Classic Ceviche

This easy to make appetizer is perfect for the summer time. Ceviche is a light and flavorful dish that makes for a refreshing appetizer for any gathering. It is best served chilled and will be devoured quickly. 

I honestly cannot remember when I fell in love with ceviche. Since I am a fan of limes and pretty much anything made with them this was right up my alley. The bright citrus flavors paired with the fish and/or shrimp are just perfect for the summer. Hopping out of a pool and eating a tortilla chip or tostada loaded with nice cold ceviche is a great way to spend a nice hot summer day.  

In this recipe

Ceviche is a Peruvian dish that contains normally fish or shrimp. this recipe calls for mahi mahi but you can use an assortment of fish such as cod, tilapia, sea bass, albacore, halibut, or red snapper. It will also have onions, peppers, lemons, limes and cilantro/coriander. The rest of the ingredients such as tomatoes, cucumbers, avocados, orange, grapefruit, and garlic are up to your particular tastes or the countries that the ceviche comes from. 

Ingredients for ceviche
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Is ceviche safe to eat?

Ceviche is not cooked, although the acid in lemon and lime juice will change the protein in the fish to give the same texture as a cooked fish. The acid in lemon and lime juice cannot kill all bacteria nor can it get rid of any parasites or worms. It is not recommended that pregnant woman consume raw or undercooked fish.

By blanching the fish or shrimp in boiling water for a minute will remove the risk of consuming undercooked or raw fish. Also using sushi grade fish will help reduce the likelihood contracting a foodborne illness. Another way to help minimize foodborne illness is to consume ceviche within 48 hours after making it. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 

Fish, shrimp, cilantro, and peppers in a glass bowl
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Marinade added to the fish in a glass bowl
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Bowl of ceviche after marinating for several hours
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How does it work?

When you marinade the fish and/or shrimp in lemon and lime juice the citric acid with denature the proteins in the fist. Some will call this “chemically cooked” as the protein reacts the same as it would if it were heated up. However oranges and grapefruit do not have enough citric acid to accomplish this and so juices from oranges and grapefruits are used afterwards to add additional flavors and sweetness. Depending on the doneness desired you can marinate for 30 minutes or up to 4 hours. 

Ceviche in a white bowl with a wooden spoon
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Appetizer or main course

Luckily this dish can be served as both an appetizer or a main course. Normally when it is served as an appetizer it can be accompanied with tortilla chips, tostadas, and even saltines or other crackers. When served as a main course the ceviche is served with side dishes such as sweet potatoes, avocados, corn or plantains. One of my favorites is to serve ceviche with some fried plantains. 

ceviche on a tostada
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Looking for other seafood recipes?

Ceviche on 2 tostadas
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Classic Ceviche

Mahi Mahi marinated in lemon and lime juice with tomatoes and avocados.
5 from 10 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Peruvian
Servings 8 servings
Calories 126 kcal


  • Large mixing bowl


  • ½ pound Mahi Mahi cut into ½ inch cubes
  • ½ pound shrimp cut into ½ inch chunks
  • ¾ cup lemon juice
  • ¾ cup lime juice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tbsp ground black pepper
  • 2 serrano peppers thinly sliced
  • ¾ cup red onion chopped
  • 1 cup cucumber diced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes sliced in half or quartered
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 tbsp fresh cilantro finely chopped
  • tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup avocado diced


  • In a large bowl combine the mahi mahi, shrimp, serrano peppers, salt, pepper, and cilantro. Cover with the lemon and lime juice. If the juice does not cover all of the fish and shrimp add more to completely cover them.
  • Cover and place in the refrigerator for 1-4 hours depending on the doneness you prefer. Stir every hour.
  • Once the desired doneness has been reached add all of the remaining ingredients except the avocado and mix. then gently fold in the avocado.
  • Best served chilled.


Consume within 48 hours of making it storing in an air tight container. 
Mahi Mahi can be replaced with cod, halibut, albacore, tilapia, red snapper, or sea bass.


Serving: 1servingCalories: 126kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 12gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.001gCholesterol: 66mgSodium: 143mgPotassium: 433mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 224IUVitamin C: 24mgCalcium: 40mgIron: 1mg
Nutrition Disclaimer*
Keyword Avocado, Ceviche, Fish, Shrimp
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Ceviche Pinterest pin
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10 thoughts on “Classic Ceviche”

  1. 5 stars
    This had the perfect balance!!
    The citrus juice and the peppers worked so well with the fish.
    And everything is better with cilantro!
    So delicious. We served it tortilla chip as nibbled with drinks 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    I was looking for the perfect ceviche recipe and now I have found it. This has the perfect combination of flavor and is full of fresh yumminess. Thanks for a great recipe !

  3. 5 stars
    I hadn’t had ceviche in years so when I saw your recipe I thought I’d give it a go. It came out ah-mazing and I’ll definitely be making it again!

  4. 5 stars
    We love ceviche and this one is so so good! The serano and the Mahi Mahi was such amazing touches!! These were such a hit!

  5. 5 stars
    I served this ceviche with homemade tortilla chips and everyone raved about how fresh-tasting and delicious it was. I loved the combination of both mahi mahi and shrimp in it, especially.

  6. I grew up on a landlocked cattle farm and the only fish I ever had was fresh water fish which you can’t eat raw. It took me a long time to like raw fish and now I can snack on ceviche like crazy. Especially when it tastes this good!

  7. 5 stars
    The perfect bbq party appetier. Just like going to a fancy restaurant….in my backyard LOL. This will be a hit with the guests for sure.

  8. 5 stars
    This ceviche was amazing! It was interesting to learn how it actually works, I find that so fascinating that the citric acid changes the proteins in the shrimp and makes it look cooked!

5 from 10 votes (1 rating without comment)

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