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Video: How to make Ceviche!
- Ocean fish – look for wild red snapper, corvina, sea bass, mahi-mahi, halibut, dorado, scallops or shrimp. Tilapia will work in a pinch, but it is typically farmed. I try to stay away from farmed fish, but up to you.
- Limes- use fresh lime juice to cure the fish. FRESH IS BEST. Choose ripe limes– the more tender they are, the more ripe- so give them a good squeeze before buying. Rock-hard limes produce little juice and are overly tart.
- Red onion- Red adds nice color here, but yellow, sweet or white onions all work.
- Tomatoes – I love using cherry or grape tomatoes here for an extra sweet flavor.
- Cucumber – thinned-skinned cucumbers don’t need to be peeled. English, Turkish, Persian, etc.
- Fresh Cilantro- a must! But if you must sub, go with Italian parsley. Lime juice really mitigates the “soapy” flavor for those of you who have that gene. 🙂
- Jalapeno Peppers- and heat and a delicious “freshness.”
- Optional addition: avocado, radishes.
Best Fish for Ceviche
Most wild fish from the ocean will work well in ceviche. Do not use river fish. Ahi Tuna or salmon also don’t work well.
- sea bass
- red snapper
How to make Ceviche (step-by-step)
Slice the onions and place in a bowl. Add the salt and lime juice and let these marinate while you continue- this will help remove the bitterness from the onion.
Cut the fish into 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch cubes and toss them with the marinating onions.
Add the remaining ingredients- cucumber, tomatoes and cilantro and give a good toss. If adding avocado, wait until serving to add it.
Refrigerate for 45-60 minutes. The longer you let the fish cure in the marinade, the more “cooked” through the ceviche will become. I find 45 minutes is perfect.
Ways to serve Ceviche
- Mini Ceviche Tostados
- Ceviche served in a coconut
- Mini Ceviche appetizer cups or shot glasses
- Ceviche lettuce cups
- Plated as a first course.
Or simply serve Ceviche in a serving bowl with tortilla chips or lettuce cups.
- What is ceviche? Ceviche is fresh raw fish marinated or “cooked” in lime juice, most often with onion, tomatoes, cilantro and salt. It hails from the coastal regions of Central and South America, popular from Mexico down to Peru and beyond. There are many versions, and depending on where you are, it will take on the local flavors.
- Is Ceviche Safe to eat? Ceviche, if made with fresh fish is absolutely safe to eat. Think sushi! The lime juice cooks the ceviche on the outer edges and the longer it marinates the longer it “cooks”.
- How do you know if the fish is fresh enough to eat raw? It won’t smell fishy. It will smell clean and fresh with have a subtly sweet flavor.
- How long should Ceviche be marinated? Marination time can be anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the size of the pieces, but roughly 45-60 minutes for 3/4 inch pieces is a good rule of thumb. Remember when using a good quality, fresh, wild fish, it is not imperative that the fish is cooked all the way through, a little rawness is actually really quite good! Think sushi!
- How can you tell if ceviche is cooked long enough? The fish will look opaque on the outside, instead of translucent. If you prefer it cooked through more, you can marinate for 2 hours or more! Longer marinating will tend to make the fish chewier. See what you like best. There is no “right way”. If it tastes too raw for your own tastes, just marinate it longer.
Can Ceviche be made ahead?
Yes! That being said, Ceviche is best made fresh on the day of serving- and is best up to 4 hours before serving- but I do save the leftovers for the next day. The fish will continue to cook in the lime juice, so the texture will change but the flavors are still great. I’ve been known to eat Ceviche 2-3 days after making -it won’t go bad, if kept in a cold refrigerator.
Give it a whirl and let us know how you like it!
More recipes you might like:
- Hearts of Palm Ceviche (Vegan!)
- Shrimp Ceviche Verde
- 20 Healthy Fish and Seafood Recipes!
- Poke Bowls
- Peruvian Ceviche
- 35 Fresh and Tasty Mexican Recipes
The Best Ceviche Recipe!
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 45
- Total Time: 55 minutes
- Yield: 6 1x
- Category: appetizer, salad, main, fish
- Method: marinated
- Cuisine: mexican
- Diet: Gluten Free
How to make the Best Ceviche! Ceviche is made with fresh fish (or shrimp) cured with lime juice, then tossed with onions, cilantro, tomato and cucumber. Serve it as an appetizer with tortilla chips or as a light, refreshing summer meal.
- 1/2 a red onion, thinly sliced, with the grain.
- 1– 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, start with 1, add more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 3/4 cup fresh lime juice (4-6 limes) freshly squeezed ( try to use ripe limes)
- 1–2 garlic cloves very finely minced (use a garlic press)
- 1 fresh serrano or jalapeño chili pepper seeded and very finely chopped. Start conservatively, more to taste.
- 1 pound fresh fish- sea bass, red snapper, corvina, halibut, dorado, escolar, mahi-mahi, tilapia, or hamachi – diced into 1/2 inch cubes.
- 1/4–1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced or cut in half (or 1 cup diced tomatoes)
- 1 cup diced cucumber
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (optional)
- optional: 1 semi-firm Avocado, diced, or make the Avocado Sauce
Serve with tortilla chips, or lettuce cups, or see more options in the post above.
Optional Avocado sauce:
- 2/3 cup Avocado
- 1/3 cup cilantro
- 2/3 cup water- plus more as needed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 garlic clove
- cracked pepper to taste
- Slice the red onion thinly with the grain, and toss in a bowl with salt, pepper and lime juice, coating well.
- Add the fish, garlic and fresh chilies, and gently mix.
- Add the tomatoes, cucumber, cilantro and olive oil, and give a stir and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving (45-60 minutes is ideal). The longer you marinate the firmer and more “cooked” the fish will become.
- Before serving, taste and adjust the salt and heat. Add more salt or chilies if you like. If adding avocado, gently fold it in right before serving- you may need to add a pinch more salt.
- To make the optional Avocado Sauce, blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth, adding a bit more water or oil, if needed to get the blades going.
To Serve: Serve ceviche in a big bowl with tortilla chips on the side, or as mini tostadas (on a round chip or homemade) or make ceviche tacos or ceviche lettuce cups. Ceviche can also be served in small appetizer cups or shot glasses with a mini fork. Or plate it up with a little Avocado Sauce as a salad course.
To make crispy mini tostadas: lightly spray mini corn tortillas (3-inch tortillas) with olive oil and season generously with salt. Bake in a 300 F oven on a sheet pan until crisp (not chewy, but crisp like a cracker) about 25 -30 minutes, turning halfway through. Let cool completely.
- Serving Size: -includes one diced avocado
- Calories: 149
- Sugar: 3.2 g
- Sodium: 637.1 mg
- Fat: 6.3 g
- Saturated Fat: 1.3 g
- Carbohydrates: 9 g
- Fiber: 3.1 g
- Protein: 15.5 g
- Cholesterol: 31 mg
Keywords: ceviche recipe, best ceviche, easy ceviche recipe, how to serve ceviche, best ceviche recipe, how to make ceviche, how long to marinate ceviche, what king of fish ceviche,
This was good but far too much onion. I’ve had and also made better ones.
I also agree with another reviewer that there’s no way this takes 25 minutes of active preparation.
Sorry this wasn’t your favorite. You can always cut back on the onion, and it gets much faster the 2nd go around.
I consider myself to be a an expert level amateur chef/cook and love ceviche.
I’ve lived and traveled throughout Latin America for over 20 years and have eaten ceviche, of all types and varieties everywhere I’ve lived or traveled.
The styles and varieties are almost infinite. I particularly like authentic Peruvian style ceviche but have found great ceviche (and mediocre ceviche) everywhere.
I prefer my own style, which is very similar to this recipe. The only important change I make, and suggest that you consider, is to add a little ginger ale or 7-Up before serving. It will cut down on the strong lime flavor and give you a better result (in my opinion).
Also, all of the suggested fish are fine but you can use any fresh or frozen fish or seafood.
I especially like corvina and pargo (which is a small snapper very similar to yellowtail snapper more readily available in the United States.)
For example, I frequently use farm-raised catfish, precooked shrimp, etc., which are fairly cheap and readily available almost everywhere.
This is a great basic recipe and is a great way to start if you haven’t made ceviche before.
As a side note, I usually eat ceviche with plain soda crackers.
After posting, I thought of another comment but can’t edit my post so I am adding this as a comment. I really like spicy food, but many people don’t, and except in Mexico, most versions don’t include jalapeños or other hot peppers. Instead, the ceviche is served with hot sauce or chopped peppers on the side. That is how I always serve it and recommend to you.
Thanks Jim, appreciate this and I’ll have to try that!
Thank-you Jim. The best ceviche I’ve had was in Old Town San Juan Puerto Rico using fresh out of the water sea bass. Panama City, Panama also has some great ceviche. Haven’t traveled as extensively as you so I’m wondering about Chile?
I’ve had it in Panama City as well- amazing!
I’ve had it in Santiago, Chile, and it was amazing!
Made it with Talapia, shrimp and scallops. It came out great!!!
Great to hear Allen!
So crazy delicious! I’ve used scallops, tilapia, and shrimp – all equally wonderful! I make this every week 🤩
Awesome Lisa! Great to hear!
Hey question: when you do the scallops do you let it marinate longer?
It depends on size of scallops and if you are leaving your scallops whole, or slicing.
Delicious! I used snapper and added some prawns and scallops about half way through.
Does the juice need to be drained after it’s marinated?
No, I just leave it in. 🙂
Very good and so simple.
Delicious! Best cevice I have ever made. I used Tarakihi. We loved it!
I love this recipe! However, without three or four of your peeps helping there is no way, repeat no way, you can prep this in 25 minutes. An hour is more like it with two people. I have made this half dozen times and it tastes great! But 25 minutes?
The recipe is perfect to make ceviche! Love the lime juice taste !!! Thank you!
Brilliant. Reliable. Much appreciated.
“Fresh” by itself is not sufficient when serving raw fish, as any number of people who have eaten salmon (and other fish) straight from the sea and who have become terribly ill can attest. It is therefore prudent to first freeze any fish that is to be served raw. This is standard practice at most (all?) sushi restaurants. We encourage anyone considering serving raw fish to read further into the matter. Sushi, Sashimi and Ceviche can safely be made at home… but we strongly advise against serving fish that has not first been frozen. (Think of the images of those huge, Frozen tuna you’ve seen being bid on by restauranteurs in Japanese fish markets. The operative term there is FROZEN.)
I’ve lived in the Pacific NW and Hawaii, worked in restaurants and I’ve watched the Honolulu fish market bids and seen our sushi chefs buy fish that are still alive. There is actually a practice of cutting the fish while it is still alive- ikizukuri- though I disagree with this morally.
Ahi tuna and mahi are far better fresh, as freezing can degrade the tissue, and I’ve caught wild salmon as well as albacore tuna and can attest that the texture degrades when a fish is frozen, especially in a home freezer, causing a mushiness that isn’t there otherwise. Though in my home we do bleed the fish properly and cook salmon or albacore until *nearly* cooked through- and watch for worms while fileting. Many fish that you see coming from the docks are quickly bled and flash frozen aboard the fishing vessel as they’re caught to preserve the fish because they are caught during longer fishing trips and in larger batches. Not necessarily for consumer safety or taste. If you don’t live where you know the fish has been handled well, even freezing won’t kill most bacterial food borne ilnesses- if your fish was not kept cold and served fresh.
While I appreciate you commentary on the merits of live fish vs. fresh fish, I fail to see the relevance as it pertains to this recipe. Do you have any insight re the many other comments that seem to think this recipe is the bomb.
Tuna is frozen because of how it is fished. boats stay out for long durations and usually quite far from land so they freeze the tuna. most japanese sushi places do not freeze their fish (including multiple michelin starred places). the parasite in fish thing is overblown by the media making it sound as if you eat one fish not “sushi grade” which btw is a marketing ploy, you’d instantly get parasites
This was soooo delicious!!! I made it with red snapper and serrano pepper! So yummy! Question, will it keep in the fridge for any amount of time? I. E. Leftovers. Thanks!
Up to 3 days. 🙂
This recipe looks amazing. The way you present it, is so appetizing.
Thank you sooooo much for sharing your experience, time and delicious recipes !!!!!!
I love ceviche and am so excited to make this. I could not find any of the fish listed, fresh or frozen. I purchased cod for another recipe. Will cod work? How about raw shrimp and scallops?
Hi Tracy, I’m not sure cod would hold up here. Shrimp and scallops would work fine!
Hi!! Can’t wait to try this out, do you take the fish mixture out of the marinade before adding it to the cilantro mixture?
Nope just keep it all in!
This was amazing! Will it keep overnight in the fridge?
Thx. So good, I’m making it again tonight!!
Thanks so much Jeff!
Amazing recipe, came out great and it was my first time making it. Will be making this often ! 💕
Awesome Veronica!!! Great to hear!
Oops! Added the olive oil with the juices. Will it still turn out or did I ruin it?
Hummm- I’m actually not sure! Give it a try and see if the fish still cooks a bit! Will you let me know?
My husband caught some fresh fish spear fishing today… do you know if sheepshead + opaleye would be good for this?
Spearfishing? Cool!!! And great question. I’m not familiar with either! I’m so sorry. Most firm white fish do well here. I’d take a look at the flesh and use your best judgment. I would be guessing at this point.
Sheapshead and opal eye are both great, sheapshead taste like shellfish a bit ( that’s what they eat) for safety I would steam it first. I know it’s not raw but our local fish can carry some parasites. If you want to do it raw freeze for 48 hours at at least -4 f.
Thanks Brion- helpful!
Love it! Honestly, the best ceviche recipe I’ve seen so far with all the details, explanations and alternatives. Thank you for posting!
Thanks so much- glad it worked for you!
Looks delish !
I love to eat ceviche, but, had never made it. I tried this recipe for my maiden voyage of ceviche at home and was blown away! It was so easy, and the flavors are complex and perfect. This is now my go-to recipe and I’ve made it once a week for the past month 😋
Awesome, great to hear Lisa!
Made this recipe last night for the second time using Mahi Mahi and it was AMAZING. It takes some work to make, but if you like ceviche this recipe is way worth it. I marinated my fish for 1 hr. and 30 min. and it blew us all away it was so DEVINE. The best I’ve ever had. Heaven. Even my 11 year old boy cleaned out his bowl using the tortilla chips and we all went for seconds. I wish I could make this once a week for my family…. thank you for sharing your recipe Sylvia!!
Great to hear! Love this, thanks Keith!