Shrimp Ceviche


Cool and tasty shrimp ceviche recipe, shrimp served with chopped red onion, chile, cilantro, cucumber, avocado with lemon and lime juices.

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 may not kill all of 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

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Chilling time: 1 hour
  • 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 (for salting the poaching water)
  • 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 Boil the shrimp: 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 Cut up shrimp, mix with lime and lemon juice: 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

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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.

More from Elise

77 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Brooke

    This needs SALT. You will overdo on acid without salt to balance.


  2. David

    I make this for all my bbq’s, everyone loves it


  3. wendy

    Tegen-shell fish are prone to Vibrio bacteria (not so much Salmonella) and it is one bacteria that is increasing. It doesn’t take many of this bacteria to be fatal particularly people at risk such as elders, toddlers and those that are immune compromised. If you know your audience-no problem but for a large group or variety of guests, I suggest err on safety and cook for a minute.

  4. Elizabeth

    I’ve love this stuff! My mom used to make this during summer for me as a kid. I got curious to see ppls different versions. This one was the closest. Only difference is that I also add imitation crab like my mom used to. My mom used to add grounded fish (I think tilapia) that she would marinate in lemon juice all night. I don’t bc I want it now. oh and I added ketchup. Yum. I made enough for leftovers.I actually can’t wait for lunch tomorrow.
    Oh and someone mentioned it was too salty. In case it’s not clear, u add water to a pot, salt the water, boil, throw shrimp in, a couple minutes stir remove shrimp from water. Perfect. Mmm. Too bad I’m not a late night eater bc that’s exactly what is b having right now. It’s so good and refreshing.


  5. Julia

    This recipe has entirely too much salt. I put in about 1.25 tbs of salt and it was way too much.

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