This ceviche recipe is one of my favorite diet-friendly dishes of the summer! Technically, it’s a side dish, but I enjoy it so much that I often make a meal out of it with a little crusty bread to soak up the juices. One bite of this fresh, zingy recipe takes me back to fond memories of a trip my husband and I took to Cozumel, way back when we were just dating. It rained torrentially five of our six days there, so food (and drinking yard-high margaritas) were the highlights of our trip.
Although no one knows the precise origins of this dish, it’s traced back to the Incan Empire. Back then, before the Spanish invasion, it consisted of foods marinated in chicha, juice that comes from maize. The Spaniards brought limes into the mix, which is now how it’s most commonly served in countries throughout South America.
The limes are an essential component of Ceviche containing raw fish or seafood since the citrus juice does the cooking for you, so please don’t skip them and don’t try using bottled lime juice. You’ll be glad you took the time to squeeze fresh limes once the zippy taste of jalapenos, succulent seafood, and creamy avocado start dancing on your tongue.
Vegetarians and vegans can enjoy this quick and simple dish, too, using this ceviche recipe’s quick swap.
Please note that if you use a fish like a snapper or a tilapia, you’ll need to plan additional time for the citrus juice to “cook” the fish in the fridge. For those in a hurry, use pre-cooked seafood or go the vegetarian route.
- ½ lb. seafood (peeled shrimp, squid or firm-fleshed fish) OR one 14-oz. can of Hearts of
- 2 large tomatoes, seeded and diced
- ½ red onion, minced
- 2 fresh jalapenos, diced (wear gloves while
- Juice of 2 fresh limes (must be fresh)
- Avocado, diced
- 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh cilantro (optional)
- Seafood version: - If making ceviche with fish, dice the fish
inlarge chunks and place in a non-reactive (glass or ceramic) dish. Sprinkle with the juice from one lime and carefully stir. Refrigerate for 2 hours while the citrus "cooks" the fish. OR If making ceviche with shrimp or squid, bring a pot of water to boil and cook shrimp for 2 minutes or until pink, squid for 5. Drain immediately and plunge into ice bath.
- Vegetarian version: Drain Hearts of Palm,
sliceinto ½ inch sections horizontally, and poke out the center of each circle.
- Either way, continue as follows: Carefully mix ingredients in large bowl. If using fish, add juices from the pan to this mix. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Chill at least 20 minutes.
- Serve in small bowls, or margarita or martini glasses.
- Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro if you like.
Ceviche is wonderful served on its own in bowls or even margarita or martini glasses. It makes a fantastic party appetizer when served in phyllo cups, too! There’s no reason why you can’t serve it on top of a bed of lettuce, either. It’s all good!
The vegetarian version of this ceviche recipe keeps in the fridge for 3 or 4 days, but the seafood version only lasts for one. Not that you’ll have much left, especially if you serve them with margaritas using my homemade margarita mix!