If you love fish but have ever uttered the words, “I don’t like to cook it because of the odor,” then it’s time to look at a delicious—and stink-free—alternative to getting your fish fix: ceviche. Between the low-fat protein source, fresh produce and incredibly flavorful seasonings, it’s like summer in a bowl. The best part? You won’t have to cook a thing and it only takes a few minutes to prepare.
What Is Shrimp Ceviche?
Ceviche is believed to have originated in Peru, though you’ll find it served in many Latin American countries, including Mexico, Chile and Ecuador. It’s akin to a seafood salsa and typically consists of raw fish or shellfish marinated in citrus juice and other seasonings—including onions, tomatoes, peppers and salt. Shrimp ceviche is especially lovely on a hot day, as an appetizer or meal, when salads and other dishes that don’t require you to fire up an oven are extra appealing.
Is Shrimp Ceviche Safe to Eat?
At first, it may be hard to wrap your head around eating what appears to be raw shrimp, even if you’ve taken time to clean and devein it—but don’t worry, nobody is gambling with food poisoning in this dish. When placed in a bowl full of citric acid (like lime juice), raw shrimp will automatically begin to break down much the same way it would if heat was applied. The shrimp will turn from blue to opaque pink and any harmful bacteria will be destroyed in the process (which is known as protein denaturing).
If the idea of citrus-“cooked” shrimp still gives you the willies, you can always poach raw shrimp for a couple of minutes before placing it into the marinade. Or, as in the case of this recipe, you can use pre-cooked shrimp instead. No matter how you prepare it, be sure to remove the shrimp tails before you eat.
Shrimp Ceviche Recipe
1 large onion, quartered
2 to 4 serrano peppers, seeded and coarsely chopped
2 medium cucumbers, peeled, quartered and seeds removed
2 large tomatoes, cut into chunks
6 green onions, coarsely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
2 pounds peeled and deveined cooked shrimp (26-30 per pound)
3/4 cup lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Tortilla chips or tostada shells
Step 1: Chop produce
Place onion and peppers in a food processor; pulse until very finely chopped. Transfer to a large bowl. Place cucumbers, tomatoes and green onions in the food processor; pulse until finely chopped. Add to bowl.
Step 2: Chop shrimp
Place shrimp in a food processor and pulse until chopped. You don’t want it chopped too finely, however, as it’s much more satisfying to bite into a recognizable piece of shrimp.
Step 3: Combine ingredients and serve
Add shrimp, lime juice, salt and pepper to the vegetable mixture; toss to coat. Refrigerate until cold. Serve with tortilla chips or tostada shells.
Tips for Making Ceviche
What do you serve with shrimp ceviche?
Most commonly, shrimp ceviche is served with a side of tortilla chips—there’s just something really perfect about pairing that mixture with a salty crunch. It can also be enjoyed spooned onto a tostada that’s been topped with some guacamole or into lettuce wraps for a low-carb option.
What are some variations of shrimp ceviche?
Ceviche can be made with a variety of different fish and seafood options beyond shrimp. Some popular choices include white fish, scallops, halibut, fluke, Hamachi, barracuda, octopus and squid. Looking for a plant-based version? Skip the seafood and add additional vegetables (such as jicama, hearts of palm, or avocado) or tropical fruits (like pineapple and mango). We love this seafood-free cauliflower ceviche.
How do you store shrimp ceviche?
Ceviche should be stored in an airtight container and placed in the coldest part of your refrigerator (typically toward the back and bottom). It’ll last two days, which means you can make it a day ahead of time if you’re planning a picnic or party.