Corviche: Deep Fried Fish and Green Plantain

Posted in: Ecuador Food, Ecuador Travel

Corviche traditional food in EcuadorCorviche is definitely one of my favorite traditional foods here in Ecuador. It’s right up there with encebollado.

Corviche is made with mashed up green plantain and fish. That combination may not sound all that appetizing but when it’s made right, it’s amazazing! 😉

I’ve eaten corviche at a few different restaurants but the best I’ve had is made by a good friend of ours. He makes it with fresh tuna but it can also be made with corvina – a white fleshed fish.

It’s served with a homemade onion salad and mayonnaise.

The Closest Thing to Battered Fish in Ecuador

I love fish and chips. It is one of the foods I miss the most. And while I haven’t seen Nova Scotia style fish and chips in Ecuador, corviche comes pretty close.

Corviche deep fried

The green plantain is grated and then mashed up. Once mashed it’s formed into balls and the fish is put inside. Once the fish is enclosed in the mashed plantain it’s all deep fried and comes out crunchy on the outside. On the inside it’s soft like mashed potatoes.

Add the texture of the crunchy onion salad and smooth homemade mayo and it’s hard to resist.

Corviche soft on the inside

Corviche with onion and mayo

Corviche has a unique flavor which may come from the peanut butter used in the recipe. It’s very rich and I can only eat 2 medium sized corviche.

Corviche traditional food in Ecuador

Have you tried corviche? What did you think of it? Please let us know by commenting on this post.

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Meet the Author

Since moving to Ecuador in 2009, Dena and Bryan have made their living as bloggers. Dena is a partner at Storyteller Media, a content marketing company for Canadian travel brands. She is a contributor to Bryan Haines and is co-founder of Click Like This - a photo tutorial blog.

8 comments… add one
  • Jairo Grisales Jan 1, 2014, 7:32 pm

    My fever food is the hornado.

  • Mary Byerly Jan 1, 2014, 5:30 pm

    Which restaurants(s) do you recommend for this dish? Sounds yummy, but I would like to try it before we try making it.

    • Bryan Haines Jan 3, 2014, 9:27 pm

      We haven’t eaten it at a restaurant – only at friends homes. You are more likely to find this on the coast than the sierra.

  • Eric Jan 1, 2014, 4:25 pm

    I could get used to that dish, as i like fish. That looks very appetizing. I love onions specially fried in barbequed sauce.
    spread them over fish with portabella mushrooms and man have a dish fit for a king. Lou

  • SOnia and Frank Jan 1, 2014, 3:42 pm

    FELIZ ANO NUEVO
    YES, WE HAVE TRIED IT AND IT IS DELICIOSO!!!!HOPE YOUR NEW YEARS IS GOOD TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY
    REGARDS, SONIA FRANK

  • Jack Bales Jan 1, 2014, 11:16 am

    The corviche sounds delicious, but where is the recipe? You mentioned the intriguing peanut butter and the mashed green plantains, but what else and how much of it? Your columns are always interesting and one of these days I’m going to get on a Panamanian aircraft and come down there to admire your country up close. Jack Bales

    • Bryan Haines Jan 3, 2014, 9:28 pm

      Sorry Jack – no recipe on this one. We’ll look into it.

      Thanks for your comment!

    • Paula Owens Jan 6, 2014, 9:16 am

      Found this recipe online and it sounds almost like you describe. I’m going to try it.
      Corviche Recipe:
      Fresh albacore tuna is the best fish for this recipe, but you can use others too.
      Fresh albacore tuna is the best fish for this recipe, but you can use others too.
      1 onion, finely chopped
      1 clove garlic, crushed
      2 tomatoes, finely chopped
      1 fillet albacore, thinly sliced
      1tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
      1 cup cabbage, shredded
      1 carrot, grated
      1 red onion, finely sliced
      1 tbsp fresh lime juice
      6 green plantain bananas
      1 tbsp peanut butter
      1 tsp achiote (optional – it’s only for color)
      1 tsp salt
      oil for frying

      First, prepare the fish sauce. Saute the onion and garlic in a pan and add the tomatoes. Let it simmer slowly for a 10-15 minutes before adding the fish. When the fish is cooked through, toss in the cilantro and mix it through. Turn off the heat and leave the sauce to cool.

      To make the salad, combine the cabbage, carrot and red onion and pour the lime juice over. Set it aside.

      Rub your hands in a little oil before you peel the bananas, so the sap doesn’t stick to your skin. Protect your clothing from the banana sap too – it stains black and doesn’t wash out.

      Peel and wash the bananas, then grate them with the finest blades so you end up with a doughy mix. Using your hands, blend in the peanut butter, achiote and salt until it’s well combined.

      With wet hands, divide the mixture into four and roll them into balls. In your hand, flatten out one ball, place a spoonful of fish sauce in the middle (don’t put too much or it won’t seal properly) and fold it over, sealing the edges with your fingers until you have a torpedo shaped ball. Repeat with the other three portions of banana mix and fish sauce.

      Traditionally they are deep fried for about 15-20 minutes. If you don’t want to fry them, you can bake or grill them, but they will come out slightly drier.

      Once they’re cooked, split the top and fill them with the salad. You can add mayonnaise, or chili sauce. My favorite is spicy home-made chili sauce.

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