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Scallop Ceviche with Sweet Potato

Cevicherias, which are popular throughout Peru, are now appearing in the US. That's due at least in part to renowned Peruvian chef Gaston Acuria, who's opened branches of his Lima restaurant La Mar in San Francisco and Manhattan. In New York City, La Mar chef Victoriano Lopez makes this recipe with aji limo paste, a Peruvian ceviche staple made from tiny aji chiles.

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 6 to 8

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  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup bottled clam juice or fish stock
  • 2 tablespoons ají limo paste (see Note)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 celery rib, chopped
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 large habanero chile, seeded and minced
  • Salt
  • 1 pound large sea scallops, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1/2 sweet potato (4 ounces), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice


  1. In a blender, combine the lime juice, clam juice, ají limo paste, garlic and celery with half each of the onion, cilantro and habanero. Blend until smooth. Strain the marinade through a fine strainer. Season with salt.
  2. Spread the scallops in a single layer in a shallow glass or ceramic dish. Pour the marinade over the scallops. Cover and refrigerate until the scallops start to turn white, at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.
  3. Meanwhile, in a medium pot of boiling salted water, cook the sweet potato until tender, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate and sprinkle with salt. Let cool completely.
  4. Stir the remaining onion, cilantro and habanero into the marinated scallops and season with salt. Spoon the ceviche into Chinese soup spoons or small bowls, top with the diced sweet potato and serve.


Aji limo paste is available at specialty food shops and spanishtable.com.

Photo © Lucas Allen Published July 2012

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