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This needs SALT. You will overdo on acid without salt to balance.
I make this for all my bbq’s, everyone loves it
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.
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.
This recipe has entirely too much salt. I put in about 1.25 tbs of salt and it was way too much.
Hi Julia, the salt is for salting the water in which you cook the shrimp, not for the ceviche. A ratio of a tablespoon of salt for 2 quarts of water is the correct ratio for salted water in which to cook pasta, shrimp, or just about anything that you cook in salted water.
Can I make this the night before? Thanks!
Hi, Jackie! Emma here, managing editor. The ceviche can start to over-marinate and the shrimp can tend to get a rubbery if you let it sit for much longer than the recommended time, so unfortunately, I wouldn’t recommend making this the night before. However, you could cook the shrimp the night before and toss everything together the next day. Hope that helps!
I have meade this exact recipe several times for parties, both my own parties and those at which I was a guest. Everyone AT EVERY PARTY raved about it. To those who say you never ever cook shrimp for shrimp ceviche – if you want pregnant women to eat it, or if you want to be cautious about bacteria (since we don’t know the road map the shrimp took from the ocean to our grocer) you do. Just for a couple minutes … long enough to kill the surface bacteria. Trust me – I’m a sushi lover, too, and this ceviche is going to taste awesome. Your guests won’t know you blanched it unless you tell them.
I will add tomatoes too. They go well with all the other ingredients.
First you NEVER NEVER cook shrimp when you make ceviche!!! You cut or chop all of your ingredients except for the shrimp. In a large glass or ceramic bowl. Put all of the ingredients in the bowl except the cilantro and avocado.mix all other ingredients together. Allow ingredients to sit in bowl at least 2 hours. In the mean time place shrimp in a bowl of ice for about an hour. Once that is done place everything in the bowl. Mix and refrigerate at least 6 hours.
I have wondered about dipping anything raw in vodka for a half minute. Then either wash the vodka off or just begin the process as the vodka will evaporate long before it is consumed.
So delicious! First time I have ever made shrimp ceviche- definitely a repeat! I did not measure anything except knew how much shrimp I had. I did add roma tomato and cut the shrimp into smaller pieces. More heat next time for sure. Soooo good!!!
I’m so glad you liked it Jules!
Can I make this the evening before serving? I would wait until serving time to add the avocado.
Hi Donna, yes, you can make this the night before. Good idea to wait until serving to add the avocado.
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?
Hi Steve, the two tablespoons of salt are for salting the water to cook the shrimp! Not to add to the ceviche.
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.
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 :-)
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
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!
yes indeed was good , than again being latina I added tomates to enhance the flavor
Great recipe but turned out a little bland so I added some old bay to season the shrimp. Also added roma tomatos and squeezed the juice of an orange into the miz at the end! Came out great and was a huge hit!
I made this last night for the first time. It was delicious. I did make a few changes…I used 3 avocados (love em!) and I used 3 tbsp of tomato sauce and one tomatoe diced. I also added more salt at the very end. All of those things really took out the acidic taste. Even so much that my husband said it needed MORE lemon/lime!! I didn’t think so, it was perfect!!Will make it next time the exact same way! Oh, and I only about 1/4 cup cilantro (not a big fan of cilantro). Again, it was PERFECT! Great recipe!!!
Terrific recipe! The only deviation I took from the recipe was using a navel orange and 1 lemon instead of all lemon. So pleased to have found this, I know it will be a big hit at our family get-together tomorrow. Cheers!
I’m using this recipe for a school project, and if I was to skip the pre-cooking of the shrimp and only cook it in the lemon and lime juices, should I leave it sitting in the refrigerator for longer? If so, how long?
Several hours, until opaque through and through. ~Elise
Just made this today for the company summer potluck and it was a huge hit. Thanks for the recipe!
This is my go-to hot weather dish–never misses! And I’ve sampled at least 6 other versions of ceviche.
How do I pick grocery store avocados that are soft to the touch but don’t turn out to be half-green, half-gray? The gray parts are sort of yucky tasting and impossible to prune out of the green parts.
The avocados should just barely give, not be “soft”. If soft, the best thing to do is to mash up the avocado for guacamole. ~Elise
Have made this six times now – always to rave reviews. Fresh and light and addictive. Follow recipe exactly. Thanks! Keeps for a day or two after as well, great with fresh corn tortillas or chips or just by itself.
I have made this very same recipes many, many times. It has always turned out wonderful. I am a huge shrimp lover, and so is my family. I usually makes this for me and my boyfriend. I made it for a superbowl party yesterday and it was a hit. The chile is not too much heat, as a serano is a very mild chile. You can kick it up a bit and use a jalapeno or Habanaro. It is best to do this dish in steps, just as the recipe suggests. The flavors of the lime and lemons are wonderful after that first half hour in the fridge. Yesterday, I used fresh curly parsely as I know some family members don’t like cilantro and it still turned out lovely.
so good. we loved it – thanks elise! and good tip on slightly cooking the shrimp to kill bacteria – better safe than sorry.
I made this dish and it tastes great. Just a note, you can also add imitation (or real) crab meat and leave out the hot pepper if you are not fond of spicy flavors. Still delicious! :)
I am making this dish for a school project, and is it bad if I put tomatoes with it and more avocados?
You can add tomatoes and more avocados if you want. ~Elise
You should definitely add tomatoes and more avocados!
OMG!!!!! wow what an amazing meal. I made this dish tonight with 1/2 lb. fresh cooked shrimp ( I used half of everything in the recipe), but I used 1 lemon, and about 5 healthy squirts of lime juice (from the little lime juice bottle) bc I didnt have limes. I added one roma tomato. And I didn’t let everything marinate in the fridge as long as recommended bc I was too hungry to wait (: I will make this dish again, but next time I will add chunks of white fish and scallops. My husband loved it!!! Thank you so much, delich.
This is making me hungry… I have made this dish several times and my favorite way is using a bit of clamato juice and adding diced tomatoes to your version. I like to blanch the shrimp instead of cooking for 1-2 minutes. I stop the cooking process by putting the shrimp into an ice bath and then I soak the fish in lime juice (no lemon) overnight. The next day I add the veggies and clamato and let sit for 2 hours. The avocado goes on right before serving. This recipe always gets rave reviews.
I made this last night and it was so good! My husband and I seine for shrimp in the fall and so I’m always looking for great recipes that make all that hard work worth it. This one definitely made the cut!
This is a great recipe! I was making it for a party, so I used 2 lbs of (Trader Joe’s Mexican white) shrimp. I also added three tomatoes. One other thing that I highly recommend is chopping the red onion and serrano pepper VERY fine and the tomato and cucumber 1/4 inch dice. Next time, I think I will add some finely chopped celery. I did like keeping the shrimp as the star of the dish! Hmmmm… a coarsely grated Bloody Mary pepper/celery mix could be a great way to top this off.
This recipe is a keeper!!!!
I made this the other night and it was a hit! I added diced tomatoes and used 1 1/2 lbs of shrimp. (Based on the reviews there was excess lime/lemon juice so I didnt really have this problem adding in a few extras). I would definately recommend this to others.
This is the most amazaing appetizer. Everyone loved it and asked for the recipe. It was so refreshing, we ate it poolside and felt as if we were on vacation. I used small frozen shrimp and it made the recipe sooooo easy. This is a keeper. Thanks for posting.
This is an awesome recipe. I made it for a small family gathering and everybody loved it.
I did make some modification though. Since my family and I are a lot more tolerant I added a few more serrano peppers (with seeeds), added teaspoon of cayenne and regular pepper, instead of shrimp I used tilapia fish, and I excluded the advocadoes till it was served on a bed of green lettuce. Sides included sliced sweet potatoes and one inch chunk of corn, served cold.
I made two versions: a traditional cerviche, where the fish is cooked just in lime and “cerviche style” where the fish is lightly pre heated. It tastes the same the only difference is in the texture of the fish. And everybody had an opportunity to enjoy it, even “die hards” that prefer traditional cerviche loved it.
Nothing better than cool cerviche and ice cold Tecate with lime on hot Texas day (actually it was cool 92 degrees).
I made this last night as an appetizer to enchiladas – of course, I forgot the cilantro at the end but it was still delicious. I added some Old Bay to the boiling water like someone recommended and it really improved the flavor of the shrimp. Thanks for the great recipe.
I agree, the citrus juice does not kill the bacteria that are present, only the heat cooking does, BUT preparing in a way that keeps it in a safe time/temp zone keeps them “at bay”, such as not letting it stay out of range of anything above 41 fahrenheit for more than an hour.
You don’t have to kill the bacteria, bacteria are present all around us all the time, we just have to keep them at low numbers, like why we take showers, and refrigerate our food.
Keeping things at temps below 41 fahrenheit will keep the miniscule bacteria present from reproducing, and from having high enough numbers that the toxins they create will actually affect you.
Those bacteria create toxins that make you sick, but for example, it takes between a million to a billion salmonella bacteria to actually produce enough toxin to make you sick.
I say make it fresh, do not take too long preparing it, and eat it within a short time frame if you want to do it without pre-cooking it.
If you want to eat it another day after preparing it, that’s perfectly fine, as long as you didn’t have it sitting out too long before you refrigerated it again, it doesn’t take very long to prepare ceviche, so you’ll be alright.
You could eat meat right off a freshly killed deer or fish if you wanted to, provided it didn’t have any parasites or was sick when it died, the bacteria present on the animal weren’t enough to affect it in life, why would it hurt you?
I am sorry, why did you cook the shrimp? The citrus juice ‘cooks’ the shrimp. Just pour the juice on the shrimp, leave it in the fridge several hours to over night, then add the rest of the inexpedience.
The citrus juice may “cook” the shrimp (firm up the proteins), but it doesn’t kill any of the bacteria on it. For that you need heat. Have you ever gotten sick from bad shell fish? I have, and it isn’t pretty. Unless you are working with extremely fresh shrimp, the best way to guard against food poisoning with shrimp is to cook it enough to kill the bugs, before letting it marinate in the citrus. ~Elise
I have used this recipe over and over. It is wonderful! I love it with the shrimp. I serve it with fresh tortilla chips. Please do not ever remove it from your web site!
If I were to make this recipe, how long would it stay fresh in the fridge without the avocado turning brown?
Oxygen turns the avocado brown, so as long as the avocado is covered, it should be fine. Just put some plastic wrap over it, laying the plastic directly on top of the ceviche. Other than that, you should eat it up quickly, as even cooked shrimp can go bad. ~Elise
I made this ceviche last night. I followed the recipe exactly, with the exception of using jalapeño instead of serrano chile. It was simply delicious and a big hit with my guests. Wonderful recipe. Thank you!
I tried this recipe (minus the cucumber) with the in-season Maine fresh shrimp (found now in Boston and surroundings). It was delicious! I butterflied the shrimp just like I had seen in Mexico and it looked great (wish I had taken a photo before devouring the whole thing).
I have to say that I’m going to try this recipe. I have never made it before,but my sister in law made it and it was soooo good. My in laws make it a lot also, but they put in octopus and crab and some other stuff that I don’t desire to eat from the sea. I’m going to make mine with shrimp & crab. My sister in law uses tomatoes, cucumbers, cilantro, jalapeno, red onion, lime, crab meat, and shrimp. What we do is put the ceviche on tostada shells and it is delicious.
Great recipe!! First time I tried it was for my daughter’s baby shower as an appetizer. I was kind of hesitant to tell everyone to get some ceviche because I thought no one was going to like it but to my surprise they all liked it. Two of them thought it was a little spicy but they got up to get two to three servings; even an 11 year old fell in love with it and ended getting three servings. There were no leftovers and everyone was asking for the recipe. I added a little bit of catsup and “Clamato” juice to make it juicy and it was a big hit. Now, they want me to make it again just because. Thanks for the recipe.
3/4 of a cup of lime and 3/4 cup of lemon is in my opinion way too much. Maybe for 5 pounds of shrimp, I use very little since this recipe uses precooked shrimp- I have also used the clamato juice- try the spicy clamato- mucho bueno. Still cant beat the shrimp ceviche in Rocky Point Mexico, but getting closer too that perfection.
Hello, I just started reading this blog, and I have to say so far I
like it. I used to work for a carpet warehouse and we had tons of
hispanic installers. They used to bring me Shrimp Ceviche. It was the greatest meal I have had in a long, long time. It came in a container with a bit of broth and the red onion, shrimp and celantro. I never saw avocado or cucumber, but I figured I would give this recipe a try b/c I love this dish so much and have yet to find a simple recipe that I liked.
I made this the other day and I guess I could’ve used more shrimp than I used. I also didn’t like the cucumber or avocado in this, but it was refreshing. I think the cup of cilantro was a bit much. I love cilantro and I only used about 1 1/2 tablespoons.
Thank you for the recipe. I just think next time I will skip the
avocado and cucumber. Other than that it wasn’t too bad. :)
Elise, I tried this recipe and I was so disappointed in the outcome. I too got a very bitter harsh taste from what seemed like too much acid and the cilantro was far too overpowering. I could taste what the avocado and the cucumber were trying to do to cool it down and balance it out, but the salt just didn’t do it’s part to balance out the bitterness and the acid. I see from other comments some folks felt the same. I want to try it again, but this time I am going to use more salt, less citrus (or maybe drain it after the citrus “cooking” process). I am going to drop the chilies which didn’t add or subtract as far as I can see, and substitute parsley with the cilantro. I may try some mint. I wanted this to work, but I am not sure if it was my inexperience or just a matter of taste. I am still going to try! Thanks for this idea, and wish me better luck next time??
I eaten raw fish for about 50 years in the lemon and limes-orange juice with salmon, and I am still alive and very healthy. The grapefruit is good too with salmon try 2/3 c.orange juice with the 2/3 c. lime juice with onion -marinade overnite and than use only little of marinade with the civiche- along with fresh “roasted “polbano peppers.n some of the orange slices with no membrane -capers-cilantros – if you don’t like cilantros use parsley.
I use a little chop cilantros with lots of lemon or lime- shrimp-scallops -fish- serano or jalapeno peppers chopped fine -little ketchup or tomato juice-avacodo slices-black olives- and cucumber slices chunked -sometimes as whole meal.
You can use Tabsco sauce-white vinegar – black olives- worchestershire sauce almost like a bloody mary with voda also. Experiment Mistakes are great creations! Of course I have to write them all down so I remember and use different ones.
Looks almost like my ceviche recipe. My only comment/thought is that I was taught that ceviche is where the citric acid cooks the fish, not heat. This recipe detracts from the original theory.
Did a recipe like this a couple of days ago, using scallops and shrimp, but using the juice of limes, lemons, and grapefruit (for some sweetness). Tres magnifique!
The acid in the marinade “cooks” the fish, but it doesn’t kill the bacteria. Raw shellfish tend to be especially susceptible to bacteria that can give you food poisoning, so unless you are getting your shellfish fresh and right from the sea, cooking the shrimp first is a safety measure to help keep you from getting sick. ~Elise
Can you substitute frozen shrimp if in a hurry?
Yes, but you will still need to defrost it, which you do by placing it in a bowl of ice water. Most “fresh” shrimp you buy at the market is actually defrosted frozen fish. ~Elise
Made this last night. I made this the traditional way and had the lemon/lime juices cook the shrimp. Delicious. I was worried about the chili being too hot so I took out the seeds and used only half a serrano chili. Didn’t feel the heat. Next time I’ll still take out the seeds but use the whole chili.
Nice quick and easy dinner.
We visited a great restaurant here in Chicago last week that specializes in ceviche (Carnivale). We did a “flight” of 3 kinds and their shrimp version was the clear favorite. However, this recipe seems much lighter and more refreshing than the one we sampled…I can’t wait to try it!
Also — when serving, I know crackers are traditional. I generally perfer chips or to eat the dish alone. Curious to know your preference?
Alone or with softened corn tortillas. I love almost everything in tortillas. ~Elise
Elise – I tasted this delightful dish when I first visited Ecuador over 17 years ago. A popular local version adds freshly-popped popcorn on top; funny as it sounds it bring a nice cruchy texture to the dish and cuts some of the acidity. I often serve it that way and people are intrigued and pleased by the variation…
What to drink with ceviche?
Inca Kola! or Pisco Sour!
Jessica was wondering what drink to serve with ceviche:how about a sparkling water with lemon or other citrus-flavor, lime or orange; or a Chardonnay or Chablis.
A small amt of olive oil reduces the acidity of the citrus and “smooths it out”
I also use white vinegar and a little olive oil – it really enhances the flavor. The salt keeps it from getting too bitter. I’m having it tonight as it’s been marinated for almost 24hours. I used white fish, shrimp, squid, red onion, red bellpepper, cilantro, & avacodo. I can’t wait to get home and dive in.
Can anyone tell me what’s a good drink to serve with ceviche?
If you enjoy drinking white wine,a glass of Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc will go well with ceviche.
I followed this recipe but added steamed halibut to it, subtracted the chile (I don’t like anything spicy), used 2 teaspoons of salt instead of 2 tablespoons and 3 limes + 3 lemons. It came out great. Everyone at my dinner party loved it and it was my husband’s first time trying ceviche ever (he said it was darn good).
Ok, Ok, For all of you who felt the lime/lemon created too much acidity to your plate. Here is the clue.
You have to balance it with salt, just the same way you have to balance the HOT (spicy)of a hot pepper with salt. Yes it enhances the flavor and allows you to tolerate the spicy flavor of hot pepper by adding salt, just before you eat it. Trust me.
How long will ceviche remain good refrigerated?
I followed the recipe and for simple shrimp ceviche it came out great! Only thing I did was drain some of the juice off after marinating, I did not want it coming out sour.
Hi Nidha – you can use all lime or all lemon if you want. Lime juice in particular has a lovely flavor for ceviche. I like the mix of both.
Hi Victoria – if the ceviche was too acidic, you probably needed to add more avocado to it. The fat in the avocado cuts the acid in the lemon/lime. A balance of flavors is what you are after. Though on the whole ceviche does tend to be acidic because of the fact that the fish “cooks” in the acid of the lemons and limes.
Used this recipe earlier today, but it came out incredibly sour because of the lemon juice. Ended up trashing the entire thing. Perhaps I made a mistake, although I am pretty sure the recipe was followed correctly…
Does it matter if I use only lemons, not lime or vice versa?
Substitute any spicy chile such as jalepeno or habanero for the serrano. Shouldn’t be hard to find something in india ;-).
I’m from India and can’t find serrano chile here.Could you tell me what I could substitute it with?
I made this using the jiuce from only 2 1/2 limes and one lemon (that’s all I had) and that was more than enough. I also added Old Bay seasoning (1 tbsp) to the water when I cooked the shrimp – it adds just a little bit more flavor.
It occurred to me while eating the leftover ceviche last night, that this is a very well rounded dish from an ayurvedic perspective. It has all six rasas:
The shrimp is sweet, the citrus is sour, the salt is (obviously) salty, the cilantro is bitter, the red onion is pungent, and the cucumber and avocado are cool – very balanced. For me, cutting back on the citrus was helpful as I prefer less acidity in a meal.
Thanks Elise! The photo is mouth-watering.
Elise, here’s my results: