Here's how to make classic ceviche (or seviche) using the traditional Latin American method to prepare fresh fish. Cubes of red snapper are cooked by lime and lemon juice. Serve this delicious ceviche wrapped in corn tortillas or with chips.

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.

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

Ceviche served with avocado in white serving dish

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

To serve:

  • Cilantro
  • Avocado
  • Tortillas or tortilla chips


1 Assemble the ceviche: 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. Cover casserole dish with plastic-wrap.

Combine the fish, onion, tomatoes, chili, salt, Tabasco, and oregano for the ceviche in a non-reactive dish

2 Stir after one hour, then marinate several more hours: 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 more hours, giving time for the flavors to blend.

During the marinating process, the fish will change from pinkish grey and translucent to whiter in color and opaque.

While marinating the ceviche, the fish will change from pinkish grey and translucent to whiter in color and opaque

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

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Homemade Ceviche with Fish

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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90 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. jackie

    Jim, bottled juice is fine, use more than your recipe requires, add some extra salt also for the cooking and flavor, you will be happy with results!

  2. Jim

    Due to Covid and other distribution problems, my local grocer has no fresh limes or lemons in stock but I have a bucket of fresh shrimp. Can I use bottled lime and lemon juices as an alternative to freshly squeezed?

    Show Replies (1)
  3. joo hye tincher

    Yum Yum :)


  4. Erin

    Love this recipe but I tweaked it by adding mango and honey. I also used fake crab and served it in quinoa …. very yummy!!! I like using this recipe as a base and incorporating it into whatever I have in the cupboard

  5. Tina

    I used a mix of ahi tuna and wild caught shelled and deveined shrimp. I also only had jalapeños on hand, so I used that instead. Really good. I served it over arugula and had bought some real bread from a French shop nearby and soaked up the juices with it. And I had a glass of rose wine with it. It was yummy.


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