Mexican-style Shrimp Ceviche is a refreshing appetizer that's ideal for all kinds of festive occasions. Succulent shrimp, jalapeño, cilantro and buttery avocado along with a medley of cold, crunchy vegetables are tossed in vibrant, tangy fresh lime juice and piled onto tostadas or served with tortilla chips for dipping. It’s a crowd-pleasing recipe that's easy enough to make any time.
Many countries have their own version of ceviche, so the ingredients included in this dish vary based on the region it’s made in. This Mexican-style Shrimp Ceviche includes jalapenos, cilantro, and tomatoes that are typical to Mexican dishes. The original, Peruvian version was simpler, just raw fish, red onion, aji pepper, and the occasional addition of corn. Another key difference in style is the type of fish used. In Peru, sea bass is usually the central ingredient, but raw shrimp is a favorite in Mexico.
Ingredients You Need to Make Shrimp Ceviche
For the Shrimp
- Medium Fresh Shrimp: peeled and deveined (you can also thaw frozen shrimp or use pre-cooked shrimp for an even easier version of the recipe)
- Fine Sea Salt
- Lime: fresh lime wedges
- Peppercorns: whole black peppercorns
- Fresh Cilantro: just the raw stems to add flavor to the poaching liquid
Other Ceviche Ingredients
- Roma Tomatoes: or other firm, ripe tomatoes
- Cucumber: standard cucumbers or English cucumbers that don't require peeling
- Radishes: red radishes
- Jalapeño: or serrano chile
- Limes: fresh lime wedges (you can also use other citrus juice like fresh lemon juice or fresh orange juice)
- Fine Sea Salt
- Avocado: ripe avocado that's firm enough for dicing small
- Tortilla Chips: or plantain chips for serving
Though this shrimp ceviche recipe is a Mexican iteration, ceviche is traditionally a Peruvian dish. It traditionally includes some kind of fresh, raw fish, lime juice, red onion and chili peppers, seasoned simply with salt and pepper. It’s thought to have been consumed in South America for thousands of years, spreading across the continent and eventually up into North America where it was adapted to resemble this recipe. It remains a favorite today in coastal countries from South America to Europe and beyond.
Ceviche is often made with no heat at all, as the acidic marinade causes a chemical reaction that denatures the raw fish, but does not technically "cook" it. This recipe pre-cooks the shrimp before adding it to the other ingredients to avoid any raw seafood concerns. It also infuses the shrimp with the flavors of the dish in a 3-minute steep in vibrantly flavorful boiling hot water.
Ceviche is assembled and chilled, then traditionally served cold. For added flavor and crunch, it's typically served with tortilla chips for dipping or atop tostadas. You can also enjoy it on its own with a few lime wedges for squeezing over the top.
More Must Try Seafood Appetizers
- Mexican Shrimp Cocktail
- Tuna Tartare
- Bacon Wrapped Scallops
- Bagna Cauda
- Shrimp Remoulade
- Lemon Garlic Butter Shrimp
How to Make Shrimp Ceviche
Poach shrimp until just cooked through in boiling water seasoned with salt, lime wedges, peppercorns and cilantro stems. Transfer to ice water to cool. When cool, pat dry and cut into bite size pieces.
Stir the shrimp together with all of the chopped vegetables (except the avocado), cilantro and lime juice; season to taste and refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Just before serving, stir in the avocado and, if you like, serve with tortilla chips and lime wedges.
For the Shrimp
- 1 pound medium shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt for seasoning water
- 1 lime cut into wedges plus more for juicing and optional wedges for serving
- 1 teaspoon peppercorns
- ¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves reserve stems for shrimp cooking water
Other Ceviche Ingredients
- 4 Roma Tomatoes seeded and diced small
- 1 medium cucumber peeled and diced small
- 3 radishes thinly sliced, slices quartered
- ⅓ cup finely diced red onion
- 1 medium jalapeño finely diced or serrano chile, seeds and membrane removed (recipe note #1)
- 6 tablespoons fresh lime juice juice from about 3 limes
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt plus more to taste
- 1 medium avocado
- microgreens for garnish, optional
- tortilla chips for serving
- Prepare ice bath for shrimp.
- Bring 2 quarts water, kosher salt, lime wedges (squeeze juice out into pot as well as adding wedges), peppercorns and reserved cilantro stems to boil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and cover; remove from heat and let stand 3 minutes, until just cooked through. Transfer with slotted spoon to ice bath.
- When shrimp are cool, lift out of ice bath with slotted spoon. Pat dry and chop into ½-inch pieces; transfer to a large bowl.
- To shrimp add tomatoes, cucumber, radishes, red onion, jalapeño, cilantro and lime juice; gently stir to combine. Season to taste with kosher salt and gently stir again. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.
- When ready to serve, peel, seed and dice avocado. Add to ceviche and gently stir in to combine. Transfer to serving bowl and garnish with microgreens if desired. Serve with tortilla chips and lime wedges (optional).
- For a spicier version, leave seeds and membrane or use serrano chiles which tend to be spicier. Wear gloves when preparing raw chiles as their liquid can severely irritate your skin.
- If you prefer a shrimp heavy ceviche: use ½ cucumber instead of a whole, 2 tomatoes instead of 4, and, optionally, reduce red onion to ¼ cup.