This ceviche recipe is one of my favorite diet-friendly dishes. Vegetarians and vegans can enjoy this quick and simple dish, too, using this ceviche recipe’s quick swap.
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 ceviche, 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 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.
Cooking times refer to chilling time. Both versions need time in the refrigerator for the flavors to meld. The fish-based version includes “cooking” the fish by tossing it with lime juice before refrigerating. For raw shrimp or squid, add an additional 10 minutes to the cooking time indicated below.
Ceviche - Traditional or Vegan
Tangy, bright, and delicious, ceviche is a heart-healthy side dish that can become a main course when paired with a good loaf of bread. Although traditionally made with seafood, vegetarians and vegans can enjoy it using the clever, quick swap in this recipe.
- ½ lb. seafood peeled shrimp, squid or firm-fleshed fish OR one 14-oz. can of Hearts of Palm, drained
- 2 large tomatoes seeded and diced
- ½ red onion minced
- 2 fresh jalapenos diced (wear gloves while dicing!)
- Juice of 2 fresh limes divided
- 1 large Haas avocado diced
- 1 medium cucumber peeled, seeded and diced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or more to taste
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons Fresh cilantro leaves (coriander in the UK) chopped (optional)
For Seafood Ceviche:
If using FISH: Chop the fish into large chunks and place it in a non-reactive (glass) bowl. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour but no longer than 2. Continue with step 3.
If using SHRIMP or SQUID: Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Add shrimp and boil for 2 minutes or add squid and boil for 5. Drain and immediately transfer to an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Drain again and transfer to a nonreactive bowl. Continue with step 3.
Add remaining ingredients to the bowl with the fish, squid, and/or shrimp. Stir gently and season to taste with salt, pepper, and cilantro (if using). Serve in chilled bowls or martini glasses.
For Vegan/Vegetarian Ceviche:
Drain the Hearts of Palm and slice into 1/2 inch sections. Using the tip of your finger, poke the center out of each section. Combine all of this with the remaining ingredients in a nonreactive bowl. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and cilantro (if using). Serve in chilled bowls or martini glasses.
Turn this into an appetizer that everyone can enjoy at your next party by doubling the vegetables called for in the recipe and making half with seafood, half with the vegan alternative.
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!