Ceviche Recipe

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Ceviche Recipe



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Ceviche, a tantalizing delight that has captivated the taste buds of food enthusiasts around the world, is much more than just a seafood dish. Originating from the coastal regions of Latin America, particularly Peru, ceviche represents a blend of fresh ingredients and vibrant flavors that epitomize the essence of coastal cuisine. In this article, we will explore a classic ceviche recipe that brings together the simplicity of its ingredients with the complexity of its flavors.

What is Ceviche?

Ceviche is a dish typically made from fresh raw fish cured in citrus juices, predominantly lime or lemon, and spiced with ají chili peppers. Accompaniments often include onions, salt, and coriander (cilantro). The acidity of the citrus juice not only flavors the fish but also denatures the proteins, effectively “cooking” it without heat.

Ingredients for Classic Ceviche

To prepare a traditional ceviche, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Fresh fish: Typically, a firm white fish such as sea bass, tilapia, or halibut is used. Make sure the fish is fresh and of good quality, as it is eaten raw.

Citrus juice: Freshly squeezed lime juice is most common, providing the acidity needed to cure the fish.

Onions: Red onions are preferred for their color and milder flavor.

Cilantro: Fresh cilantro adds a burst of flavor and color.

Chili peppers: Ají limo is traditionally used, but other hot peppers can be substituted according to taste and availability.

Salt: To enhance all the flavors.

Optional additions: Sweet potatoes, corn, avocado, or tomatoes can be added to vary the texture and flavor.

Step-by-Step Recipe

Prepare the fish: Cut the fish into uniform bite-sized pieces, about 1/2 inch thick. This ensures even curing.

Cure the fish: In a non-reactive bowl, combine the fish with salt and cover with lime juice. The fish should be completely submerged in the juice. Let it sit for about 15-20 minutes, depending on how “cooked” you prefer your fish. The fish will become opaque as it cures.

Add other ingredients: While the fish is curing, thinly slice the red onion and chili pepper. You can soak the onion in ice water for 10 minutes to reduce its sharpness. Chop the cilantro finely.

Combine and serve: Drain the fish, discarding the used lime juice. Mix the fish with onions, chili peppers, and cilantro. Adjust the seasoning with additional salt or lime juice if necessary.

Serve immediately, garnished with optional ingredients like diced avocado, cooked sweet potato, or corn.

Serving and Enjoyment

Ceviche is best enjoyed fresh, shortly after preparation to savor its vibrant flavors and textures.

It is typically served cold and often accompanied by side dishes such as sweet potato, lettuce, corn, or plantain chips, which complement its zest and texture.

Ceviche is not only a dish but an experience, one that brings the freshness of the sea directly to your palate. Its preparation is simple yet its flavors are complex, reflecting the culinary traditions of its origins while embracing new influences. Enjoy crafting this exquisite dish and savor the fresh, bold flavors of one of Latin America’s most iconic dishes.

Health Benefits of Ceviche

Ceviche is not only delicious but also offers several health benefits, making it a popular choice among health-conscious individuals. Here are some of the notable health benefits of consuming ceviche:

High in Protein: Fish is a great source of high-quality protein, which is crucial for muscle repair and growth.

Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Many types of fish used in ceviche are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for heart health and cognitive functions.

Low in Calories: Ceviche is naturally low in calories, making it an excellent choice for those looking to maintain or lose weight.

Full of Vitamins and Minerals: The raw fish and fresh ingredients used in ceviche are rich in vitamins B12, E, and D, as well as minerals like zinc and magnesium.

Tips for Perfecting Ceviche

While ceviche is relatively simple to prepare, here are a few tips to ensure you get the best results:

Freshness is Key: Always use the freshest fish possible. This not only affects the safety of the dish but also the taste and texture.

Balance Your Flavors: The key to great ceviche lies in the balance of acidity, heat, and seasoning. Make sure not to overpower the delicate fish flavors with too much lime juice or chili.

Marinate Properly: The length of time you marinate the fish affects the texture and flavor.

Short marinating times leave the fish more sash-like, while longer times can make it firmer and more opaque.

Keep It Cold: Always prepare and serve ceviche chilled to ensure freshness and reduce the risk of bacterial growth.

Variations to Try

Ceviche is incredibly versatile, and many countries have their own versions that reflect local tastes and ingredients. Here are a few variations that you might find intriguing:

Mexican Ceviche: Often includes diced tomatoes, cucumber, and sometimes includes shrimp in addition to fish.

Ecuadorian Ceviche: Typically made with shrimp and served with popcorn, nuts, or corn nuts on the side.

Chilean Ceviche: Uses halibut or Patagonian toothfish and includes grapefruit juice in addition to lime.

Cultural Significance

In Peru, ceviche is more than just a dish; it’s a part of national identity and pride. It is often accompanied by celebrations and is considered a weekend treat. The dish is so esteemed that there is a national holiday dedicated to it—National Ceviche Day is celebrated on June 28 every year.

Ceviche is a testament to the beauty of simplicity in cooking, showcasing how a few fresh ingredients can create a profoundly delightful dish. Whether you’re a seasoned ceviche maker or a curious novice ready to try your hand at this culinary art, the journey of making and enjoying ceviche is as rewarding as it is delicious. Embrace the fresh flavors and health benefits, and let this beloved dish from Latin America inspire your cooking adventures.


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