Celador de Camarones

Celador de Camarones

David Loftus

Prawn Ceviche. You can make this quick recipe using raw or cooked prawns, but I prefer the traditional Arequipa version, which always uses raw. The freshness of the prawns and the tiger’s milk, made using the juice from the discarded prawn shells and lime, make this a memorable dish. This is an ancient recipe that I recently unearthed on a trip to see my favourite picanteras in Arequipa.


Quantity Ingredient
4 small sweet potatoes
250g fresh, shell-on prawns
2 red onions, finely sliced
2 large tomatoes, skinned, deseeded and finely sliced
1 rocoto pepper or medium-heat red chillies, deseeded and finely sliced
10 limes, juiced
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons olive oil
a few coriander or parsley leaves, finely chopped, to serve (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Prick the sweet potatoes all over with a fork, place them on a baking tray, then roast in the oven until tender (about 30–40 minutes).
  2. While the potatoes are roasting, prepare the salad. Peel and devein the prawns and cut out the digestive tract if black. Put the shells and heads (if you have them) into a food processor or blender with a splash of water and blitz until you have a coarse paste. Remove the puréed shells from the processor or blender and push them through a fine sieve to extract as much liquid from them as possible. Set the liquid aside and discard the shells.
  3. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and blanch the red onion slices for 1 minute only. Drain and cool in iced water, then drain again.
  4. Put the prepared prawns into a large bowl with the red onion, tomato and rocoto pepper or chilli slices. Season well with salt. In a separate bowl, make a dressing by whisking together the lime juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil and reserved prawn liquid until fully combined.
  5. Pour the dressing into the bowl with the prawns and sliced onion and mix thoroughly to combine all the ingredients.
  6. Remove the roasted sweet potatoes from the oven, and, when they are cool enough to handle, peel them and cut them into thick slices. Put equal amounts of the potato on 4 individual serving plates and top each with the prawn mixture, then sprinkle with the chopped herbs, if using. Serve immediately.
Martin Morales
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