How to Make Ceviche

Learning how to make ceviche (also spelled seviche, cebiche, etc.) is easy because traditionally it requires no cooking. Fresh fish and seafood is cured by marinating it in citrus juices like lemon and lime. Spices and other ingredients are added to the seafood contributing to great flavors.

I first tried seviche when I was in Costa Rico. It was really good but I did not know how it was prepared. I would have been “turned off” knowing the seafood was not cooked. I still cook my seafood briefly before marinating in the juices and seasonings. I guess it is a “mind thing”.

NOTE: Lime and lemon juice will actually “cook” raw seafood until it is white and firm.

There is no definite proof as to where ceviche recipes originated but people from many different Spanish countries will say they started it. When you learn how to make ceviche you will realize today this dish is served all over the world. Sometimes it is served as a main salad but more often it is served as an appetizer.

Ceviche recipes can always be found around the coastal areas of Central and South America. This is due to the unlimited amounts of great fresh seafood. When I learned how to make ceviche I realized how many different types of fish and shellfish are used in these recipes. This is way they so much in flavor and texture.

This past year I was able to order ceviche in a restaurant in a small rural town in Tennessee. I was shocked to find a recipe like this in this remote little town. It tasted the same as I get in Ecuador. Can you believe it! The strange thing is that I never heard of this dish until I went to Costa Rica and then I see it served everywhere; even all over the United States.

Another great fact to remember when learning how to make ceviche is how healthy is. Regardless of the recipe, they are all made with fresh seafood which is low in fat and calories. The herbs and spices added for seasoning also add great health benefits.

NOTE: If learning how to make seviche, it is important to use a glass bowl to marinate seafood.


Ceviche for TwoCeviche for Two

Learn how to make ceviche with cooked shrimp and fish.

  • 10 Jumbo shrimp (Clean leaving tails on, devein)
  • 4 Ounces white fish (Cut in 1 inch pieces)
  • ¼ Cup lemon juice 
  • ¼ Cup lime juice
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 Thin slices red onion
  • 3 Tablespoons chopped green bell pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons pimiento
  • Dash cayenne pepper
  • Salt/ pepper
  • ¼ Cup mint leaves PLUS for garnish
  • Lemon wedges for garnish

NOTE: As soon as the shrimp and fish are cooked drain them and quickly cool them down with ice.

Drop cleaned shrimp in boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes until opaque; ice.

Drop chunks of fish in boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes until white; ice.

Place ice cold shrimp in container with tight fitting lid.

Combine lemon juice, lime juice and olive oil; pour over seafood.

Add to container the onion, bell pepper and pimiento.

Add cayenne; season with salt and pepper.

Add the ¼ cup of mint leaves and fit lid tightly on.

Turn container upside down to coat all ingredients.

Refrigerate for 2 hours turning upside down several times to marinate.

Spoon into 2 bowls and garnish with lemon wedges; serves 2.

CEVICHE RECIPE (from Mexico)

  • 1 Pound scallops
  • 1 Cup lime juice
  • ¼ Cup chopped onion
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped parsley
  • ¼ Cup chopped green chilies
  • ½ Cup chopped peeled tomatoes
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/8 Teaspoon oregano
  • Few grains cayenne pepper to taste

Put all ingredients in a glass bowl; stir to blend.

Cover and refrigerate for 4 to 5 hours before serving.

HOW TO MAKE CEVICHE (from Ecuador)

How to Make Ceviche from EcuadorHow to Make Ceviche from Ecuador

NOTE: Most ceviche is made with raw fish. I prefer to add the shrimp to the boiling sauce for 2 to 3 minutes or until shrimp turns white.

  • 3 Pounds fresh cleaned shrimp or prawn
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 Stalk chopped celery
  • 1 Clove minced garlic
  • 1 Medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ Cup lemon juice
  • 4 Cups orange juice
  • ¾ Cup tomato juice
  • Hot pepper sauce to taste
  • 1 Teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a small sauce pan bring to a boil the bay leaf, chopped celery, onion, minced garlic, lemon juice and tomato juice; reduce heat and simmer 2 minutes.

Remove mixture from the heat and cool; add the orange juice, hot pepper sauce, sugar, salt and pepper.

Put shrimp in a glass bowl and pour mixture over the shrimp.

Cover and refrigerate for several hours.

Serve with bread, toasted corn or banana chips.


  • 1 Cup lime juice
  • ½ Cup finely chopped onion
  • 4 Cloves minced garlic
  • 1 Green bell pepper seeded and chopped
  • ½ Teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 Teaspoon sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon chopped fresh basil
  • ½ Teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • ¼ Cup olive oil
  • 2 ½ Cups fresh raw white fish in chunks
  • Cilantro sprigs for garnish

Combine all the ingredients except the fish.

Pour mixture over the fish in a glass bowl.

Cover and marinate overnight. Turn several times while marinating.

Garnish with cilantro sprigs.


Ceviche recipes can be made with most types of seafood; shrimp, crab, grouper, snapper, etc.

  • 2 Pounds grouper or snapper filets
  • 2 Small thinly sliced onions
  • ¾ Teaspoon salt
  • 3 Hot peppers, seeds removed and sliced in circles
  • 3 Cups fresh lemon juice
  • Olive oil
  • ½ Cup chopped fresh parsley

Cut fish filets in ½ inch cubes and place in glass bowl.

Add onions, salt and hot pepper slices.

Cover with lemon juice, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with parsley; stir to blend.

Cover tightly and chill for 24 hours or more; if desired add more hot peppers and salt to taste.


How to make seviche with fish?

  • 1 Pound fresh white fish skinned
  • ¾ Cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 Medium tomato peeled seeded and chopped
  • 1 to 3 Fresh jalapeno peppers seeded and finely chopped (Depends on hot you like it)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon capers drained
  • ½ Teaspoon salt
  • ¼ Teaspoon dried oregano
  • Avocado slice garnish
  • Thinly sliced red onion garnish
  • Lime wedges garnish

Cut fish into ½ inch squares; combine with lime juice in a glass bowl and mix well.  

Cover bowl and refrigerate; occasionally stir gently until fish becomes firm and opaque art least 4 hours.

NOTE: The acid from the lime juice will “cook” the fish.

After 4 hours but 1 ½ hours before serving add tomato, jalapeno, oil, capers, salt and oregano.

Mix gently, cover and refrigerate until serving time; divide evenly among 4 individual serving plates.

Garnish with avocado slices, red onion and lime wedges.


  • 12 Ounces boneless grouper fillet (Cut in ½ inch chunks)
  • ¼ Cup lime juice
  • ¼ Cup lemon juice
  • 1 Large tomato (Peel and dice)
  • 1 Cup diced onion
  • ½ Teaspoon dried oregano
  • 24 Small cocktail olives
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ Teaspoon chopped fresh coriander
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • White pepper 
  • ½ cup tomato juice

Place fish in a glass bowl; pour lime and lemon juice over the top.

Cover and marinate in refrigerator for 24 hours.

Drain the fish and discard the liquid.

Add the remaining ingredients to the fish.

Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours before serving; makes 3 cups.


Learn how to make ceviche with mild fish.

  • 1 Pound fish (Any mild flavored)
  • Juice of 6 limes or lemons
  • 2 Medium tomatoes (Peel and chop)
  • 2 Tablespoons finely chopped onion
  • 2 Canned jalapeno chilies (Seed and chop)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon vinegar
  • ¼ Teaspoon oregano
  • Salt/ pepper to taste
  • Sliced green stuffed olives for garnish
  • Chopped parsley for garnish

Wash fish and place in glass jar or dish with cover.

Pour lime or lemon juice over the top.

Cover tightly and refrigerate about 6 hours.

About 30 to 45 minutes before serving add tomato, onion, chilies, olive oil, vinegar and oregano.

Season with salt and pepper to taste; stir gently to mix.

To serve garnish with sliced olives and parsley; makes 6 servings.


Learn how to make ceviche as a main meal salad dish.

  • 1 ½ Pounds white fish fillets (Remove skin/ cut in thin strips)
  • ¼ cup lemon juice (OR lime)
  • 4 Medium tomatoes (Peel, remove seeds, dice)
  • 1 Small green bell pepper ((Remove seeds and dice)
  • 1 Cucumber (4 inches) (Wash and dice)
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped onion
  • 1 Tablespoon ketchup
  • Salt/ pepper to taste
  • Few drops Tabasco sauce
  • 1 Small head of lettuce (Wash and shred)
  • Lime or lemon wedges for garnish

Wash fish and place in glass bowl with cover.

Pour the lemon or (lime) juice over the fish; toss gently to coat.

Cover bowl tightly and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

NOTE: Fish will be white and look like it is cooked.

Add the tomatoes, bell peppers and cucumbers to the fish mixture.

In a small bowl combine the oil, onion, ketchup, salt, black pepper and Tabasco sauce.

Stir the oil mixture into the vegetable and fish mixture; toss to coat.

To serve divide lettuce among 4 serving plates.

Spoon the fish mixture evenly among the four plates and serve.

Makes 4 salad plates.


Learn how to make ceviche with scallops, shrimp and sea bass.

  • 8 Live scallops (Shucked)
  • 16 Large raw shrimp in shells
  • 2 Sea bass fillets (About 5 ½ ounces each skinned)
  • 1 Large lemon 
  • 1 Large lime
  • 1 Red onion (Thinly sliced)
  • ½ Pound fresh red chili pepper (Seed and chop fine)
  • ¼ Cup olive oil
  • Lemon wedges for garnish
  • Greens for garnish

Scrub scallops under cold water; using a strong knife pry the shells open.

Remove the surrounding gray beard (Or coat), the black thread and stomach bag.

With a spoon detach the scallop and coral from each shell; separate the coral from the scallop.

Rinse the scallops with cold water; dry with paper towels.

Cut each scallop into 2 or 3 horizontal slices; place in a glass bowl.

Remove heads from the shrimp, shell and devein; rinse, dry and place in glass bowl.

Cut the sea bass into thin slices across the grain; add to the glass bowl.

Cut the lemon and lime in half and squeeze out the juice (Should have about ¼ cup each).

Pour juice over the seafood; gently stir to coat.

Cover bowl tightly and refrigerate for 2 hours until seafood becomes opaque.

NOTE: If left in juices too long it will become too soft.

Strain the seafood out into a clean bowl; add the onion, chili and oil.

Stir the mixture gently together; spoon onto 4 individual serving plates. Garnish with greens and lemon wedges.


Learn how to make ceviche with trout and jalapeno pepper.

  • ½ Pound trout (Bone, skin, dice)
  • ½ Cup lime juice
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Small onion (Peel, chop)
  • 1 Small jalapeno pepper (Seed, mince)
  • 1 Small tomato (Chop)
  • 1/8 Teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 Teaspoon pepper
  • Pinch dried oregano
  • 2 Ripe avocados
  • Extra lime juice
  • Shredded lettuce

Place fish in a glass bowl (NO metal); pour lime juice over the fish.
Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Combine and mix oil, onion, pepper, tomato and seasonings.
Drain the fish; stir the seasoned mixture into the fish.
Cut avocados in half lengthwise; remove seeds.
 Scoop out a LITTLE of the pulp making a deeper shell.
Chop the removed pulp and add to the fish mixture.
Rub the cut side of avocados with lime juice.
Place avocado halves on plates with shredded lettuce.
Fill avocado shells with the fish mixture; serves 4.