Shrimp Ceviche — The EASIEST way to make traditional shrimp ceviche and it tastes the BEST!! Ready in 30 minutes, great as an appetizer, side, or as a healthy main course that everyone LOVES!!
Easy Recipe for Shrimp Ceviche
I spend a lot of time in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and I eat ceviche at least once a week.
It’s the perfect lazy person’s meal, you don’t have to cook anything, no oven or stove to turn on, it’s ready in 30 minutes with almost no active work, and the flavors will keep you coming back for more, bite after bite.
Shrimp ceviche is great for lunch, as an appetizer or side dish to accompany a main course, or serve it on it’s on as a light but satisfying dinner.
In my opinion, ceviche tastes best when it’s eaten with friends, on a beach, at a pool, or on comfy outdoor patio furniture with a cold beverage in hand.
What is Ceviche?
Essentially, ceviche is a seafood dish made from raw fish that’s been ‘cooked’ in citrus juice. It’s typically mixed with a spicy pepper of some kind as well as onion and fresh cilantro.
Ceviche can be served simply with the seafood, or it can be served with additional veggies like I’ve done with this recipe.
Shrimp Ceviche Ingredients
There are tons of varying ingredients of what could be put into a shrimp ceviche, but my version, and most common versions you’ll see in Mexican restaurants, include:
- Lime juice
- Jalapeño or serrano chile pepper
- Red onion
- Salt and pepper
Super easy and straightforward. Everything is fresh, healthy, and naturally gluten-free.
How to Make Shrimp Ceviche
Start with fresh, cleaned, raw shrimp that you marinate in lime juice for 30 to 60 minutes.
The acid from the lime juice ‘cooks’ the shrimp; no heat or precooked shrimp necessary. In fact, adding lime juice to previously cooked shrimp will just continue to ‘cook’ them and ultimately turn them rubbery and tough.
While you’re waiting for your shrimp to ‘cook’ in the lime juice, chop the other veggies and ingredients and place them in a big bowl. Add in the shrimp, marinating lime juice liquid, stir, and give it a taste.
How Long Should the Shrimp Marinate for Ceviche?
You’ll need to let the shrimp marinate for 30 minutes to an hour when making this shrimp ceviche recipe.
You’ll know the shrimp is “cooked” once it’s no longer gray, but is pink in color and firm in texture.
Do I Have to Use Raw Shrimp?
I see plenty of (American) food blogs and recipe websites say that you can start with previously cooked shrimp for a ceviche. While you have the liberty to make any recipe in any way you see fit, that’s not how you’d traditionally prepare ceviche.
That is why although you could technically make this recipe with previously cooked shrimp (I know someone will ask), it’s not a flavor or texture profile that I prefer so I don’t.
Use raw shrimp, don’t be scared, it will taste amazing in the end.
What Size Shrimp Should I Buy?
I prefer using 31-40 count shrimp that I buy at the seafood counter. Fresh, raw shrimp is necessary here.
Frozen raw shrimp that’s been thawed will also work, but the flavor won’t be nearly as fresh.
Tips for Making the Best Ceviche
Spice level: If you want less and almost no heat/spiciness, use one-half of a jalapeno chile pepper with the seeds removed. If you want more heat, use the whole pepper, with or without seeds, as desired.
And if you want more heat than a jalapeno, use a serrano chile pepper, with or without seeds, as desired. If you want even more heat than a serrano, and with a different flavor profile, use habanero peppers. They may not be as traditional as serrano chiles would be in ceviches in Mexico, but I love them.
Salt level: Don’t be afraid to go fairly heavy-handed with salting your ceviche. Salt makes things taste good, and it definitely makes ceviche go from meh to wow, so don’t skimp on it.
Lime juice: If you like more ‘broth’ in your ceviche like I do that you can literally slurp up with a spoon, add additional lime juice, as desired to taste.
Pin This Recipe
- 1 pound fresh raw shrimp, cleaned and deveined (I used 31-40 count), seasoned with kosher salt to taste
- ½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice, plus more if desired
- 2 Roma tomatoes, diced small
- 1 medium avocado, diced into small hunks
- 1 jalapeno pepper, diced very small (remove seeds to make it less spicy; use a serrano chile pepper to make it spicier)
- ½ English cucumber, diced small
- ½ red onion, sliced into thin strips
- ¼ to ⅓ cup fresh cilantro, finely minced
- 1 to 2 teaspoons kosher salt, or as desired
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or as desired
- tostados or tortilla chips, for serving
- To a large shallow bowl, add the cleaned shrimp, lime juice, season with salt to tasted, and place in the fridge for 30 to 60 minutes, or until shrimp are as 'cooked' as desired from the lime juice. While waiting, chop the other ingredients.
- To a large bowl add the tomatoes, avocado, jalapeno, cucumber, red onion, cilantro, salt, pepper, and stir to combine.
- Add the shrimp and lime juice to the bowl with the vegetables, stir to combine, and taste to check for seasoning balance. I prefer to add a bit more lime juice and am not shy about adding salt because it's what the ceviche needs to bring out the flavors in everything. Serve immediately.
- Ceviche is best fresh, noting the shrimp will continue to 'cook' in the lime juice as time passes and so this is not a make ahead dish nor do I find the leftovers taste as good a day later.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
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