Shrimp Ceviche

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

With the warm days of summer upon us, a great way to cool off is with ceviche. Ceviche is typically made with red snapper that is “cooked” by the acidity of lime and lemon juice (see this ceviche recipe.)

This version of ceviche is prepared with shrimp, which is first lightly cooked, and then marinated in the citrus juice. My father, who generally doesn’t really like shrimp that much, loved this ceviche. (Gotta love it when they eat it up and ask for more!)

Why pre-cook the shrimp? While the acidic marinade “cooks” (denatures) the proteins, it doesn’t kill the bacteria. Traditionally ceviche is made with raw seafood, but even then it is recommended that pregnant women or people with compromised immune systems avoid it.

Personally I don’t find this as much of an issue with raw fish (think sushi, sashimi), but for some reason shellfish like shrimp and scallops can go bad much more easily. Unless your seafood is extremely fresh, I recommend lightly pre-cooking it first.

Shrimp Ceviche Recipe

  • Yield: Serves 4-6

If you find the ceviche a little too acidic, drain out some of the juices after the marinating, add a little more avocado (or some olive oil) and/or a little more salt.


  • 1 pound medium-small shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 Tbsp salt
  • 3/4 cup lime juice (juice from 4-6 limes)
  • 3/4 cup lemon juice (juice from 2-3 lemons)
  • 1 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 serrano chile, ribs and seeds removed, minced
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 cucumber, peeled diced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 avocado, peeled, seed removed, cut into 1/2-inch chunks


1 In a large pot, bring to a boil 4 quarts of water, salted with 2 Tbsp salt. Add the shrimp and cook for 1 minute to 2 minutes max, depending on size of shrimp. (Over-cooking the shrimp will turn it rubbery.) Remove shrimp with a slotted spoon and place into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.


2 Drain the shrimp. Cut each piece of shrimp in half, or into inch-long pieces. Place shrimp in a glass or ceramic bowl. Mix in the lime and lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate for a half hour.

3 Mix in the chopped red onion and serrano chile. Refrigerate an additional half hour.

4 Right before serving, add the cilantro, cucumber, and avocado.


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Washington Post on acidity and ceviche

Wikipedia on ceviche

Shrimp Ceviche

Showing 4 of 59 Comments

  • Steve McClung

    This recipe needs a lot of work. Too much salt! If your red onion is bitter, substitute peruvian whites or vidalias. You need less lemon, lime and cilantro for balance. I made it first as written and it was so salty it was inedible, could this be a typo? Maybe 2 teaspoons instead of tablespoons?

  • lacy

    This is the best crevice recipe out there. I will add crab or lobster sometimes and comes out amazing. If u balance the lemon and lime with the salt it won’t taste to sour. If u add to much like I have in the past u can simply put what u have in a strainer and wash it off and start over. This is the only one I use. Simple and delicious.

  • Al Dean

    Six years later and this recipe is still up-to-date! This was an easy and delicious dish. I did not boil my shrimp, rather, I let the marinating do the cooking. I used the frozen salad peeled and deviened ones. Also because of my love for the vegetables, I increased the amount of cukes and red onions. In the end it was simply delightful.
    Thank you such a fabulous recipe :-)

  • Heidi

    I’m not quite sure why the marinating time is so short. Wouldn’t it taste better if you marinated it longer than an hour? If so, for how many hours maximum? And, if I go with a longer marinating time,at what point would I add the cucumbers in order for the lemon/lime juice to infuse into them (the cucumber).

    Why don’t you try marinating it longer and see if you like it that way? ~Elise

  • Nanci

    Ran across this when I was making a similar recipe from memory but was wondering whether to use lemon or lime. Based on this recipe I used a mix and loved it. Turned out perfect. My plan was similar except tomato instead of cucumber and jalapeno instead of serrano. Served with tortilla chips. Thanks for posting this!

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