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This shrimp ceviche recipe is zingy and zesty: the perfect easy appetizer! The South American seafood dish is truly a triumph.

Shrimp ceviche
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When the temperatures soar, there’s not much better than zingy shrimp ceviche! This Peruvian dish of citrus-cured fish bursts with refreshing flavor, pairing the tender shellfish with tomato, red onion and cilantro. Dip it with tortilla or plantain chips, and it’s a perfect appetizer to get any party started. This is one of the first things we cooked together here at A Couple Cooks, so it has a special place in our hearts. Here’s how to make ceviche!

Ingredients in this shrimp ceviche recipe

Ceviche is a South American dish of raw fish or shellfish that’s marinaded or “cooked” in citrus juice, then mixed with other vegetables and seasonings. Typically served as an appetizer, it can be eaten on its own with a spoon, or served with tortilla chips or plantain chips. Ceviche most likely originated in Peru, but it’s a traditional Latin American food that’s common in Ecuador, Mexico, Costa Rica, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala and more. (Here’s an authentic Peruvian recipe!)

Ceviche can be made with any type of fish or shellfish, like red snapper, halibut, tilapia, mahi mahi, shrimp, scallops, octopus, squid, and more. This shrimp ceviche recipe is a spin on the theme, pairing tender shrimp with tomatoes, onion, peppers, and cilantro. Here’s what you’ll need to make shrimp ceviche:

  • Shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • Lime juice
  • Red tomatoes
  • Red onion
  • Jalapeno pepper
  • Cilantro
  • Cumin
  • Garlic
  • Sugar
  • Salt
Shrimp ceviche recipe

Type of shrimp for this recipe

There’s a wide variety of options at the store when it comes to purchasing shrimp. Here’s what to look for when shopping for shrimp ceviche:

  • Shelled and deveined: You’ll want the shrimp to come with the vein removed, and shell off. If all you can find is shell on or tail on, remove it before making this recipe!
  • Use any size! Size usually matters when it comes to shrimp, but for this recipe you’ll chop it into bite-sized pieces. Use any size you can find!
  • Wild caught: Fish that is wild caught in your country is usually a sustainable choice. There are also quality options in well-regulated farms; see Seafood Watch Consumer Guide.
  • Fresh or frozen: Frozen shrimp can be as high quality as fresh, if it’s frozen as soon as it’s caught. Make sure to leave time to thaw the shrimp before you start this recipe.

Is the shrimp raw for ceviche?

Traditionally ceviche is made with raw seafood. Placing the raw fish or shellfish in citrus juice causes it to denature, or cure the fish protein. It’s the same reaction that happens with heat! However, only heat can effectively eliminate the risk of food poisoning.

Poach the shrimp if desired

If you prefer not eating raw fish, you can poach the shrimp before making the ceviche! It’s not traditional, but it’s the only way to irradicate the risk of foodborne illness. If you start with a high-quality fresh fish, feel free to skip this step and make traditional ceviche. But if you’re cooking for pregnant people or other at risk individuals, you may want to complete the poaching step. 

To poach the shrimp, simply place them in a large pot of boiling water for 1 minute until opaque and cooked through. Then remove them to an ice bath to quickly stop the cooking (this avoids rubbery shrimp).

Does it taste the same? It’s not quite as tender and delicious, but in our taste tests the shrimp ceviche with poached shrimp was just as satisfying.

Shrimp ceviche

How to make shrimp ceviche

It’s so simple to make shrimp ceviche: there’s no cooking required! It’s a perfect appetizer for hot weather and summer when you don’t want to fire up the oven. Here’s what to do:

  • Chop the shrimp. Remove the shells if needed, then chop it into bite-sized pieces.
  • Place the shrimp in lime juice. If you plan to poach the shrimp to reduce the risk of foodborne illness, do that step first. Then place the shrimp in lime juice to cure.
  • Chop the remaining ingredients. Finely dice the tomatoes, mince the red onion, mince the jalapeno, and finely chop the cilantro.
  • Mix! Add the remaining ingredients to the shrimp. Serve immediately.

Ways to serve shrimp ceviche

Ceviche is most traditionally served as an appetizer, but you can serve it as part of a main course, too! Alex and I have shared this recipe and added in a few simple side dishes to call it meal. Here are a few ways to serve ceviche:

And that’s it! Let us know what you think of this shrimp ceviche recipe and how you plan to serve it in the comments below.

More shrimp recipes

Love shrimp? Here are a few more tasty shrimp recipes using this versatile shellfish:

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Shrimp ceviche

Shrimp Ceviche


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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6 appetizer servings 1x

Description

This shrimp ceviche recipe is zingy and zesty: the perfect easy appetizer! The South American seafood dish is truly a triumph.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 pound shrimp, shell off and deveined (wild caught if possible)
  • ½ cup fresh lime juice (4 limes)
  • 1 1/2 pounds ripe red tomatoes (about 4 medium), enough for 2 cups finely diced
  • ⅓ cup minced red onion
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeds removed and minced
  • ¼ cup packed finely chopped cilantro
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon finely minced garlic
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar (to taste)
  • Tortilla or plantain chips, to serve

Instructions

  1. Poach the shrimp (optional*): Bring 12 cups of water to boil with 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Prepare a bowl of ice water. Add the shrimp and cook about 1 minute, until opaque and cooked through. Remove the shrimp with a slotted spoon and place it directly into the ice water bath to stop the cooking.
  2. Remove the shells from the shrimp, leaving the shell of the tail on. Discard the shells. Chop shrimp into bite sized pieces.
  3. Place the shrimp into the lime juice and allow to soak for 30 minutes while preparing the other ingredients.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients to the shrimp. Serve immediately or chill for up to 2 hours. (It’s best enjoyed as close to serving as possible.)

Notes

*Ceviche is traditionally made with raw fish, which is allowed to “cook” or cure in lime juice. Poaching is not authentic to a ceviche recipe, but it is the only way to irradicate the risk of foodborne illness. If you start with a high-quality fresh fish, feel free to skip this step and make traditional ceviche. But if you’re cooking for pregnant people or other at risk individuals, you may want to complete the poaching step (it’s just as tasty!). 

  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: Peruvian
  • Diet: Gluten Free

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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