I love this recipe. I have never used red snapper as it’s not commonly carried where I shop. I have used tilapia everytime and it turns out great. I make sure to let the ceviche sit in the fridge overnight to make sure the fish is ready to eat. I have lived in Ecuador where real ceviche is made. This recipe is spot on and tastes exactly like the kind I had in Ecuador.
Yeh I wouldnt use tilapia in ceviche ever! gross. its a dirty freshwater river fish farmed in filth in SE asia.
I live in Kansas, no fresh seafood here.How well would fresh – catfish, perch, bluegill, bass do in ceviche?
Hi Frank, from what I understand, one should never eat freshwater fish raw because of parasites.
You can get away with using frozen tilapia. Just thaw it out first. It’s not ideal but, I’ve done it before in a pinch. May be a little bit on the mushier side, albeit.
Tilapia is such a bland murky tasting fish though. No good ceviche recipe deserves to be cursed with tilapia.
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…
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!
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.
“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.
Hello Elise,I found your blog while looking for a meatloaf recipe, to offer my family during a party next week, I liked your recipe so much that I began to read other recipes, that is how I found your ceviche recipe.
Ceviche, is not a recipe, is a concept that is present all around the shores of the pacific ocean, the basic idea consists in “cooking” fresh fish using some form of natural acid (basically lemon/lime/orange or other fruits juice), it has been part of the peruvian menu even before Peru existed. Depending on where you eat your ceviche you will find more or less ingredients and depending on how fresh your fish is and how firm its meat it will take you 30 seconds or 3 hours to prepare it.
I, as a peruvian, am used to my country’s style, only 5 ingredients: fish, salt, lime juice, purple onion and chili. After that you can add slices of sweet potato, corn, lettuce and a few others as garnish.
Some tips: ALWAYS use the freshest fish you can afford, avoid greasy fishes, and preferably from cold waters as they tend to have firmer meat. Pay close attention to fish meat temperature, always keep it on ice, (but never frozen!) until used. When squeezing your limes use only the first drops as after that the drops will include the sour flavor from the skin. Cut the onion on very thin vertical slices.
We in Peru use not more than 1-2 minutes to “cook” the fish
If you like avocado, rice, tortillas or anything else, just go ahead, when it comes to food preferences no one owns the truth.
Alejandro-Please tell me what type of chili is used in the Peruvian version of ceviche?
rocotto chilies are used in Peru. They are typically red with black seeds. They sometimes use seaweed as a garnish. They always use sweet potato, potato, and Boston(butter)lettuce as part of the garnish as well as the Peruvian sweet corn that has incredibly large kernels. I have been to Peru several times with my wife(she is from Peru) and my family. This is my favorite dish of all times.
Hi to everybody from Dalkey, Ireland. Ceviche is one of my favourites. From my Chilean wife I learned to blanch the onion (red or white) first. After chopping it, place it in a sieve and pour a jug of boiling water over it followed, immediately, by a jug of cold water. This removes the unpleasant (for me, at least) taste of raw onion. Once blanched, add to the dish. In ireland I use lemon sole cut into pieces and wild scallops for ceviche. But, now, having read the blog and comments, i will experiment with different fish.
Hi Eric, thanks for the tip!
I use powdered 100% lime uice, it’s handy when needed. If you do a search for it make sure it is the 100% pure, no other indredients added, lime juice which I buy by the pound. Delicious.
I love ceviche but may I recommend using a more sustainable fish? Red snapper numbers are dwindling due to overfishing. You can find sustainable fish options at the Monteray Bay Aquarium’s website and their Seafood Watch Guide
According to Seafood Watch, it depends on the specific type of red snapper and where it is caught. I buy fish at Whole Foods; they do a pretty good job at sourcing sustainable fish. ~Elise
Red snapper are quite abundant actually they are heavily fished commercially and therefore the restrictions for us regular anglers are very strict it’s all to keep the money in the hands of a select group of commercial fisherman
I just used the recipe but used lionfish. Tastes great and they are taking over the reefs here in Florida.
Not that Google Translate didn’t get a majority of it, but here is a little clearer translation: “Here in Peru we opt for the traditional method. I admit that with avocado, like those in Mexico say, it would have a different flavor to me. Here [in Peru] they use sweet potato, corn, lettuce..and a little chile with lime. Excellent! It is the easiest and most traditional way to make friends. Try it. Sometimes more ingredients do not always mean more delicious. :)”
And for the record, I prefer it with crab meat and served with tostadas!
Aquí en Perú optamos por el método tradicional, admito que con palta o aguacate como le dicen en México, para mi tendría un sabor diferente, Aquí se usa el camote, el choclo, lechuga… y un poco de ají limo. Excelente!, Es la forma más facil y tradicional de hacerlo amigos. Inténtenlo. A veces muchos ingredientes, no siempre significa más delicioso. :)
Thank you for your comment Marcia. For those who don’t read Spanish, here is the Google translation: “Here in Peru we opted for the traditional method, I admit that with avocado, for me would have a different flavor.Here you use the sweet potato, corn, lettuce … and a little chili. Excellent!, Is the easiest way to do it and traditional friends. Try it. Sometimes many ingredients, does not always meandelicious. :) ” ~Elise
i just returned from Cabo San Lucas, Mexico where I attended a cooking class on cerviche.all the ingredients were finely chopped with the fish marinating in lime juice for 30 minutes while we cut up white onion, plum tomatoes , cucumber (seeded) jalapeno pepper (seeded) cilantro (fresh) and garlic cloves. They used a whitefish. Not one I was familar with. After the fish was done, they then added all the chopped ingredients and added avacado on top. it was delicious. and my first time having this appetizer.
I made this today using red snapper; it turned out very delicious and fresh! Elise, I have already made several dishes from your blog: Peanut butter cookies, Oatmeal raisin cookies, Lemonade, Limeade, Strawberry and watermelon agua fresca, Egg nests, Mango lassi, and this Ceviche. Everything has turned out great; your proportions are very precise. On my “to-do” mental list are now sweet potato fries and pumpkin pie :) Thanks for great recipes!
I used fresh Pacific rock cod in mine and for some reason the fish just did not cook, even in 4 hours. I had to cut into way smaller than 1/2 in pieces. I ate a few pieces raw in the middle before giving up and chopping the fish up and putting back in the fridge, hopefully the fish was fresh enough I won’t die…
I made this using the original recipe… but after letting everything set as described I took out the seafood and blanched it in olive oil because my wife refuses to eat raw stuff. It actually came out great! I used fresh shrimp, (devained and cleaned) scallops and tilapia. After mixing the cooked seafood back into the pot of seasonings, peppers and lime juice I let it sit for another two hours to get cold again and served with wedges of avocado. It was wonderful… Oh, I also added chopped poblano peppers to give it a nice smooth flavor and served with hot sauce for those who wanted it hotter. This might be a good option for anyone worried about raw seafood. (of course any bacteria is still in the lime juice mixture…but I didn’t explain that to my wife and we both survived!)
Delicious! I used some frozen mixed seafood (thawed first and chopped) and some frozen squid (thawed and chopped first) and added some extra serrano chillis, some garlic, cilantro and sliced green olives! DELICIOUS!!!!!
My friend, back in the 80’s was from Lima and her mother made Ceviche. I love it. Now, when I tried making it with haddock. sorry, should have been halibut(close, ha, at least the H part) and used lemon and lime juice(bottled) and apparently I should have waited to put the red onion slices in(I can’t taste onion, darn it all) and it did take a bit to finish the inside(my fish was a bit too big(should have cut into cubes, duh!) I had to add salt, and want to add a lot more, but am trying to watch it. used homemade hot sauce, just enough I didn’t notice it though. I had fresh cilantro, but broke it, stems and all by hand. I just screwed it all up!:( BUT, I’m trying to like it. but too sour! I even had black olives(they help if I take a bite with them). SO, maybe adding olive oil(not ketchup, got it) and if I only had orange juice, wonder if I can freeze it, probably would make everything squishy. I also had ground oregano. should have been fresh, i bet. well, everyone else had positive words. sorry
The reason it takes 3 – 4 hours is because you added the onion along with the lime juice (they do not have lemons in Peru). The onion slows down the “cooking” time considerably. This can be ready to eat in less than an hour if you add the onion just before serving.
All your versions sound great, here’s mine. I use 1 1/2 lbs. of finely chopped tilapia. I add the juice of 10 limes, (2) 6in cucumbers (diced), half a large white onion (diced) and a large handful of chopped cilantro. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Mix all ingredients, cover and let sit in the fridge for at least an hour. I then serve over a tostada with chopped avocado and some Tapatillo on top. If the recipe is too sour for you add a little oil or some fresh squeezed orange juice for sweetness. The funny thing is, I hate fish and will only eat it in fish ceviche.
I couldn’t choose whether to make the fish ceviche or shrimp ceviche, so my fiance and I made both last night! Both were absolutely delicious. Thank you for the recipes. I love your website!
The typical peruvian recipe does not carry avocado… Though this one is quite close to it.
Other than that ceviche is typically served with “choclos”[in Peru they are large kernels of corn] or if unattainable a normal steamed ear of corn will do and steamed sweet potato. The contrast between the spicy sourness flavor and the potato is quite delicious. But this is how my family and typical Peruvian cuisine restaurants will serve it.
In Peru there are several different types of ceviche depending on the region, and because of that the fish is sometimes cut differently and the recipes include additional things like shrimp for example.
Delicious. I made this the other night and it was perfect. I just subbed parsley for the cilantro since that’s what my family likes. I couldn’t have asked for a more refreshing summer dish!
This is really great!Thank you for the information.I also wanted to add based on the an individual’s comments posted here-Quote- This is a typical Peruvian recipe… one of the most famous dishes in the World… it’s really delicious!!!UnquotedPeruvians have their own recipe of making cerviche but if you try the Ecuadorian cerviche you will find the difference. It’s not all these mixed ingredients like avocado or cucumber. That is only the Peruvian way!
Hi! Thank you for this recipe! I’d like to try it. But I wanna do it with shrimp the first time. Should I use the same amount of shrimp, replacing the fish? And should I change anything else, when making it with shrimp? Also, could you suggest any other types of fish, and ones that are easy to find wild-caught (I don’t buy farm fish)? Thanks in advance!
I recommend our shrimp ceviche recipe. ~Elise
hello Gerry, no you don’t need to change anything else, my family use shrimp when making this dish and it really good! I’m Hispanic so it my favortive Spanish dish but it depends because other countires make cechieve differently so depends what you like
Like mentioned early on, use fish the same day of purchase. When I know I’m going to be buying fish I take with me to the store an insulated lunch bag and one or two of those blue frozen ice packs. I then immediately put my fish and ice packs in the lunch bag for the trip home.
Great idea! ~Elise
For any geek out there, cooking with acid (or base) is called “Denaturing.” You might remember an experiment in biology class where you poured sulfuric acid over an egg and it “cooked” in the test tube. Same process here, just a tastier end result.
Ceviche is delicious when made with shrimp! My boyfriend doesn’t even like seafood, but he will eat shrimp ceviche. One must in my recipe is to spread a little bit of mayo on a tostada, and top the tostada with the ceviche. I can’t believe no one has suggested this in the comments!
Another good suggestion is adding cucumber to the ceviche once everything is cooked. It adds a great texture and if you like your ceviche spicy like I do, the cucumber also adds a little bit of cooling to your taste buds!
Awsome! So glad you had this simple recipe, I’ve used it several times now with just minor changes to fit the meal, ie mixed seafood and fish. It’s always been a sue hit. You can’t mess it up and the longer it sits in the frig up to two days the better it becomes. thanks! PSThe fresher the seafood the better.Todd, Miami FL
I had ceviche in Argentia many years ago and really enjoyed it. We caught a bunch of Black Sea Bass while fishing this past weekend off the coast of NC and thought it would make good ceviche, so I surfed the web and found your recipe and all the comments to follow it. We used your recipe and added Mango. It was great. Thanks for sharing!
JDCape Carteret, NC
I like to throw a shot of whiskey in per pound of fish. Gives it a nice kick and a subtle warming effect in the belly. It compliments the spicier flavors in ceviche.
Nice recipe. I prefer speckled trout, and/or redfish with shrimp or scallops cubed a little smaller. About 1/4 inch. It “cooks” faster and is more scoopable. Keep up the great recipes. If you cook it, they will come…..
Great recipe! I had this in California in Napa at the Greystone Culinary Institute of America, and your recipe taste identical (I added mango and they also used halibut). I was so afraid that the pepper would make it too hot, but it was delicious, heavenly. My husband and parents liked it too.
I used to go fishing all the time down near La Paz in “la bahia de los muertos”. We would go to a small cafe in La Paz after fishing, drink cold Mexican beer and eat good fresh sea food. The lady that owned the restaurant would always serve a large bowl of civiche and tortilla chips to munch on before dinner. The Mexicans in that area made it with a fish they called la sierra, (a type of sea trout), that was absolutely delicious. This recipe made with Red Snapper reminds me of it. Thanks for putting it on the webb for us, I love the Taste and it takes me back to memories of Fishing, cold Mexican beer, good food, and good friends.
Thanks again, great recipe.
I tried soaking cod for 6 hours or more and my fish still doesnt seem cooked, it seems rubbery still. Any suggestions?
Hmm. Fish when raw is not rubbery. It can become rubbery when cooked. The way to test if it is ready is to look to see how translucent it is. Raw fish has a translucent quality. Cooked fish is opaque. ~Elise
Having different renditions of Ceviche from all around the world and now living in Yuma, AZ I finally decided to make my first batch and it came out spectacular! No measurements, no set recipe. Just a sharp knife and a little imagination. I used (real) Crab claw meat, shrimp, clams, grilled tilapia, cilantro, red onion, green onion, jalapeno, lemon and lime juice (more lemon than lime) cucumber, salt, pepper, a little clamato. I’m going to continue to experiment with different as well as more combinations of seafood. Some scallops, lobster, oysters and squid will make great additions, I’m sure. The great thing is, you can make it a different way everytime and it’s always fabulous.
I love ceviche. You might even say I am OBSESSED with the dish. I have tried it from several different countries with many varieties of seafood. The preparation I make is very simple. I do not use cilantro because I detest it! I find fresh chopped parsley accompishes the same thing without making the whole dish taste like laundry detergent :)
Sea Scallops are my favorite, but a delicate white fish (like flounder) is also excellent. Obviously freshness is the key. I typically use limes or key limes, and sometimes a little lemon in addition. I let my fish “cook” for only abt 45 mins- half that time if using scallops. I also find that a nice healthy pour of extra virgin olive oil on top just before serving adds nice flavor and mellows the citrus.
I usually make mine with shrimp, diced tomatoes, onions, cilantro, green olives, and if you like a little spice with pickled jalapeños and top it with avocado. You can also make some Aguachile, it’s just serrano chiles and lemon/lime (blended), some salt to taste, and you can add some red onion to put it on top of your ceviche. I love mayo on my shells. When I don’t have time to chop all this I just make the Aguachile, it’s fast and delicious but spicy.
I love ceviche, never tried until I moved to Yuma a town bordering Mexico. The local hispanics that I befriended taught me how to make it and I use fresh raw shrimp and have not had a problem. I made a variation once with mangos, habaneros and scallops along with the regular ingredients of cucumber, peppers, tomato, onion, lemon & lime juice, cilantro and clamato. Delicious!
Hi everyone. I’m from Belize, Central America, and we make and eat ceviche all the time. Some additions can include cucumber, tomatoe, cilantro, white Mexican onion, carrots. All raw and chopped of course. We also use shellfish as oppose to actuall fish. We usually use conch, a see snail like mollusk. Conch is actually sweeter in taste and it get more tender the longer it sits. We also use shrimp (raw). It’s best to use raw ingredients remember, because the acidity in the lime and lemon juices actually cooks the ingredients. We also serve ceviche with fried corn tortilla chips. We use raw habanero peppers (the flavour of habanero is amazing, although true it’s very very hot!). Just be sure to deseed the pepper and cut it into teeny tiny pieces. And please don’t use any more than you can handle.
Thanks Shakira, for your explanation of ceviche in Belize. Here in the US I wouldn’t use raw shrimp unless it was fresh right off the boat. The acid in the lime and lemon juices “cooks” the fish, but it doesn’t kill bacteria. It’s too easy to get food poisoning from uncooked or undercooked shrimp to risk it. ~Elise
I learned to make ceviche in Mexico and I like it really spicy so I use habanero peppers (1-2). First batch I put 4 habaneros and my mexican friend and I ate it all but our faces turned red and we had tears in our eyes, runny noses etc. I’ve also tried it with rainbow trout and it turned out fabulous. I also use grated carrots, celery, onions, garlic, cilantro, tomatoes and avocado slices, kinda like a ceviche salad. All the veggies add color and crunch factor.
Here’s another version……
Peel raw shrimp and place in a bowl of lemon juice either fresh or from the bottle. Make sure the shrimp are fully covered in the lemon juice. Place in the fridge until shrimp have turned color approx a few hours depending on how many shrimp your using. You can also use cooked shrimp eliminating the lemon juice. Peel a couple of cucumbers and cut into bite sizes. Also cut tomatoes, onions, avacados, and a jalapeno into bite sizes and mix with the shrimp. Cut a hand full of cilantro and if you want add a little fresh garlic chopped. Last you want a bottle of clamato juice. Pour over shrimp and veggies until covered, more if desired. Fridge again for a few hours to chill and to mix flavors. Eat by itself or serve with tortilla chips. Mmmmmgood
Ceviche is probably one of my absolute favorite foods ! It is a perfect dish 24/7 ! For the last 15+ years, I have had the distinct pleasure of learning to cook many Ecuadorean dishes. My husband loves that I prepare dishes from his mother’s native country. We love to expose our children to the culture of one of the most wonderful places on earth. It is fascinating that ceviche differs so greatly from region to region in the latin world (just as it is with paella). In Ecuador, ceviche(or seviche/sebiche/cebiche) is made from many kinds of fish,seafood,crustaceans, even just mushrooms or hearts of palm ! Proportionately, there is more liquid than solid, but it is FULL of exquisite flavor ! No hot peppers at all ! A squeeze of orange adds sweetness. Of all of the varieties, my favorites are made with shrimp, bay scallops, heart of palm,or sea bass.
Hey ppl, ceviche has to be the easiest and finest of all seafood dishes. I have travelled through central and south america, and my girlfriend is Peruvian. I can honestly say that peruvian ceviche is the greatest. However, the six hours is way off mark, 20mins max is sufficient to cook the fish. The quickest way is as follows (this is street ceviche). In a blender liquidize 3 red chillies, 2 cloves garlic, inch cube ginger, juice of 2 limes, ad this to juice of further 5 limes, add salt and ajinomoto (flavour enhancer available in all good international supermarkets). Add this to 1lb white fish (or whatever)and diced celery, let sit for 10-15 mins, add chopped coriander stir and serve, top with finely sliced red onion and spoon some more juice over, serve with lettuce and half corn on cob, total prep time 20mins
Fantastic recipe, it was very tasty.
Shortcut – buy bottled lemon juice, put in bowl, cut fish when frozen as small as you can and add fish. Then add plenty of salt. The salt in the lemon juice will make the fish cook way faster. Add all other ingredients after fish is cooked as not to dilute the acid. Add ketchup to mellow out lemon juice.
Terrific recipe – made it this weekend. It was excellent.
I appreciate the recipe. I added a little bit of radish, cucumber, garlic, a few splashes of worstershire sauce, and a habanero pepper. Used tuna and shrimp as well… was incredible
In my ceviche recipe I use mango, pineapple, fish, shrimp, crab meat, cilantro, onion, avocado, cucumber, lemon and orange juice. Can you say Umm Umm gooood!!!
My first cheviche was at “Los Canones” (tilda over first N)It was made with octopus rather than fish.Los Canones is an open air restraunt right on the beach on the north coast of Panama. The also have an awesme Conche soup…
Great recipe, thanks. I live in England but have travelled well and have such good memories of ceviche in a beach shack in Loreto, Baja California (washed down with a bucket size margarita!) Today in our supermarket I found some wild Canadian salmon and loin of North Atlantic Cod, so combined these in my dish – fantastic.
Wow, my neighbor treated me to some her father had made and was in heaven. Perfect for these dog days.I know my dad would love this, but unfortunately he is allergic to citrus fruits. Has anybody tried a substitute for the citrus like vinegar? If so, what kind and in what quantity? The citrus was perfect and think it would be hard to match its light acidity.
Growing up we usually had this with shellfish. Shrimp, scallops, octopus or squid and mussels. Onions would be thinly sliced instead of diced. and finely diced cilantro and celery. Black pepper instead of red pepper and 1/4 cup of sour orange juice.
Hi. Here are some more add-in’s i’ve tried: clamato juice as part of the lime marinade, avocado (after the 6 hours is up), celery, and jalapenos. all scrumptious!
Hi Elise – I’ve been “fine tuning” my ceviche recipe for three years now. It’s almost identical to yours except for one ingredient….Mango. I read about using Mango in Ceviche, but couldn’t imagine it tasting right. Finally as a test, I made two batches (1 with, & 1 w/o Mango) and everyone who tried them (including me) preferred the batch with diced Mango! It seems to be just the right sweet to balance the acidity – Richard
Growing up, I never had ceviche made with fish. I actually do not care for the fish and find that yes, you do have to let it sit longer. I prefer to make my ceviche with raw shrimp. Shrimp, red, green, yellow bell peppers, onion, tomato, cilantro, one jalapeno or cilantro, a little cucumber, and LOTS of lemon or lime, or a mixture of both! Some salt and voila! We like to eat it on a tostada with some mayo spread on it! Trust me, its delicious!
Thanks for the tip Jeff!
This works well with Talapia & a little immitation crab as well!
Hi Alicia – Yum! Good to know about the cod and shrimp combo. Thanks.
Excellent! This turned out great. I made it for a party and it was such a hit. I am amazed at how simple it was to make. Good ingredients.
I used fresh cod and cooked shrimp to make up the 2 lbs of seafood/fish. It was a hit!
Also works wonderfully with Tuna or Swordfish steaks.
Hi JT – you are very welcome, this is one of my favorites, and so easy to make!
I find it refreshing to use a recipe that is simple & uncluttered as this. My ceviche turned out great. I however, used monk fish (since I already had some in the fridge). Thank you very much for this wonderful recipe. I heartily endorse this one.
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