If you can get past the fear of picking out your own fish, you can slam out a perfect rendition of fish ceviche at home. Kiss those fishy hesitations completely goodbye with this simple guide for making the best Ceviche de Pescado!
Below, you'll get all the details you need for picking out the best fish for ceviche, how to prepare it like a pro, as well as serving and pairing suggestions!
WHAT YOU'LL NEED FOR FISH CEVICHE
- Lime Juice
- Mahi Mahi (or other white fish)
- Roma Tomatoes
- White or Red Onion
- Fresh Cilantro
- Avocado (optional)
HOW TO MAKE CEVICHE DE PESCADO
- Squeeze the limes
- Cut the fish
- Prep the veggies
- Marinate/"cook" the fish
USE FRESH LIME JUICE ONLY
You'll kick off your fish ceviche recipe by squeezing some fresh citrus. It is very important that you use fresh lime juice rather than concentrated lime juice from a bottle.
Squeeze 1 cup of lime juice (from about 10 to 12 limes) into a bowl or measuring pitcher and set it aside while you cut the fish.
CUT THE FISH
Lay down your fish on a clean, dry work surface, and using a sharp, clean knife, cut the fish into small, bite-sized pieces, just under a ½" dice. Transfer the diced fish to a large bowl, sprinkle with Kosher salt, toss, and transfer to the refrigerator to keep chilled while you prepare the vegetables.
ABOUT THE VEGGIE PREP
When it comes to Ceviche de Pescado, all of the ingredients should be chopped relatively close to the same size, particularly the veggies. This rule applies to the tomatoes, jalapenos, and onion. None of these veggies need to be diced particularly small; you want them to be close to the size of the chopped fish.
Take care to deseed the tomatoes and remove as much of the pulp as possible before chopping. If not, the innards of the tomatoes will add extra water content to your Ceviche de Pescado and water down the overall flavor of the dish.
Once your veggies are chopped, add them to the bowl with the fish, along with the chopped cilantro, and lime juice. Stir, cover with plastic wrap, and return to the refrigerator.
CEVICHE DE PESCADO "COOK TIME" BREAKDOWN
The longer you leave the fish in the lime juice, the more "cooked" it will appear. If you'd like the interior of your fish to be near raw, with a translucent center at the time of consumption, allow the fish to "cook" in the lime juice for about 30 minutes total.
If you'd like your fish to appear more opaque in the center, allow it to marinate for about 45 minutes to 1 hour total.
Regardless of how long you allow your fish to sit in the bowl, it's best to stir it and check it every 15 minutes or so.
Another factor to consider when it comes to how long you will soak your fish in the lime juice is the density of the fish. For example, Mahi Mahi will take longer to "cook" through than a more delicate fish such as flounder.
Once the fish in your fish ceviche is ready to your liking, add in the diced avocado (if using), gently stir once more, and serve right away.
HOW TO SERVE FISH CEVICHE
Serve Ceviche de Pescado with tortilla chips, plantain chips, or even with saltine crackers and a bottle of hot sauce on the side.
If you're looking to serve up a tasty beverage alongside your ceviche, pair it with an ice-cold beer, a dry white wine such as Sauvignon Blan or Pinot Grigio, or a margarita and enjoy!
HOW IS FISH CEVICHE "COOKED"?
The acid from the lime juice is what "cooks" the fish in Ceviche de Pescado. The acid unravels/denatures and then clumps together/coagulates the fish proteins which is what causes the fish to turn opaque.
Note, because there is no heat in the cooking process, and the fish is technically "cooked" in citrus juice, a longer marinating time will not kill any potential parasites in the fish.
This is why your ceviche should only be made with the freshest possible fish purchased from a trusted source. More on this below.
THE BEST FISH FOR CEVICHE DE PESCADO
Mahi Mahi, red snapper, sea bass, and halibut are all great options for making Ceviche de Pescado at home. You could also use a more delicate fish, like sole or flounder, if preferred.
Regardless of which type of fish you had in mind on your way to the market, it's best to purchase the freshest option available. Your fish should smell marine-like (think the ocean), but it should not have a strong "fishy" odor.
FISH TO AVOID FOR CEVICHE DE PESCADO
Do not use freshwater fish, salmon, or any fish from the cod family for making Ceviche de Pescado.
BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE. SAFETY FIRST...
Ceviche, similar to sushi, is one of those dishes that truly allows the flavor of the fish to shine. This, in combination with the fact that there's no heat in the cooking process, is a big factor in purchasing high-quality, fresh fish.
When it comes to beef, classifications like prime, choice, and select must pass a set of USDA regulations before being deemed a certain grade. Unfortunately, this is not the case with fish.
The term sushi-grade is by no means regulated terminology in the world of food. It simply means the seller has deemed it safe for eating raw, and it's really more about marketing than it is about food safety.
Therefore, regardless of whether or not your fish is labeled "sushi-grade," you should always use your best judgment to ensure the fish is of the highest quality, and always purchase from a trusted source.
The fish used for making Ceviche de Pescado should also be as fresh as possible, kept cold from the time of purchase to the time of use, and put to use as soon as possible!
6 MORE MEXICAN RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
- Tacos de Carnitas
- Tacos de Camaron
- Tacos de Pollo
- Flautas de Pollo
- Tacos al Carbon
- Mexican Shrimp Cocktail
This Ceviche de Pescado is a make-ahead, light, and refreshing no-cook appetizer made with white fish and a fresh mix of tomatoes, avocado, jalapeño, and onion tossed in lime juice!
- 10-12 limes
- 12-16 ounces Mahi Mahi or other firm white fish
- 1 ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- 4 Roma tomatoes seeds and pulp removed, and diced
- 4 large jalapenos deseeded and diced
- ¾ cup diced red or white onion
- ⅓ cup finely chopped cilantro
- 1 avocado, diced (optional)
- Tortilla chips or Saltine crackers for serving
Juice the limes into a measuring pitcher. You will need 1 cup total. Set aside until ready to use.
On a clean, dry work surface, using a clean, sharp knife, cut the fish into small, bite-sized pieces, just under a ½" dice. Transfer it to a large mixing bowl, sprinkle with the salt, and toss to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate while you prepare the vegetables.
Add the vegetables, cilantro, and lime juice to the bowl with the fish, and stir until evenly mixed. Then, cover and refrigerate for 30-45 minutes, stirring about every 15 minutes or so, or until the fish is opaque to your liking and "cooked" to your preference. The longer you leave your fish in the lime juice, the more opaque the center will be.
Add the avocado (if using) and stir until evenly mixed in. Serve the ceviche chilled with good, hearty tortilla chips, and enjoy!
Warning: Consuming raw or undercooked meats, poultry, seafood, shellfish, or eggs may increase your risk of foodborne illness.