mixture and fry in batches until crisp and golden. Drain on paper towels and keep warm.
5. Serve, allowing guests to make their own tacos from tortillas topped with seafood, cabbage/lettuce, avocado, salsa and lime juice.
GAMBAS AL AJILLO (GARLIC AND CHILLI PRAWNS):
A traditional starter that is simple to make yet sure to impress any dinner guests.
- 1/2 a cup extra virgin olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic, finely sliced
- 1 chilli, finely chopped into rings
- 1kg large uncooked prawns (shells on or off according to preference)
- juice of a lemon
- salt to taste
- 1 bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1. Heat the oil in a frying pan on a high heat. Add the garlic, chilli and a generous pinch of salt and stir for one minute.
2. Add the prawns and cook until pink throughout before removing from heat.
3. Add the lemon juice and parsley and mix evenly.
4. Serve, ideally in an earthenware dish, with good-quality bread for mopping up the delicious juices.
A zesty dish of fish or seafood 'cooked' in citric juices, ceviche is served across Latin America in many different styles - here we've chosen the Peruvian version as prepared by travel consultant Margot Chard.
- 3/4 kilo of filleted cod (or substitute for seafood of your choice)
- Juice of 3 limes
- 3 cloves of garlic, crushed and finely chopped
- 2 finely chopped green chillis
- 2 medium-sized red onions
- Handful of chopped parsley and coriander
- Salt and pepper to taste
1. Cut the fish into small pieces in a large mixing bowl and add the garlic, chilli, lime juice, salt and pepper. Mix and set aside.
2. Finely chop the onion and combine with the parsley and coriander. Place the onion and herbs on top of the fish mixture and leave in the refrigerator for around an hour, during which time the citric acid will have the effect of cooking the fish.
3. Remove from refrigerator, mix and serve cold.