This fresh and flavorful ceviche recipe is full of shrimp, crunchy veggies, and bright citrus juices. It’s an incredibly quick and easy dish to make at home to serve as an appetizer or a light snack.
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Mexican Ceviche Recipe
If you love seafood, you’re going to love this recipe for shrimp ceviche. It’s bold and zesty and can be whipped up easily an hour or so before you want to serve it. Even better, you don’t need to turn the stove on to make it, which is always welcome on those hot summer days!
This recipe starts with fresh shrimp which gets marinated in lemon and lime juices along with red onions, tomatoes, cilantro, and diced jalapenos. It’s then topped off with some fresh cucumber and avocado for a cool and creamy finish!
I love serving this ceviche to my guests alongside my delicious homemade tortilla chips. It’s the perfect snack for summer on the patio!
What is Ceviche?
Ceviche (pronounced ‘see-vee-chay’) is traditionally a dish originating in South America, either Peru or Ecuador (no one is quite sure!) and eventually making its way to Mexico and other Central American countries, spreading throughout Latin America. For good reason, ceviche is delicious!
It is a dish where fresh raw fish or seafood is cured by marinating it in citrus juices – typically lemon and lime. Chopped fresh veggies are then added to the marinade and everything gets tossed together to create a light and refreshing snack that’s bursting with fresh flavors.
Do You Use Raw or Cooked Shrimp?
This ceviche recipe calls for raw shrimp which might seem a bit unusual. It’s important to start with fresh-caught shrimp. Bags of frozen shrimp, thawed, are a good option.
The citrus juice works to ‘denature’ the shrimp protein which is similar to what happens when it is cooked with heat. Once the shrimp has sat in the marinade for an hour, it will turn firm and opaque.
If you would prefer to cook the shrimp slightly, follow these easy steps:
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and fill a glass bowl with ice water.
- Add shrimp to boiling water and cook for 1 minute, or until pink and opaque.
- Drain and transfer to ice water. Let sit for a few minutes to cool. If cooking, you only need to marinate with the juices for 15 minutes.
Buying pre-cooked shrimp is another option when making this ceviche recipe.
You only need a few fresh ingredients to make this amazing dish!
- Shrimp: I use raw shrimp in this recipe, but if you’re more comfortable using cooked shrimp, then that’s ok too. Make sure that the shrimp are peeled and deveined and that the tails are removed.
- Citrus: I use both lemon and lime in this recipe. Use freshly squeezed juice (not bottled). I’ve never tried orange juice, but I hear it’s great too!
- Veggies: This recipe has Roma tomatoes, red onion, cucumber, creamy avocado, and jalapeno. Use the freshest ingredients you can find.
- Herbs and seasoning: I keep it simple with just salt, pepper, and chopped cilantro.
How to Make Ceviche
Follow these four simple steps to make your own Latin-inspired shrimp ceviche recipe!
- Marinate shrimp: Chop the shrimp into ½-inch pieces and place them into a bowl. Squeeze the lime and lemon juices over the top of the shrimp and let it sit in the acidic marinade in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
- Add veggies: Chop the tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, and cilantro and add to the bowl with the shrimp. Sprinkle over salt and pepper and stir everything together. Chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
- Add cucumber and avocado: Chop the cucumber and avocado and stir it into the bowl before serving. You can strain off some of the juice if you prefer.
- Serve ceviche: I like to serve my Mexican ceviche with Clamato juice, hot sauce, tortilla chips, or tostada.
You can easily add or swap out the ceviche ingredients to your tastes. Switch up the seafood, add more spice, or even make it fruity – get creative!
- Seafood: If you prefer fish to shrimp or shellfish, you can swap for lean white fresh fish (mahi-mahi, cod, tilapia, snapper, sea bass, salmon, halibut). Use only sashimi-grade fish that is safe for raw consumption or cook through and cut into chunks.
- Feeling adventurous? Some people enjoy ceviche with scallops, squid, or octopus! I don’t know if I’m some people yet. Let me know how it goes if you try that!
- Vegetables: Try adding chopped radishes, corn, green onions, or chopped bell peppers for added crunch.
- Flavor boost: Try adding olives, coriander, or chilli, for a salty, savory, and spicy element.
- Fruit: To add a tropical flair to the ceviche, leave out the tomato and add some chopped mango or pineapple.
- Spice level: Want more spice? Use a serrano pepper in place of the jalapeno.
This ceviche can be served as an appetizer or a light snack. I usually serve it with Clamato juice, salsa, hot sauce, and Tostadas or homemade tortilla chips.
Here are a few tips I’ve learned along the way about making the most delicious ceviche.
- Even, bite-sized pieces. Chop your shrimp into bite-sized pieces that are roughly the same size. This helps it to marinate evenly. Also, do the same with your veggies.
- Add avocado and cucumber right before serving. You can prepare the rest of the ceviche a couple of hours in advance, but make sure you only add the avocado and cucumber right before serving. This helps prevent the cucumber from getting too mushy and the avocado from browning. Check out my tips for how to cut an avocado.
- Reduce spiciness. If you aren’t into spice, make sure to remove the seeds and ribs from inside the jalapeno pepper before adding it to the ceviche. The seeds and ribs are where most of the heat is. You can also leave the jalapeno out altogether.
I like to serve my ceviche once it’s ready, but it should keep for 1 day in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Remember to only add the avocado and cucumber right before serving.
It is neither raw nor cooked. The shrimp is marinated in citrus juice which changes the structure of the protein so that it becomes firm and opaque. Much in the same way that cooking with heat does.
Definitely! Most frozen seafood and fish are frozen within 12 hours of catching it, which means it’s fresh when you go to use it. You want to use the freshest shrimp you can find for this recipe.
You can make it up to 1 day in advance and store it in the fridge in an airtight container. Add the avocado and cucumber right before serving.
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Any of these other delicious party dips are always a crowd favorite!
- 1 pound medium (raw or cooked) shrimp , peeled, deveined and tails removed
- ½ cup (4 limes) lime juice
- ¼ cup (1-2 lemons) lemon juice
- 1 cup (2 medium) roma tomatoes , diced
- ½ cup chopped red onion
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
- 1 medium jalapeno , seeded for less heat, diced
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt , plus more to taste
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper , plus more to taste
- 1 ½ cups (about 1 medium) cucumber , peeled and diced
- 1 medium avocado , diced
Serve with: Calamata juice, Salsa, Hot sauce, Tortilla chips or Tostadas
- Chop shrimp into 1/2-inch pieces. Squeeze the lime juice, and lemon juice over top. Let marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
- Stir in tomatoes, onion, cilantro, jalapeno, salt, and pepper. Transfer to refrigerator and chill 15 minutes.
- Add cucumber and avocado just before serving. Strain off some of the juice, if desired. Serve with calamata juice, hot sauce, tortilla chips or tostada.
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
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