How to Make Ceviche

Cook, How-To, Learn

Although a tropical vacation isn’t in the cards for me this summer, I can still savor the good life in my own kitchen. Nothing brings me back to beachside Belize quite like homemade ceviche, which uses citrus juice to “cook” seafood like fish, shrimp and scallops.


Except for the fish, ceviche is a lot like traditional salsa, so you can make it your own with fruits and vegetables you love. One of my favorite combinations features mango and bell peppers.


Use the freshest seafood possible when making ceviche, since you’re not using heat to cook it (think sushi-grade). Always chill it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve.


How it works. The acid in lemon and lime juice causes denaturing in the seafood, meaning the fish becomes firm on the outside as if it has been cooked over heat. Most recipes call for marinating seafood in the citrus juice for at least an hour, although with very fresh ingredients, 30 minutes may suffice.


How you do it. Simply juice lemons, limes and/or oranges and season the mixture to taste. Cut seafood into bite-size pieces, toss it in the juice and let it marinate in the refrigerator until it’s firm. Then mix in the vegetables, fruits, herbs and spices of your choice. Watch this ceviche recipe demonstration from the Culinary Institute of America.


Also try these ceviche recipes, keeping in mind you can tweak them to your tastes:


About the author: Olivia Terenzio grew up in Mississippi, where she cultivated a love of sweet potatoes, crawfish and cloth napkins at a young age. A passion for sharing food with friends and family led her into the kitchen and later to culinary school, where she learned how to roast a chicken and decorate a cake like a pro. As a Williams-Sonoma blog editor, she’s now lucky enough to be talking, writing and thinking about food all day.

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