Tons of citrus, avocado, and serrano chiles make this Seafood Ceviche Recipe perfect for a light dinner or an impressive appetizer at your next Mexican-inspired feast.
As we roll straight in to the holiday season it’s nice to have some new inspiration in the recipe department.
Ceviche might seem like that refreshing, chilled dish you crave in the summer—and it is—but I actually think it is the perfect party food year round.
It is fancy (without being difficult to make) and not only can be made ahead, it has to be made ahead. Meaning, you can make it up to 4 hours in advance with no last minute cooking seconds before guests arrive.
There’s some nervousness about making ceviche at home, but if you follow the shopping guidelines and prep instructions below, you can have the best homemade, incredibly fresh ceviche any time you want!
Let’s dive right in!
what is ceviche?
You will find different variations on ceviche up and down the coast from Peru to Mexico. Also known as cebiche, seviche, or sebiche it is a beloved dish in Latin America.
In Peru it is typically served with sweet potato for scooping or sometimes more like a salad with the sweet potato and corn mixed in. In Ecuador, conch and black clam ceviche is popular and is often garnished with popcorn.
This Mexican ceviche recipe takes fresh fish, raw shrimp, and other types of seafood and “cooks” it in a mixture of citrus juices.
The high acid level of the lime juice changes the nature of the proteins in the raw fish by making them opaque and firm—like they would be if you were to cook the fish with heat.
How to make sure your seafood is safe
The seafood in this seafood ceviche recipe isn’t actually cooked, evenly though texturally it might seem like it is. Therefore, use only the freshest fish from a reputable source to prevent getting sick.
I’m lucky to be able to find freshly-caught fish and seafood at my local Farmer’s market but even if you don’t live on the coast, many cities have reputable fish markets that fly in fresh fish and seafood every day. And there is truly nothing more delicious than the sweet-saltiness of just caught, raw seafood.
Ask for seafood that is harvested locally or at least in U.S. waters. Look for labels from the Marine Stewardship Council or the Aquaculture Stewardship Council to make sure your fish is not only high quality but sustainable. Don’t use previously frozen fish or shrimp for this recipe.
Tell your fishmonger you are using the seafood to make ceviche and ask what they recommend.
ingredients to make this seafood ceviche recipe
The fun part about this seafood ceviche is you can switch up the seafood and fish depending on what is good and fresh in your area. Here’s what I used:
- Raw Halibut is my favorite for ceviche but Mahi Mahi, salmon, or sea bass are good too.
- Raw Sea Scallops. Remove the tough muscle on the side before cutting. You can also use tiny bay scallops too.
- Shrimp. Raw, peeled and divined. Look for wild Gulf shrimp or Spot prawns if you live on the west coast.
- Cooked Octopus tentacles. I buy these pre-cooked at Whole Foods. This is the only seafood in this recipe that is cooked first.
- Lime juice
- Orange juice
- Red onions
- Serrano chiles
How To Make It!
I love a good no-cook recipe—don’t you? All you have to do is chop and mix and then just wait for it to marinate.
- Cut the fish. Cut each type of seafood into equal-sized pieces. I like to cut them into easy to eat bites, about 1/2-inch cubes. Place everything in a large glass bowl. Make sure you wash your cutting board, knife, and hands with hot, soapy water before starting in on the veggies.
- Cut the veggies. Chop all the vegetables (except the avocado) into the same size pieces as the seafood. Add to the bowl.
- Add the citrus. Squeeze the orange and lime juice over everything. Season with salt and give a good stir.
- Cover and refrigerate. Push the seafood underneath the lime juice, cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes and up to 4 hours (see the marinating instructions below).
- Serve ceviche. Add the avocado right before serving to prevent it from turning brown. Spoon ceviche on a large platter, drizzle with a little olive oil if you’d like and season once more with salt and pepper if it needs it.
How long should it marinate?
You can marinate the ceviche for as little or as long as you’d like, depending on the texture you are going for.
If you want a truly raw, sushi-like texture, let the seafood sit in the citrus juice for as little as 10 minutes. If you would like it more of “medium-rare” texture let it sit in the marinade for about 30 minutes. More than an hour will give you a “fully cooked” texture.
I have made this up to 4 hours in advance and it was opaque all the way through and very tender.
How to serve this seafood ceviche
I like to serve this ceviche on a platter with a serving spoon and tortilla chips. Everyone can spoon some onto their plate and scoop up with the chips.
Another way is to serve on top of baked tostadas. Either spoon onto the tostadas yourself and serve or set the tostadas next to the ceviche and let your guest serve themselves. This is more of a substantial main course serving if you are planning a light dinner or lunch.
If it is hot out, I like to serve it in a bowl nestled in ice to keep it cold and always pass the hot sauce at the table.
More Make-Ahead Appetizer Recipes To Try!
- Vegan Ceviche with Avocado and Lime
- Tomatillo Pico de Gallo
- Mint and Sweet Pea Guacamole
- Scallop Ceviche with Tomatoes and Avocado
- Spicy Honey Goat Cheese Toasts
- Chili Lime Roasted Peanuts
- Shrimp Ceviche Tostadas with Coconut and Lime
Super Tasty and Impressive? Check and Check
This authentic Ceviche Mexicano is exactly what you want to serve at your next get together. Let me know when you do by snapping a pic and tagging me on Instagram @holajalapeno and #holajalapeno so I can see or leave me a comment below (don’t forget to leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating) ! Also, sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!
- 4 ounces fresh halibut
- 4 ounces fresh sea scallops (about 5 scallops)
- 4 ounces fresh shrimp, peeled and devined
- 4 ounces cooked octopus tentacles
- 2 serrano chiles, stemmed and minced, seeds removed if you'd like it less spicy
- 1 medium tomato, cored and small dice
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup minced red onion
- 3/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 small ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and chopped
- Tortilla chips or baked tostadas, for serving
- Cut the fish and seafood. Cut all the fish and seafood into the same-sized pieces. I like to make them about 1/2-inch thick. Place in a large glass bowl.
- Add the veggies. Add the tomatoes, cilantro, red onion, lime juice, orange juice, and salt to the bowl with the seafood. Stir well to combine.
- Marinate. Push seafood beneath the citrus juice, cover and refrigerate. If you'd like the fish "rare" only marinate for 10-15 minutes. If you'd like it more "well done" let it marinate for 1 hour and up to 4 hours.
- Add avocado. Right before serving, stir in the avocado. Taste and add more salt or lime juice if needed.
- Serve. Serve cold with tortilla chips or baked tostadas.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 172Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 73mgSodium: 467mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 20g
Food Science: What is Ceviche from The Kitchn
Authentic Peruvian Ceviche Recipe from Eat Peru
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