Chef Rick Bayless makes this light and refreshing ceviche recipe that will work wonderfully as an appetizer for an alfresco dinner party or a Sunday afternoon barbecue.
For the herb seasoning
- 1/2 head garlic, cloves broken apart
- 2 or 3 fresh serrano chiles
- 1 medium bunch cilantro, thick bottom stems cut off (1 cup packed)
- 1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley, thick bottom stems cut off (1 cup packed)
- 1/2 olive oil
For the ceviche
- 1/4 fresh lime juice, plus more if needed
- 1 1/2 sashimi-quality skinless, boneless fish fillets, such as Alaskan halibut or ahi tuna, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 7 small pickling cucumbers or Persian (baby) cucumbers, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- Salt, if needed
- 2 ripe large avocados, pitted, flesh scooped from skin and cut into cubes
- Lettuce leaves, preferably butter lettuce, for garnish
Calories Per Serving223
Folate equivalent (total)109µg27%
- 1 cucumber, diced
- 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
- ½ medium red onion, diced
- 2 serrano peppers, seeded and deveined
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- 6 medium limes, divided
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt, divided
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper to taste
- ½ pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 small avocado, diced (Optional)
Combine cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, serrano peppers, and cilantro in a bowl. Add 1 teaspoon salt and squeeze 1 lime. Gently mix and set aside.
Squeeze the remaining limes into another bowl. Add remaining salt and pepper.
Bring a 1- to 2-quart pot of water to a boil. Place shrimp into the boiling water for 45 seconds. Quickly remove from the water using a strainer.
Chop the partially cooked shrimp into small pieces and add to the bowl with the seasoned lime mixture. Let sit for 20 minutes. Combine with the cucumber mixture and top with avocados.
Boozy Ceviche with Adobo Verde
Make the herb seasoning. Set a large (10-inch) skillet over medium heat. Lay in the garlic and chiles and roast, turning regularly, until soft and browned in spots, about 10 minutes for the chiles and 15 minutes for the garlic. (If you’re really short on time, you can soften them in a microwave: Cut a slit in each garlic clove and combine with the chiles in a microwaveable bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, poke a few holes in the top and microwave at 100% for 30 seconds.) Cool until handleable, then slip off the garlic’s papery husks. Roughly chop everything (no need to remove the chile seeds). In a blender or food processor, combine the garlic and chiles with the cilantro, parsley, olive oil and salt. Process, stopping to scrape down the sides if necessary, until nearly smooth (it should look a little like pesto) Transfer to a pint-size jar and store, covered in the refrigerator, where it will last several months.
Finish the ceviche. In a large bowl, combine the lime juice and the fish. Cover and refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes. Stir in ½ cup of the herb seasoning and the tequila. (Cover and refrigerate the remainder of the herb mixture for another preparation.) Add cucumber, and stir to combine. To blend the flavors, cover and refrigerate for a few minutes (for best results no more than an hour). Taste and season with a little more lime juice or salt if you think necessary, gently stir in the avocado (save out a little for garnish if you want), then serve on lettuce leaf-lined plates or martini glasses.
Albacore ceviche salad
When the ceviche appetizer comes to the table, it’s as beautiful as a peek into a tide pool brimming with sea life. A bright clamshell opens next to a curling purple octopus tendril there’s a flash of pink shrimp tail and a pretty bed of green and red vegetables.
The interplay of colors and forms in Nobu Malibu’s ceviche hints at the amazing nuances of flavor to come: sweet seafood enlivened with bright citrus flavors and set off by summery tomatoes and an undercurrent of chile and ginger.
Once found only in Latin American restaurants -- Mexican and Peruvian mostly -- ceviche has become a favorite of chefs at many of the most innovative restaurants in town, and it’s gaining almost a cult following among diners. The familiar appetizer of raw fish “cooked” in lime juice and tossed with vegetables and chiles has gone creative and global in L.A. these days, blithely crossing boundaries and showing up in all sorts of new guises in all sorts of places -- steakhouses, neighborhood California cuisineries, formal French restaurants and Japanese restaurants too.
Chefs just seem to love creating new ceviches -- they’re found on many tasting menus -- improvising new combinations of flavors with each new season or seafood delivery. Spontaneity is the point: making something wonderful with whatever’s freshest and best at the moment -- and that means an ever-changing palette of seafood, citrus and vegetables.
Ravel Centeno-Rodriguez, co-owner of Minibar in Studio City, loves ceviches so much he’s dreamed of opening a “cevicheria.”
Minibar offers ceviches with different ethnic twists -- Ecuadorean, Hawaiian, Thai -- on the regular menu, changing every few months. Chef Thomas Deville also dreams up a continuous line of ceviches du jour. One recent example, the Hawaiian ceviche, is made with ahi tuna, pineapple, soy sauce, shaved fennel and “gyoza chips.” Another with a Mediterranean twist cooks rock shrimp and albacore in a crunchy marinade of lime and orange juice, fresh tomatoes, diced red bell pepper, ginger and honey. Coming soon, as part of Minibar’s expansion: a raw bar with a big ceviche section.
Other restaurateurs might be a bit less ceviche-mad than Centeno-Rodriguez, but not by much. It’s no surprise to find it on the menu at Latin-focused places such as Norman’s in West Hollywood, Paladar in Hollywood or Border Grill in Santa Monica. But it’s also showing up at restaurants as different as the French-Mediterranean Lucques, the Japanese Nobu Malibu, the steakhouse Boa, and Meson G, where small plates rule.
The spirit of improvisation has always animated ceviche makers (the dish probably originated with fishermen who couldn’t cook on their boats and so “cooked” their catch with lime juice and added tomatoes, cilantro or whatever was at hand), so the current anything-goes mood among chefs is a natural stage in the dish’s evolution.
It’s also a product of distinctly L.A. conditions: the availability of great, incredibly fresh fish a customer base that’s wild for flavor but shies away from carbs and calories and a local love affair with raw fish -- be it sushi, sashimi, ceviche or crudo.
“Ceviche tastes good, it’s refreshing, you feel good after you eat it,” says Suzanne Goin of Lucques. “It’s brightly flavored. In L.A. we eat a lot of sushi and sashimi. For me, ceviche connects with that too. That’s the nice thing about being a chef now in Southern California. I’m definitely not a fusion person, but you’re not so boxed in.”
Goin’s ceviche was inspired by a farmer’s “amazing” tangelos and Reed avocados to create an appetizer of pink-fleshed nairagi (the Hawaiian fish also known as striped marlin, or a’u) quick-marinated in lime and lemon juice, and served with avocado, tangelo, jalapeno and pistachios. Goin then worked with her Hawaiian fish supplier, who brought her different fish to sample, and she tasted various options until she settled on the nairagi. “It all came from a tangelo-avocado-pistachio place. The tangelos and their juice are bracing and taste really good cold the avocados are buttery and the fish is something that’s good very cold with a lot of lime and sea salt.”
At tiny Chloe in Playa del Rey, co-chefs de cuisine Abigail Wolfe and Ian Torres worked together to create their ceviche, a salad of albacore marinated in lime and tangerine juices, then mixed with a confetti of diced cilantro, cucumber, radish and corn and served mounded on greens.
“Albacore’s a really cool fish,” says Wolfe. “It’s really pale, and then when you toss it with the citrus, parts of it turn white. You don’t want it to ‘cook’ evenly. It’s beautiful when you can see the opaque and translucent parts.”
Torres, she says, had the idea to incorporate the vegetables so that it would be equally vegetables and fish, with lots of colors and textures. Thrilled with the arrival of early summer corn and cucumber, Wolfe and Torres tossed those vegetables into their surprising ceviche.
When chefs mix it up with ceviche, they ring changes in one or all of the three elements of the dish: seafood, citrus and vegetables.
The seafood can be all of one kind or a mixture. Mild-flavored white fish are often used, but these days, chefs might taste half a dozen fish -- such as sea bass, halibut, hamachi -- before selecting the right one for a particular ceviche. Shrimp, rock shrimp, scallops, squid, octopus have all shown up in a citrus bath on someone’s appetizer list. When fresh calamari came to town, Ciudad featured a minted calamari ceviche. Lee Heftner at Spago often has a ceviche on tasting menus there, frequently using hamachi.
At Boa Steakhouse and Lounge on the Sunset Strip, ceviche livens up the seafood platter appetizer, an amusing and impressive edifice of king crab legs, lobster and shellfish on ice. Served with warm, chewy sourdough rolls, the tangy ceviche of shrimp, fish, scallops or conch, depending on the season, complements the sweet cold crustaceans.
Even Umenohana, the Beverly Hills bastion of handcrafted tofu, offers an appetizer ceviche: a single shrimp and a single scallop marinated in lime juice, served in a chilled martini glass on a slice of lime and topped with a tiny scoop of apple-tomato sorbet. The sorbet’s designed to soften the acidity and enhance the sweetness, a departure from traditional chile-spiced ceviches.
“You have to have some kind of acid,” says Minibar’s Centeno-Rodriguez, “citrus or vinegar. The fish has to cure.”
While South American ceviches often use vinegar, just about every kind of citrus juice seems to have made its way into L.A. ceviches lately: tangerine, orange, lemon, lime, tangelo. Fish “cooks” differently in different citrus chefs often combine less acidic juices such as orange with traditional lime.
Nobu Malibu’s ceviche is made with various combinations of white fish, shellfish, octopus, squid and shrimp in a sauce of yuzu and lemon juice, soy, ginger, garlic, black pepper and spicy aji amarillo chile paste.
Ceviche lovers look for a little something on the side too. At Cafe del Rey, the halibut ceviche, made with Buddha Hand citron juice and toasted coriander seeds, is served with Thai basil granita. Peruvian ceviches are served with potatoes and corn, but most of us, accustomed to Mexican ceviches, look for a chip equivalent.
“You always have to have a little bit of crunch,” says Centeno-Rodriguez, “whether it’s from the ceviche itself or what accompanies it. I always like ceviche with some kind of dipping tool -- gyoza chips, arepas, plantain chips, tostones [plantain fritters], jicama chips, yucca chips. That’s part of the fun. It’s a little party in a bowl.”
Ceviche was a specialty of Mexican beach resorts back in the day, and for decades it was most closely connected with Acapulco.
Longtime Mexico travelers remember that on boat tours taken from coastal resorts, the destination was often an isolated tropical beach where the boat crew would prepare ceviche for the visitors. Recipes for slightly more complicated ceviches using pompano, haddock, oysters, shrimp and snapper appear in cookbooks published in Mexico from the 1950s onward.
Ceviche is also a traditional dish in Ecuador and Peru, where it’s most often made with whole shrimp marinated in lemon juice then stirred into a salsa of finely diced tomato, onion and cilantro. Other fish and shellfish are also used, and many recipes call for the inclusion of chopped chiles, celery, garlic and other ingredients.
Ceviche’s roots make it a favorite among Latino kitchen staffers around town. It’s a popular staff dinner at Water Grill, where Chloe’s Wolfe, who is from Vermont, had her first taste of it while working at the downtown restaurant. It’s also often a staff meal at Cobra & Matadors, though it’s not currently on the menu there.
Some dishes billed as ceviches veer off into tuna tartare or semi-sashimi territory. At Noe downtown, chef Robert Gadsby’s tuna ceviche with Bermuda onions and wasabi is soft slices of seemingly seared tuna -- no chill, no crunch, no chiles. The ceviche on the menu at Ortolan veers a bit too: white salmon is marinated briefly in lime, then served with caviar and lime-and-lemongrass milkshake shots.
But many of the best ceviches we’ve tasted lately owe their exciting flavors to Caribbean and Asian ingredients. Conch, coconut, lemon grass, Asian chiles, ginger, Thai basil and other ingredients from citrus- and seafood-loving cuisines work beautifully.
The trick is to keep it simple. No matter how inspired the experiment, ceviche has to stay honest to its humble roots to be ceviche. Improvise away -- but keep the mood casual.
Just slice up the freshest fish you can lay your hands on, squeeze the juiciest limes or lemons you’ve got, toss in the tastiest combination of chiles, raw vegetables, herbs and other salad-y things that strike your fancy. Marinate, mix, chill -- and call it cooking.
- 5 large lemons, juiced
- 1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, or to taste
- tomato and clam juice cocktail
- 2 white onions, finely chopped
- 1 cucumber, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 3 fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
- 1 bunch radishes, finely diced
- 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
- tortilla chips
Place shrimp in a bowl (You may either coarsely chop the shrimp, or leave them whole, depending on your preference.) Add lemon, covering shrimp completely. Cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until opaque and slightly firm.
Add tomatoes, onions, cucumber, radishes, and garlic toss to combine. Gradually add cilantro and jalapenos to desired taste (jalapeno will grow stronger while marinating). Stir in tomato and clam juices to desired consistency. Cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour. Serve chilled with tortilla chips.
There are many ways to serve ceviche. Here are some of our favorites: Place the ceviche in a large bowl and let people spoon it onto individual plates to eat with chips or saltines spoon the ceviche into small bowls and serve tostadas, chips or saltines alongside or pile the ceviche onto chips or tostadas and pass around for guests to consume on these edible little plates. Garnish the ceviche with cilantro leaves before serving.
Chile tends to be known for inexpensive reds, but the real secret is the country&rsquos terrific Sauvignon Blancs. The cold winds off the Pacific give Sauvignon Blancs like this one a finely-tuned citrus zestiness, perfect for ceviche (something else they do extremely well in Chile).
What (else) goes in Ceviche
Here are the other ingredients required for this recipe:
Limes – the essential ingredient that “cooks” the fish
Extra virgin olive oil – just a touch will take the sharp, sour edge off the otherwise totally sour dish. It’s not strictly traditional to include this, but it’s important to know that limes in Latin America – certainly in Mexico – are often not as sour as those in most Western countries, including Australia and the US. Without oil, I find Ceviche is too sour. Even in Mexico, I found most Ceviches there to be too sour! (*She ducks as Mexicans throw rotten tomatoes at her!*)
Avocado and jalapeño – these add ins are traditional in some versions of Ceviche found in Mexico. Creamy pieces of avocado are a sensational pairing with the delicate pieces of fish!
Coriander/cilantro – essential fresh herb flavouring for ceviche. Coriander haters – sub with chives
Red onion – very finely sliced so it flops and melds with the fish
Garlic – crushed using a garlic press so it’s minced finely and “juicy”. We just use 1 small clove – it shouldn’t be overly garlicky and
Tomato – included in some traditional versions, I really love just adding a bit (not too much) for beautiful pops of colour and fresh juiciness.
Low-Carb Shrimp Ceviche Recipe
My name is Kevin. My life changed when I realized that healthy living is truly a lifelong journey, mainly won by having a well-balanced diet and enjoying adequate exercise. By experimenting in the kitchen and openly sharing my meals, I learned that healthy eating is hardly boring and that by making a few adjustments, I could design a diet that could help me achieve my personal fitness goals. Our bodies are built in the kitchen and sculpted in the gym.
Recently I spent 5 days in Cali, Colombia for a mini-food tour and to do some food demos as part of this massive fitness expo called FeriaFit. While I was there I got to eat in one of my favorites restaurants, Pica, by a chef I’ve been following for about a year now – Chef Alex Nessim.
In short, he’s brilliant. He makes magic when it comes to seafood (or any food for that matter), and even though he is Colombian, much of his cuisine is Peruvian inspired, especially his ceviche.
If you’ve never had ceviche, add it to your list of foods to try before you…well, you know… It is incredibly delicious and flavorful and actually pretty healthy.
It’s seafood that has been cured in citrus juice. Onions, garlic and cilantro are generally added to enhance the flavor, along with tomatoes and regional veggies. Nearly every Latin American country (or those close to water) have their own version of ceviche, but Peruvian is likely the most popular.
Enjoy the meal at Pica Restaurant in Cali took me back to the first time I had shrimp ceviche. It was on a beach in Mexico…it’s hard to believe but the view of the crystal blue waters paled in comparison to the savory, refreshing ceviche that was presented on a homemade crispy corn tortilla with mayonnaise.
All this nostalgia in Cali got me thinking about how I could make a streamlined version for meal prep, so I did! And here it is! Like any good recipe, and I think this is especially true when it comes to ceviche, it’s important to customize the flavors to complement your taste preferences and diet.
Ceviche is commonly enjoyed with large kernels of roasted corn, choclo, and/or fried plantain chips. For shrimp ceviche recipe meal prep, we’re using a brown rice and quinoa mix instead, and I’m tossing in cucumber to add more volume to the ceviche so each bite is refreshing and hydrating.
- 1 pound fresh ocean fish such as sea bass, grouper, or striped bass, cut into 1/4-inch slices (see note)
- 1/2 cup lemon, lime, or sour orange juice, or a combination
- 1 small red onion, finely sliced
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 to 2 jalapeño peppers, ribs and seeds removed, rinsed, and finely minced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Combine fish, juice, onion, cilantro, and jalapeño in a large bowl and gently fold with your hands to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Allow to marinate for at least 5 minutes, folding occasionally. Transfer to a serving platter and serve immediately with boiled corn and sweet potatoes, if desired.
Green Herb Ceviche with Cucumber - Recipes
This is an awesome summer dish, with bright, spicy flavors and cool, crisp textures. It's quick and simple, and since the shrimp gets chopped into pieces, you can use smaller (cheaper) shrimp to begin with sizes in the range of 41-50 or 51-60 are just fine. Because we add so many strong flavors, this recipe turns out great with frozen shrimp too.
Since the shrimp is cooked, this is not truly ceviche, the Peruvian dish in which acid from citrus "cooks" otherwise raw fish. Here's a recipe for that sort of ceviche.
Note that the recipe below calls for a tablespoon of Crystal hot sauce, which is a Louisiana product which has more of a vinegary flavor and is not super hot. If you don't have Crystal, substitute one teaspoon Tabasco and two teaspoons vinegar.
1 pound of shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice (substitute lime juice)
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tablespoons Crystal hot sauce (see note above)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 scallions, finely chopped, both white and green parts
1 jalapeño or other hot pepper, seeded and finely chopped, to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs cilantro, basil, or a combination of the two works well
1/2 cup finely diced tomatoes
1/2 cup finely diced cucumber
1 teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
Gently poach the shrimp in salted water for a few minutes, until just cooked through. Remove from heat and rinse under cool water to stop cooking. Drain, then chop into pieces in the half-inch to inch range--a size appropriate for serving on a tortilla ship. Set the chopped shrimp aside.
In a large glass or ceramic bowl, add the juice, ketchup, hot sauce, and olive oil, then mix to combine. Stir in the scallions, jalapeño, chopped herbs, tomato, cucumber, and salt. Taste, and adjust seasoning and heat level. Finally, add the chopped shrimp and stir to combine.
Serve immediately, or refrigerate for up to a couple of hours, to allow the flavors to marry. Serve with tortilla chips.