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Shrimp Ceviche

Shrimp Ceviche

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Cool and tasty shrimp ceviche recipe, shrimp served with chopped red onion, chile, cilantro, cucumber, avocado with lemon and lime juices.

Photography Credit:Elise Bauer

With the warm days of summer upon us, a great way to cool off is with ceviche!

Ceviche is typically made with red snapper that is “cooked” by the acidity of lime and lemon juice (see this ceviche recipe.)

This version of ceviche is prepared with shrimp, which is first lightly cooked, and then marinated in the citrus juice.

My father, who generally doesn’t really like shrimp that much, loved this ceviche. (Gotta love it when they eat it up and ask for more!)

Why pre-cook the shrimp?

While the acidic marinade “cooks” (denatures) the proteins, it may not kill all of the bacteria. Traditionally ceviche is made with raw seafood, but even then it is recommended that pregnant women or people with compromised immune systems avoid it.

Personally I don’t find this as much of an issue with raw fish (think sushi, sashimi), but for some reason shellfish like shrimp and scallops can go bad much more easily. Unless your seafood is extremely fresh, I recommend lightly pre-cooking it first.

Shrimp Ceviche Recipe

If you find the ceviche a little too acidic, drain out some of the juices after the marinating, add a little more avocado (or some olive oil) and/or a little more salt.


  • 1 pound medium-small shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3/4 cup lime juice (juice from 4-6 limes)
  • 3/4 cup lemon juice (juice from 2-3 lemons)
  • 1 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 serrano chile, ribs and seeds removed, minced
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 cucumber, peeled diced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 avocado, peeled, seed removed, cut into 1/2-inch chunks


1 Boil the shrimp: In a large pot, bring to a boil 2 quarts of water, salted with 1 tablespoons salt. Add the shrimp and cook for 1 minute to 2 minutes max, depending on size of shrimp. (Over-cooking the shrimp will turn it rubbery.)

Remove shrimp with a slotted spoon and place into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.

2 Cut up shrimp, mix with lime and lemon juice: Drain the shrimp. Cut each piece of shrimp in half, or into inch-long pieces.

Place the shrimp in a glass or ceramic bowl. Mix in the lime and lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate for a half hour.

3 Mix in the chopped red onion and serrano chile. Refrigerate an additional half hour.

4 Right before serving, add the cilantro, cucumber, and avocado.

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Easy Shrimp Ceviche

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Shrimp Ceviche is the PERFECT appetizer, made with shrimp cooked in lemon and lime juice, mixed with tomato, cucumber, avocado, and spicy jalapeños, topped with cilantro and ready in just 30 minutes!

Shrimp is really popular on the blog including the three most popular shrimp recipes Easy Pad Thai, Classic Fried Shrimp, and Shrimp and Grits!

What Is Ceviche?

What is ceviche? I will explain in my own words. Ceviche is raw seafood “cooked” in lime juice for a few hours. Then mixed with traditional flavors like jalapeno, cilantro, red onion, avocado, tomato etc.

I can guarantee you there are a million variations of a shrimp salsa recipe. Ceviche cocktail with clamato juice, hot sauce and ketchup. With addition of cucumber or mango. And so on.

For today’s easy shrimp ceviche recipe all you need is shrimp, limes, red onion, tomato, avocado, cilantro, jalapeno, salt and pepper.

I like to share it as a seafood ‘salsa’ type of dish alongside other salsa recipes like Pico de Gallo, peach or strawberry mango salsa, and even salsa guacamole!

The Very Best Shrimp Ceviche Recipe

This Easy Shrimp Ceviche recipe is the best dish for summer. Cool, light and refreshing, easy Shrimp Ceviche is made with just a few simple ingredients creating a flavor explosion for your tastebuds. Fresh cooked shrimp, crisp veggies, buttery avocado are all tossed in a light dressing for an easy dish that is great as a dip or a light summer salad.

Easy Shrimp Ceviche

I’m a huge fan of making shrimp dishes on the regular because shrimp cooks quickly, allowing me to get dinner on the table in a hurry. These Shrimp Tostados are on regular rotation lately because they take minutes to prepare and I only have pan to clean. And when I’m entertaining, I love to serve up these Garlic Roast Shrimp Cocktail because shrimp soaks up all the flavors when you cook them making it a pleasant surprise from the usual shrimp cocktail recipes. And also….one pan to clean.

We also love this Grilled Shrimp with easy Romesco because it’s absolutely mess free!

But the winner of all shrimp dishes has got to be this quick easy Shrimp Ceviche recipe because… cooking required.The flavor is out of this world and it takes just minutes of hands on time. AND you only have one bowl to clean. I thought about how to make shrimp ceviche in the easiest way I possibly could!

What is Shrimp Ceviche?

Traditional ceviche is a South American dish of raw seafood tossed in an acidic marinade like citrus juice or vinegar which “cooks” the fish. I first fell in love with ceviche while on vacation in Mexico, it was light and refreshing which was perfect because the heat was insane down there. Their ceviche had a variety of fish and shellfish mixed in with some vegetables.

For my version, I started with cooked shrimp because it helps the recipe come together a lot more quickly AND I like the texture better than when I start with raw shrimp.

I also wanted to punch up the flavor of this best Shrimp Ceviche with avocado recipe a bit more by adding in finely diced jalapeños, chopped jicama for crunchy sweetness and creamy avocado. The traditional flavors are there, as is, the burst of fresh citrus juice that’s a staple in ceviches.

Is the Shrimp in ceviche raw?

Unlike most ceviche recipes where the fish “cooks” in the citrus juices, shrimp ceviche is made with cooked shrimp making this recipe come together so quickly. While you certainly can start with raw shrimp, I much prefer the ease of using cooked shrimp purchased at my local store.

How To Make It

This Easy Ceviche Shrimp recipe is so simple to make with just a handful of ingredients.

I start with cooked shrimp from my grocer’s seafood counter that’s been peeled and deveined.

Chop the shrimp into 1/2 inch pieces and toss it in a bowl along with a combination of citrus juices like lime, lemon and orange. The orange in the marinade tones down the tartness of the lemon and lime adding a vibrant, freshness you will miss if you skip it.

Marinade the shrimp in the citrus juice for about 30 minutes while you chop up the vegetables. For this Shrimp Ceviche recipe, I use tomatoes, jalapeños, jicama, cilantro and red onion.

Ingredient Substitutions

If you’re looking for something a little on the mild side, you can substitute the jalapeño for a bell pepper or skip it altogether. I just like a little heat in my ceviche recipes but it’s not a total necessity.

And if you’re wondering what jicama is, it’s a crispy root vegetable also known as a Mexican turnip that looks like potato. They’re usually found with the avocados and other ethnic produce at your local grocery store. They taste a bit like an apple with a similar texture so if you can’t find them at your store you can substitute a peeled and chopped apple, any variety will work but I would lean towards a Granny Smith for the tartness alone.

I have had traditional ceviche recipes in Mexico and I have to say that THIS recipe blows away anything I’ve had anywhere else. So, you can say I’m saving you some airfare because you can make this Classic Mexican Shrimp Ceviche recipe right in your very own kitchen.

What To Serve It With

I like to make a big batch of this easy shrimp ceviche when I have friends over and serve with a bowl full of tortilla chips so guests can dig right in. Or I just pile a few spoonfuls right onto a romaine leaf, taco style, for a light lunch or dinner.

You could also pile it high on a tortilla for a fresh take on tacos or serve alongside these Birria Tacos to add a big of freshness.

More Easy Shrimp Recipes

And if you’re working on your weekly meal planning….you should definitely add this easy Shrimp Fried Rice or my favorite Singapore Rice Noodles with Shrimp….both are take out fake outs that will save you time AND money!

How to Make Fresh Shrimp Ceviche

This has got to be the easiest seafood recipe ever! You just have to soak your shrimp in the lime juice, add the rest of the ingredients and let the mixture sit.

  1. Dice Shrimp: Cut the prepared shrimp into smaller bite-sized pieces (about 1/4&Prime-1/2&Prime).
  2. Soak in Lime Juice: Add the shrimp to a large bowl and pour the lime juice over the shrimp. Toss to coat the shrimp and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes. The acid from the lime juice will cook the shrimp and turn it opaque in color. That&rsquos how you know it&rsquos done.
  3. Add Remaining Ingredients: Next, add the cucumber, tomato, jalapeno, red onion, cilantro, garlic cloves, cumin, salt and pepper to the bowl with the shrimp. Toss to mix.
  4. Let Sit: Cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to meld together.
  5. Enjoy: Serve as is or with tortilla chips.

Recipe Summary

  • 2 pounds cooked shrimp
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 fresh jalapeno chile, seeded and minced
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, thinly sliced
  • ½ bunch cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • ½ cup Clamato® Tomato Cocktail

In a bowl, combine shrimp, onion, jalapeno, cucumber and cilantro.

Add lime juice and Clamato® toss to mix well.

Chill in refrigerator 20-30 minutes.

Serve cold with tostadas (hard tortillas) or soda crackers.

My Mom Was Wrong About the Secret to Ceviche

The only thing better than a good recipe? When something's so easy to make that you don't even need one. Welcome to It's That Simple, a column where we talk you through the process of making the dishes and drinks we can make with our eyes closed.

My whole life, my mom told me that the secret to good ceviche is Panamanian corvina. Our summer trips to the isthmus that links the Atlantic and the Pacific were guised as family trips, but they were really ceviche-eating expeditions.

We ate it back home in Miami, too. A standard appetizer at restaurants around here, it also pops up at family parties, ordered in large heavy-duty foil trays to feed a crowd and served with saltine crackers, the Panamanian way. At the fast-casual ceviche place less than a mile from my house, my order strayed from the flaky white flesh of the corvina into shrimp, octopus, or generic “fish.” No matter how often I ate ceviche, I never ever dared to make it at home. Without the corvina, I figured, why bother?

The always-evolving ceviche at Lil Deb's Oasis is made with shrimp, snapper, watermelon, and red onion.

But then, on a Saturday in the midst of my quarantine hunker down, I was hit with a hankering for the acidic fish salad. Ceviche is the rare comfort food that’s both delicious and healthy (well, except that I wanted it paired with french fries, a nostalgic nod to the Panamanian beach resorts we used to visit). Ceviche was all I could think about but corvina I did not have, and a trip to the grocery store wasn’t in the cards.

Determined to make something work with what I had available, I pulled a bag of large peeled and deveined shrimp from my freezer and set them aside to defrost in a bowl of cold water. After all, I like plenty of ceviche—all ceviche, really. Using frozen shrimp isn’t ideal—in the perfect world, I would shop for a fresh flaky white fish like yellowtail, grouper, fluke, flounder, hogfish, corvina, or fresh Key West shrimp. But I was making do with what I had, and most shrimp from the grocery store would have been frozen at some point anyway, I rationalized.

What makes a ceviche a ceviche is the way the fish is cooked, or—to be more accurate—the way it isn’t cooked. The fish, or shrimp, is doused in lime juice and left to “cook” in the acid, a process called denaturation. I’d been needlessly weary of trying it at home, but it requires almost no work.

Photo by Chelsie Craig, Food Styling by Pearl Jones

I took the tails off the now-thawed shrimp and chopped them into quarters, big enough pieces for meaty bites but small enough that the lime would cook it fairly fast. I put it in a small bowl and squeezed all of the limes I had over top (I used four, but if you don’t have enough to cover the seafood, you can come back every ten minutes or so and give it a stir). Then, I covered the bowl with plastic wrap and left it in the fridge to “cook.”

When the shrimp had turned from raw and grey to cooked and pink (this took about 45 minutes, but I recommend you check early), I mixed in red onion and a spicy pepper fresh from my backyard garden (a jalapeño would work just fine), both chopped small, and cilantro, left chunky and leafy.

My plan was to keep it simple, the way it’s prepared in Panama, but then I went kind of rogue and added a few chopped hearts of palm from a can I found in my pantry to bulk it up a bit. Peruvians eat ceviche with corn and sweet potato on the side, and I’ve seen tomato, avocado, and mango mixed in before, so I thought I could take some liberties—and you can too. Toss it together and give it a gentle stir and then add salt to taste. I served it in a fancy cocktail coup, because I’m trying to find ways to entertain myself in isolation, but any bowl will do. Be sure you keep the juices in there—getting the lime and fish in each bite is essential.

Suffice it to say, the ceviche did not suffer without the Panamanian corvina as the key ingredient—the impromptu frozen shrimp worked out great. (If you’re going to do the same, be sure to go for the best quality and biggest shrimp that you can find, and chop it uniformly so that it cooks evenly.) I went all in and served it with french fries, but the most typical accompaniment in Panama are some good old, reliable saltine crackers. It’s also great with plantain chips—their long thin shape is a perfect vehicle for scooping fish and juice. To turn it into a main, serve it over coconut rice or a bed of greens, even wrap it up in a burrito.

Once you’ve got seafood cooked in lime juice, you’ve got a ceviche. Make it your own from there—despite what my mom would tell you, there’s really no secret.

Patricia Azze is a freelance writer and social media strategist in Miami.

You can serve this as an appetizer with chips or crackers, as a main course for a light dinner, or served aside lobster or scallops.

Due mostly to the avocado, you will want to eat your shrimp ceviche within 24 hours for best results.

If you like this recipe, you may be interested in these other seafood inspired recipes:

Watch the video below where Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTube, Facebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.

How to Make Spanish-Style Shrimp Ceviche

Ceviche, one of the greatest gifts to the food world from the Peruvian kitchen, and in my opinion, one of the best seafood dishes ever. In this post, I will show you How to Make a Spanish-Style Shrimp Ceviche.

This Spanish-style ceviche is loaded with flavors, super easy to make and comes together in just 40 minutes. I like to serve this ceviche next to some homemade crunchy pita chips.

Now here in Spain, ceviche is not very popular. But regardless, it´s still a dish that I truly enjoy. In this version, I added a couple Spanish elements, to give the ceviche a lift of Spanish goodness.

TIPS & TRICKS to Make this Recipe: The secret when making ceviche is to use the freshest seafood. If you can´t get the freshest seafood, buy frozen and thaw out. I used raw shrimp that I bought frozen and thawed out. But you can totally use pre-cooked shrimp or just par boil your raw shrimp for 2 minutes. But remember to cut the lime juice in half.

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Ceviche Story

One of the theories behind the origin of ceviche purports that the dish was invented in areas ranging from Central America to the Polynesian Islands. This theory states that ceviche could have had its origin in Ecuador’s coastal civilizations as this region had an abundance of fish and shellfish in many different varieties. Also, this theory has found that ceviche was not invented in Mexico, even though the dish is a part of traditional Mexican cuisine for many centuries.

Due to the fact that the Spanish brought citrus fruits from the Europeans, it may be a possibility that they created this dish with Moorish roots. Obviously, Peru takes the crown as the king of Ceviche countries but the origins of this particular variation are still lost in time. That doesn’t mean that Peru offers one of the finest Shrimp Ceviche Recipes in any of its thousands of fine restaurants.

Drink Accompaniment

Shrimp ceviche and wine are a heavenly combination as a strongly acidic wine will help enhance the flavor of this dish. Pinot Gris, Dry Riesling, and Vinho Verde are some of the best wines to go with shrimp ceviche as they are light and refreshing so that they would complement the freshness of the dish perfectly. Any wine with a good balance of fruity taste and acidity would be ideal to accompany this particular shrimp ceviche as you would need something fruity and tangy with this ceviche

Watch the video: Thanks to Shrimp, These Waters Stay Fresh and Clean. Short Film Showcase