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Ceviche-Chile Style

Ceviche-Chile Style

It’s an appetizer perfecto, gracias a la Cocina de Tatan y Santiago


Quick, easy, delicious


Cristian Mellado, or Tatan as he’s known, is early to pick me up for my much anticipated Gourmet Tour of Santiago, a 5 hour journey through the best local fresh markets, Mercado Central and La Vega Central, buying the fresh fish amongst the amazing variety of seafood, taking it back to his apartment in the El Golf neighborhood and preparing 2 dishes, Ceviche and a traditional Chilean dish native to the Mapuche (indigenous) community called Charquican (recipe later).

pouring juice on fish

 I rushed downstairs to the lobby of the Hyatt Place Vitacura Santiago to meet Cristian. It had been a rushed but enjoyable week seeing Santiago for the first time and eager to return to one of the most beautiful countries I’ve ever laid eyes on. He’s a handsome man with salt and pepper hair and upon first look reminded me of someone in show business, maybe an actor or a singer. He greeted me warmly and I was glad to be early as I sat in his vehicle and realized I was first to be picked up.

Reaching the Central Market, or Mercado Central, after driving through the various trendy neighborhoods of Santiago where Cristian would point out the good clubs and restaurants, “This one on the left is a very very good place, the only problem is the owner is from Argentina.” I asked Cristian, who by this time had me call him Tatan, if there were any other participants in today’s class? “No, it’s just us,” he replied. The next 6 hours were priceless and unforgettable. Class does not begin to describe Tatan, a former restaurateur and owner of La Cocina de Tatan for 15 years, many of which being on the ‘most recommended’ list and Top 20 in Santiago. He’s so personable, I completely forgot to film him whisking me through these enormous markets, knowing and speaking to everyone and explaining the various kinds of seafood, vegetables and fruits as we purchased that days menu.

Tatan’s apartment in the El Golf neighborhood of Santiago (think Beverly Hills or Los Feliz) is a penthouse with a huge balcony overlooking the country club. I brought out the best sous chef in me to help and learn to prepare the dishes. Tatan used pomfret fish, an Atlantic, Indian and Pacific semi-firm whitefish with a flat body and forked tail. Harder to find in southern California, I substituted Tilapia in its place and it turned out great. We sipped wine and ate the food and it was another world. Cooking classes have been some of my best experiences when traveling abroad. Being in someone’s home and learning the food that represents their country and their culture is, to me an experience like no other. I’ll put Tatan’s contact information at the bottom and if you’re ever in Santiago, La Cocina de Tatan is a guaranteed top experience not soon forgotten.


Tilapia Ceviche x 3

200 grams of Tilapia fish cut in large dices

1/4 medium sized red onion in thin julienne strips

1/4 cup of lemon and lime juice

1/2 tsp vegetable oil

15 grams of Ginger cut into slices (about a 2 inch piece)

10 grams (1) of yellow or red chili pepper

dash of OG pepper sauce (Dino)

dash of turmeric

handful of cilantro

1/2 avocado (use the other half to make guacamole) large dices

3 or 4 cardamon seeds

salt and pepper


Salt the fish dices, add the onion and stir

add half of the lemon/lime juice, gently stir to cover

add other half of juice, pepper sauce(optional), chili pieces, ginger, turmeric and cardamon and blend..if you want a thicker juice, add 5 or 6 small crackers

blend to combine, sauce may appear a bit lumpy, let rest for 10 minutes, add to fish and onions, gently combine

Add diced avocado and cilantro carefully in order not to dye green the whole preparation. Cover with plastic wrap (clean film) and place in the refrigerator for 20 – 30 minutes before serving.

Place a lettuce leaf on the plate and top with ceviche.

serves 3

La Cocina de Tatan


I signed up through AirBnB experiences “The Gourmet Tour” in Santiago, total cost $92.02 check for availablity. Up to 7 people. English, Spanish, Portuguese.

Enjoy! Do you make Ceviche?

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  1. Helen Muci says:

    Hi Chris,

    Very interesting tour! I had never heard of a tour in which you shop for the ingredients and then prepare the dishes with the chef. Yummy! Glad you had the experience.
    No, I don’t make ceviche. I live in an assisted living community in Anaheim where our food is included in the rent. I’m quite sure that I’ll never prepare it. I’ll just enjoy the experience vicariously through you.
    It’s 2:18 a.m., California time. I woke up about 30 minutes ago, worked on my Bible study, checked my email, and there you were!!! Very pleasant surprise!
    May our Lord and Savior hold you in the palm of His hands and close to His heart.
    So, adios, my friend. I’m off to slumberland

    With love and prayers,
    Helen M.

    • CB says:

      Mrs Muci!

      It’s always a thrill to hear from you. I think of and pray for you daily. Thank you so much Fr reading and commenting!

  2. Brian Ann says:

    Haven’t made it, might give it a try, it looks so good and sounds easy!

  3. Kimm Baersch says:

    Hi Chris, my husband Jorge Devotto is from Arica, a city on the coast of Northern Chile, just below the Peruvian border, and he makes an excellent ceviche and Tiradito and he uses a different spice for this I believe its Aji. Which he purchases when he is in Chile and brings back with him. You should come over and I will have him make it for you along with some excellent empanadas.

    • CB says:

      Chile is by far one of the most beautiful countries I’ve ever seen and the people were amazing. I have many more stories I want to write about Chile and of course, hope to go back someday. Thx for commenting. I’ll take free food from a Chilean anytime!

      • Beverly says:

        Don’t you have to be careful with tilapia? I understand; however, that it is a tasty fish. How did this trip come about? I’m glad you enjoyed it. Think of you often. Beverly from Hawaii

        • CB says:

          Thanks Beverly. I try to be careful with all fish and make sure it’s fresh. Acid cooking is fascinating to me and I love the flavor and texture. You could use just about any firm whitefish. Living where you do comes with lots of enviable choices. Thanks for commenting. Miss you too!

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