The food of coastal Ecuador not only features quite a bit of seafood, especially ceviche – which comes as no surprise – but plantain is just about everywhere, as well. In fact, plantain is used in much of the food all around the country, from soups to empanadas to being grilled and stuffed with cheese. They may look like bananas, but they’re a lot more starchy, not as sweet and ideal for this kind of cooking.
What I’m showing now is how to make corviche, a fried snack you can pick up in the coastal villages, on the roadside or even on a bus. Yep, when those corviche sellers board the bus and offer these delectable little things, it’s difficult to resist.
So what exactly is corviche? Well, it’s pretty much cooked and raw plantain made into a type of dough, stuffed with seafood (generally tuna or shrimp and peanut paste), rolled into an oval ball and deep-fried until nice and golden brown.
Corviche are served with ají (hot sauce) and lime. Although it depends on the maker, really. Some are huge, some average, some are simple in flavour, others can be more complex.
Shrimp was my favourite filling while we were on Ecuador’s west coast, but I’d never deny the tuna ones. I love them!
With my recipe, I’ve injected a bit more flavour into the plantain mixture – some achiote, sautéed onion and peanut butter. It’s a bit bland, otherwise. As for the filling, I’ve increased the flavours in the prawn mixture, as well, without overdoing it. Actually, the filling on its own is divine.
To serve with the corviche, I’ve slapped together a recipe for a tomato & chilli sauce, which you can see below, as well as a very quick lime-pickled red onion – easily made in advance.
The rest is simple. You basically cut or tear into the cooked corviche, top it with sauce, some onions and dive right in!