Forget steak tartare: This dish has far more funk and punk, is deeper and more daring, and—to top it off—harbors thousands of years of history. In many parts of the world, 'shrimp' and 'prawn' are interchangeable, although, technically, shrimp have two claws and prawns have three. River prawns are a specialty in the region of Arequipa, thanks to their exquisitely intense flavor, but you can use any super-fresh, quality shrimp, if that’s what you have available.
Note: It’s easy to make your own confit garlic cloves. Simply separate and peel the cloves from two heads of garlic and put them in a small saucepan with enough olive oil to cover. Put the pan over a medium heat and bring the oil just up to a simmer (but don’t let it boil), then immediately reduce the heat to very low. Allow the cloves to poach in the oil for about 20 minutes, until very soft but still holding together. Allow to cool, then transfer everything (including the oil) to a sterilized airtight jar and store for up to 6 weeks in the fridge.
Recipe excerpted with permission from Andina: The Heart of Peruvian Food by Martin Morales, published by Quadrille, November 2017. —Food52
For the ceviche
very large raw prawns—peeled, heads removed, deveined, and very finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper
red onion, finely chopped
tomatoes, deseeded and finely chopped
flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked and finely chopped
fresh tarragon, leaves picked and finely chopped
fresh mint, leaves picked and finely chopped
medium-heat red chile, deseeded and finely chopped
ripe avocado—halved, pitted, peeled, and sliced, for serving (optional)
toast or boiled new potatoes, for serving (optional)
Put the finely chopped king prawns in a bowl and season with salt. Add the red onion, tomatoes, herbs, and chile and stir to combine. Set aside.
Next, make the dressing. Put the confit garlic in a mortar with the peppercorns and a pinch of salt, then pound with the pestle until the pepper is crushed and the garlic is well mashed. Tip this mixture into a small bowl and add the remaining dressing ingredients. Stir together thoroughly, pour the dressing over the prawns, and stir thoroughly again.
Allow to sit for 10 minutes, then serve on toast or with boiled new potatoes and a cheeky addition of ripe avocado slices seasoned with salt and pepper (avocado and prawn make a great partnership), if you wish.