Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

The first time I made ceviche, I was amazed. I could actually see the lemon and lime juice turning the color of the fish from translucent pink to opaque white.

The acid from the limes and lemons change the structure of the proteins in the fish, essentially “cooking” the fish without using heat.

I love ceviche rolled up in a freshly cooked, still warm corn tortilla with lettuce and salsa.

Updated. Originally posted Jan 2004.

Ceviche Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Marinating time: 3 hours
  • Yield: Serves 4-8

Always use the freshest fish possible. Make the same day you purchase fresh fish.


  • 2 lbs of firm, fresh red snapper fillets (or other firm-fleshed fish), cut into 1/2 inch pieces, completely deboned
  • 1/2 cup of fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 red onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup of chopped fresh seeded tomatoes
  • 1 serrano chili, seeded and finely diced
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • Dash of ground oregano
  • Dash of Tabasco or a light pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Cilantro
  • Avocado
  • Tortillas or tortilla chips


In a non-reactive casserole dish, either Pyrex or ceramic, place the fish, onion, tomatoes, chili, salt, Tabasco, and oregano. Cover with lime and lemon juice. Let sit covered in the refrigerator for an hour, then stir, making sure more of the fish gets exposed to the acidic lime and lemon juices. Let sit for several hours, giving time for the flavors to blend.

ceviche-1.jpg ceviche-2.jpg
During the marinating process the fish will change from pinkish grey and translucent, to whiter in color and opaque.

Serve with chopped cilantro and slices of avocado with heated tortillas for ceviche tacos or with tortilla chips.

Hello! All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and link back to Ceviche on Simply Recipes. Thank you!


If you make this recipe, snap a pic and hashtag it #simplyrecipes — We love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, & Twitter!


Showing 4 of 70 Comments

  • Frank

    I live in Kansas, no fresh seafood here.
    How well would fresh – catfish, perch, bluegill, bass do in ceviche?

  • Janet Campbell

    Me encantan estas recetas, es la primera vez que hice el Ceviche y me encanto la receta es bien simple y quisiera saber que otro pezcado usaria…

  • Naomi

    I made this for the first time for my mother’s 75th birthday dinner last week. I made this exactly as directed by the recipe. It was incredible! I used fresh red snapper and let it “cook” for 3 hours. I can’t wait to make it again!

  • Sturno

    I use walleye filets caught here in WI for most of my recipes that require fish. It won’t hold up as well as a firm ocean fish will, so I add it at the very tail end of preparation in this or even in things like the “Canadian Gumbo” recipe that I get asked for often. Ceviche is one of my favorite things on earth. I’ve added fresh chopped calamari rings with the fish. I’ve prepared it probably a dozen different ways, with some fine tuning, and found that adding minimal amounts of orange juice, lemon juice, and even grapefruit juice to the lime juice helps tune the flavors up. I use more cilantro than most recipes call for, also adding some at the end before serving in addition to prep. I use poblano peppers from the Mexican grocery store in town, in lieu of jalapenos. They key thing for me and my experience is to have your ingredients in the smallest dices (not minced) as you can. Pieces of anything too big in ceviche I think become a drawback to it overall. Trying both fish and shrimp versions, I’ve also tried using crab and also imitation crab (I know…) Interestingly enough, the surimi holds up much better than real crab for this purpose…..thank all of the modified food starches for that. I also add my avocado at the end…it stays more firm and doesn’t turn into guac mush that way. My wife will take what’s left and mix with fresh guac on occasion also. It doesn’t take long for too many ingredients to join the party, so I stick to as few as possible and will make two or three types rather than tossing 20 components together. Bottled lime juice? Only if you’re an astronaut.

  • Dan Blick

    “Always use the freshest fish possible.”

    So true! I’ve made this recipe a couple times lately with fresh-off-the-boat lingcod, and it’s spectacular! The fish is the star of the show, so if you go with some farm-raised tilapia that’s several days old, you’ll be disappointed for sure. If it’s old enough to smell like fish, don’t waste your time. I used the FishLine Fresh Seafood Finder (http://fishline.me/) to see what local fishermen are selling at the harbor, or what’s really fresh at the fish market.

View More Comments / Leave a Comment