Curious about how to make ceviche at home? Our classic ceviche recipe is easy to prepare and tastes delicious with many types of seafood!
Traditional ceviche recipes consist of raw seafood “cooked” in an acidic marinade such as citrus juice or vinegar. Ceviche recipes take just minutes to assemble and make a delicious and impressive party appetizer either served with tortilla chips for dipping, in a small glass, or served as a tostada or taco topping.
There are several variations of the dish—from Mexican ceviche recipes using a simple lime marinade, to easy shrimp ceviche recipes and infinitely more complex Peruvian ceviche recipes. Peru takes its ceviche seriously; it’s even been officially declared as part of their national heritage and has a holiday to honor it! There, ceviche (or cebiche) is marinated in a spicy-tart aji-chili-lime sauce called “leche de tigre” or “tiger’s milk." It’s also served with a wide variety of accompaniments, from diced cooked sweet potato to kernels of toasted corn, corn on the cob and more, making it an entire meal and flavor experience.
Here, we cover how to make ceviche at home in just a few simple steps!
The best ceviche starts with the best quality fish. You can use any mild white ocean seafood such as shrimp, snapper, sea bass, halibut, calamari, or tilapia—to name a few. You’ll also need a citrus base in which to marinate the fish. Lime or key lime juice, lemon juice, orange juice, bitter orange juice, vinegar, or any combination work well. Any recipe for ceviche will also call for additional garnishes or flavorful add-ins such as cilantro, mint, parsley, onion, garlic, hot chili, tomato, cucumber, olives, capers, avocado, olive oil, etc.
It’s easy to prepare your ceviche marinade well ahead. Just juice your citrus using a hand or electric juicer and keep refrigerated for up to 4 days. Be sure to make more than you think you’ll need so you can completely immerse fish cubes when you’re ready to prepare the ceviche recipe.
How to Make Ceviche
- Dice fish into even pieces. For the cleanest cuts it’s helpful to partially freeze your fish first and use an extremely sharp knife.
- Place diced fish in a nonreactive bowl or pan such as stainless steel, enamel coated, or glass. (Aluminum and cast iron pans can give an off color and favor to any acidic food like ceviche.)
- Pour the marinade over the seafood and toss to coat. Make sure you have enough to cover the fish and allow it to move freely.
- Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes or up to 4 hours based on the type of fish, the size of the fish chunks, and how tangy you want your ceviche to taste. Ceviche is done “cooking” when cubes of fish no longer look raw when cut open.
- Put in a colander to drain off the marinade.
- Keep ceviche well-chilled for up to one day.
- Add extra ingredients, garnishes, and seasonings just before serving for the freshest taste.