Easy Shrimp Ceviche (Ceviche de Camarón)! It’s bursting with flavor and perfectly refreshing. Serve it as a chip dip or as a main entree over crispy tostada shells or rice.
What is Ceviche?
Ceviche is a healthy Peruvian dish that is usually served as an appetizer. It’s generally made from raw fresh fish or shrimp, that’s marinated in lemon and/or lime citrus juices. The acidity in the citrus cures the fish causing it to denature the proteins and become firm and opaque while absorbing flavor.
After the seafood has sort of cooked in a way other ingredients are tossed in such as onions, cilantro, peppers and tomatoes.
It’s such a vibrant dish that’s perfect for weekends or parties. Truly a recipe seafood lovers will instantly fall in love with, especially when you pair it with freshly fried or baked, homemade tortilla chips!
And for those that love heat, finish it with hot sauce.
Using Cooked or Raw Shrimp
This version actually cooks the shrimp first in boiling water (to reduce any risk of pathogens and food borne illness, the safest option and definitely recommend for pregnant women, children, the elderly and anyone with a compromised immune system).
But if you aren’t worried about it, for the most authentic version you can skip pre-cooking the shrimp and just soak and “cook” in the marinade instead.
For raw shrimp version: Soak the raw shrimp in the 1/2 cup lemon juice and 1/2 cup lime juice for 30 – 60 minutes in the fridge (or until shrimp are opaque), then add tomatoes, onions, cilantro, jalapeno, salt and pepper and marinate 30 minutes longer. Then finish with avocado and cucumber.
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Ceviche Recipe Ingredients
- Shrimp: I like to use medium shrimp and dice it small so everything is more uniform in size. It’s especially best to cut small if serving as a dip.
- Limes: You’ll need about 3 limes.
- Lemons: You’ll need about 2 lemons.
- Roma tomatoes: Other varieties of fresh garden grown tomatoes would be extra delicious too.
- Red onions: Yellow onion may be substituted if needed.
- Cilantro: Feel free to add more to taste, or cut back a little for a milder flavor.
- Jalapeno: If you like it less spicy remove the seeds.
- Salt and pepper: Add to taste.
- Cucumber: This ingredient is optional but it adds a nice crunch so I prefer it.
- Avocado: Not always included in ceviche but I think it’s a must. It’s such a delicious addition.
How to Make Ceviche
- Boil water in pot, fill bowl of ice water: Bring a pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, fill up a medium bowl with ice water, set aside.
- Cook shrimp: Add shrimp to boiling water and let cook just until pink and opaque, about 1 minute.
- Drain, chill and chop shrimp: Drain shrimp in a colander then transfer to ice water to cool for a few minutes. Drain well then chop shrimp into small pieces (about 1/2-inch).
- Toss shrimp with fresh ingredients: In a medium bowl (you can use the same bowl) combine shrimp, lime juice, lemon juice, tomatoes, onion, cilantro, jalapeno pepper and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Marinate: Transfer to refrigerator and let rest 1 hour.
- Add last few ingredients: Toss in cucumber and avocado and serve. It’s delicious with tortilla chips or over tostada shells.
Why wait to add the avocado and cucumber? The avocado can brown and I like the cucumber nice and crisp. Once it’s soaked with the salty marinade it will lose some of that perfect crunch.
Ceviche Recipe Variations
- Use fish: Lean white fish cut into small chunks (such as cod, talapia, mahi mahi, snapper, bass, halibut) can be used instead of shrimp. Simmer in water until just barely cooked through, or let marinate in 2/3 cup lemon juice and 2/3 cup lime juice until it no longer looks raw when broken open which can take up to 7 hours. Raw version is not recommend for food safety.
- Make it spicier: Add Mexican hot sauce (Tapatio, Cholula, Valentina) to the dip (1 Tbsp or more to taste).
- Add garlic: If you have a hard time leaving garlic out of anything feel free to add 1 minced clove here.
- Add some richness: Add 3 Tbsp olive oil for a hint of rich flavor.
- Replace cucumber: Try diced radishes, jicama, corn, poblano or bell pepper.
How Long Does it Last?
It should keep well for 1 day in the fridge. You can add avocado and cucumber to portion serving then wait to add to remainder until the following day for best quality.
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- 1 1/4 lbs. medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and tails removed
- 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 medium roma tomatoes, diced (1 cup)
- 3/4 cup chopped red onion
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 medium jalapeno pepper,* seeded if preferred for less heat, diced
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/2 medium cucumber, peeled and diced (about 1 cup)
- 1 medium avocado, diced
- Bring a pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, fill up a medium bowl with ice water, set aside.
- Add shrimp to boiling water and let cook just until pink and opaque, about 1 minute.
- Drain shrimp in a colander then transfer to ice water to cool for a few minutes. Drain well then chop shrimp into small pieces (about 1/2-inch).
- In a medium non-reactive bowl (you can use the same bowl that was previously filled with ice water) combine shrimp, lime juice, lemon juice, tomatoes, onion, cilantro, jalapeno pepper and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Transfer to refrigerator and let rest 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Toss in cucumber and avocado and serve (if desired you can strain off some of the juices). It's delicious with tortilla chips or over tostada shells.
- *A serrano pepper can be used for a spicier option. Or add 1 Tbsp Mexican hot sauce (such as Tapatio, Valentina or Cholula).
- Lean white fish can be used in place of shrimp (such as cod, talapia, mahi mahi, snapper, bass, halibut). Cut into chunks and cook through for safest option before using.