This fresh ceviche is made from raw fish marinated in citrus juice. It doesn't need to be cooked, making it the perfect hot weather meal!
There are some foods that just scream summer. For some people, it's hamburgers and ice cream. For me it's salads and anything grilled.
This Ceviche is none of the above, but it too is the perfect summer dish. You don't need to cook ceviche, and you can easily make it ahead of time.
I guess it is kind of like a salad in that it's a cold mix of veggies, protein, citrus juice, and oil. If you've never tried ceviche before, you definitely should. Right now.
What is Ceviche?
Ceviche originated in Peru and is now served all over Central and South America. It was widely available in Costa Rica when I went there several years ago, and that was where I first tried it.
It's a mixture of thinly sliced fish, and/or shellfish which has been marinated in citrus juice (often a mixture of lime, lemon, and/or orange). The acid in the citrus denatures the proteins in the seafood, essentially "cooking" it.
What kind of fish should I use to make ceviche?
Ceviche is made with fish or shellfish, or a mix of both. I've tried making it with salmon, but my preference is to use white fish.
Tilapia is easy to come by, so that's what I've been using lately, but sole works well too.
Fresh fish is great if you have reliable access to it, but high-quality frozen seafood will work too. When you're choosing your fish, try to find pieces that are as thin as possible. That means less slicing for you. I also prefer to throw in a mix of shellfish for some flavor.
Is ceviche safe?
Even though the acid in the citrus denatures and "cooks" the protein in the fish, ceviche is technically raw.
However, the acid in the citrus juice does not have the power to kill any potential microbial contaminants. So if you are at a higher risk of foodborne illness, you should stay away from ceviche. The risk is low though, for the average person.
To reduce your risk of getting sick, make sure you purchase your seafood from a reliable source. If your seafood is fresh (not frozen) make sure to eat it before the best before date.
If you're using frozen seafood, check to make sure that it was frozen right after it was caught. This will likely be the better option for those who live far from the ocean or don't have a reliable seafood market nearby.
Along with the fish, bell pepper, jalapeno, garlic, scallion, cilantro, salt and pepper give the ceviche its flavor.
Depending on where it's made, sometimes other ingredients like avocado, tomato, or grapefruit are added as well.
- Firm, white fish, or shellfish, or a mixture
- Lime zest and juice
- Lemon juice
- Red bell pepper
- Jalapeno pepper
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
How to eat Ceviche:
You can serve Ceviche in any number of ways. You could eat it with a fork directly from a bowl or plate, like a salad.
Try serving it with tortilla chips to scoop as if you were eating salsa.
You can eat it with corn tortillas, like tacos.
Or you can serve it with lettuce leaves, like lettuce wraps. Your choice, but trust me, it's good in all of the above ways.
Want more seafood recipes?
Ceviche Nutrition Notes:
The nutrition information in the recipe below uses tilapia for the calculations. Other types of white fish will be similar.
Using shellfish in your ceviche will slightly increase the cholesterol content, but cholesterol that comes from food doesn't significantly affect blood cholesterol levels.
- 1 pound firm, white fish or shellfish see note
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- ½ cup lime juice 4 limes
- ½ cup lemon juice 4 lemons
- 1 small red bell pepper stemmed, seeded and minced
- 1 small jalapeno pepper stemmed, seeded and minced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste as needed
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 scallions thinly sliced
- 4 Tablespoons cilantro minced
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Remove any skin and bones from the fish. If using shellfish, remove shells and/or tails. Slice fish fillets into ⅓" thick slices (8mm), then cut into 1" pieces.
- Mix fish, lime zest, lime and lemon juice, bell pepper, jalapeno, garlic, and ½ teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour, stirring halfway through.
- Pour fish mixture into a mesh strainer to drain excess liquid. Stir in olive oil, scallions, cilantro, sugar and ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper. Serve either family style or in individual bowls. Can be served on top of a green salad or with tortilla chips or fresh corn tortillas.
Nutrition Disclaimer: I try my best to make sure the nutrition information I provide is accurate to provide you with the best information possible. However, due to ingredient discrepancies and other factors, the above nutrition information should be considered an estimation only.