Here’s a dish you’ve likely never tried before: Kiwano shrimp ceviche. This weird looking bowl is actually the rind of the kiwano fruit, also called a horned melon. While it is not part of the citrus family, it does have a bit of a limey taste so I felt it would make an excellent alteration to a traditional ceviche.
While a kiwano may look a little intimidating at first, it is actually quite a tasty fruit. The jelly like flesh has notes of banana and lime and quite reminds me of the banana passionfruit I tried when I was in Colombia. The vibrant citrus notes inspired me immediately to make a ceviche. The question is, without the actual acid to cook the fish which options do I have?
In Peru almost all ceviche is made of raw fish ‘cooked’ in lime juice. And while this kiwano ceviche has notes of lime from the title fruit as well as fresh limes I added in, I felt there was not enough citrus to cook with. Luckily both octopus and shrimp ceviche are traditional Peruvian dishes where the protein is fully cooked before mixing it with the rest of the ingredients.
What Is A Kiwano
A kiwano, also known as a horned melon or African horned cucumber, is a unique and exotic fruit native to the Kalahari Desert region of Africa. It is characterized by its spiky, bright orange-yellow skin and vibrant green, jelly-like flesh dotted with small edible seeds. The flavor of a kiwano is a delightful blend of tartness and subtle sweetness, making it a popular choice for garnishes, salads, and exotic fruit displays. Its distinctive appearance and refreshing taste make the kiwano a great addition to dishes where entertaining is the name of the game.
How To Make This Kiwano Shrimp Ceviche
There are a few ingredients that can be hard to find depending on where you are in the world, but making this kiwano shrimp ceviche only takes about 5 minutes once you have everything prepared. The hardest thing to find is likely the fruit itself, or the aji amarillo paste, but I’ve included a link down below where you can order it online.
- 2 Kiwano – The star of the show. This horned melon is going to provide much of the flavor and texture to this ceviche recipe. If you cannot find it in your local market you might have to go to a higher end foods shop to find them. I have noticed they are much easier to find in Europe than in America.
- 250 grams Shrimp – Boiled or steamed, and peeled.
- 1 Red Onion – finely diced or sliced
- 2 Limes – juiced
- 1 tbsp Aji Amarillo Paste – this is a very popular Peruvian pepper paste that is often used in ceviche and tiradito dishes. You can buy it online here.
- 1/2 tsp Salt – or to taste
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil – Use a high quality olive oil, or the best you can find. Because ceviche is not heated you can really benefit from a super premium oil in this dish. I often recommend Greek oils but you can use Spanish, Italian, or even Californian as long as it is first pressing and cold extracted.
- Chili Peppers – optional, for garnish
The first step in making this kiwano ceviche is to remove the pulp and seeds of the fruit. You don’t have to serve the ceviche in the rind, but I personally love it for the entertaining presentation. Cut the fruit in half lengthways and use a spoon to scoop the pulp into a bowl. Everything inside is edible, but there is a bit of pith that I prefer to throw out as it messes up the texture of the final ceviche.
Next add in the rest of the ingredients. I prefer to chop my shrimp into two or three pieces but you can leave them whole if you prefer.
Then give everything a good mix and voila! A freshly made kiwano shrimp ceviche perfect for treating your guests to something they’ve never had before.
You can plate the kiwano ceviche in a regular bowl, or use the rinds of the cleaned fruit. And if you want to kick it up a notch you can add some of the sliced chili peppers or a few drops of your favorite hot sauce.
What To Serve With Kiwano Ceviche
There are a few things you can serve with ceviche, but here are the most common things you will see:
- Tortilla Chips or Tostadas: These provide a crunchy contrast to the soft and citrus-marinated seafood. They can be used to scoop up the ceviche.
- Sweet Potatoes or Plantain Chips: In some Latin American countries, you may find ceviche served with boiled sweet potatoes or fried plantain chips.
- Cancha (Toasted Corn): Popular in Peruvian ceviche, cancha is toasted corn, often served as a crunchy topping or side dish.
- Lettuce or Cabbage: Some people like to serve ceviche on a bed of lettuce or cabbage leaves to add freshness and a contrasting texture. I suggest butter lettuce cups if you go this route.
More Popular Peruvian Recipes You Will Love
- Papa a la Huancaina (Peruvian Cheese Sauce Potatoes)
- Peruvian Roast Chicken With Aji Verde Sauce
- Easy Peruvian Huancaina Sauce
- Mango Coconut Ceviche
- Octopus Ceviche
Kiwano Shrimp Ceviche
- 2 Kiwano The star of the show. This horned melon is going to provide much of the flavor and texture to this ceviche recipe. If you cannot find it in your local market you might have to go to a higher end foods shop to find them. I have noticed they are much easier to find in Europe than in America.
- 250 grams Shrimp Boiled or steamed, and peeled.
- 1 Red Onion finely diced or sliced
- 2 Limes juiced
- 1 tbsp Aji Amarillo Paste this is a very popular Peruvian pepper paste that is often used in ceviche and tiradito dishes. You can buy it online here.
- 1/2 tsp Salt or to taste
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil Use a high quality olive oil or the best you can find. Because ceviche is not heated you can really benefit from a super premium oil in this dish. I often recommend Greek oils but you can use Spanish, Italian, or even Californian as long as it is first pressing and cold extracted.
- Chili Peppers optional, for garnish
- Cut the kiwano in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop the flesh into a bowl.
- Add the rest of the ingredients to a bowl and mix thoroughly. Let marinate for at least 5 minutes before eating (ideally 10-15).
- Garnish with sliced chilis and serve with some tortilla chips.