Shrimp Ceviche

Shrimp Ceviche

Want a cool and breezy dish bursting with tangy, briny flavors and crunchy textures? Then you want a bowl of fresh ceviche. A Latin American dish originating (or so they say) in Peru, unique versions of ceviche are scattered all across Central and South America. Start with the freshest possible seafood marinated in lime juice, salt and red onion, and then round things out with finely diced cucumber, jalapeño or other fresh chile. Add optional seasoning such as diced tomato or avocado (or both!) and you have a swoon-worthy lunch or dinner appetizer guaranteed to impress.

I made my first batch of ceviche in the early years of my marriage (back in the late ’80’s) for my first “dinner party.” I have no clue what prompted me to choose ceviche as an appetizer. If I had to guess, it was the combination of fresh shrimp (we have an abundance in New Orleans and I’m obsessed with shrimp) and a recipe with an exotic flair. I probably got the recipe from “The Joy of Cooking” (the 1975 edition), where it is included as “seviche” in the “Fish” section under a sub-heading called “Recipes Using Unusual Techniques or Unusual or Leftover Fish.” I kid you not. Who would want to make a recipe described in that manner?

The Joy of Cooking was the bible of home cooks in those pre-Internet days, at least home cooks like myself. Along with The Plantation Cookbook (Junior League of New Orleans), River Road Recipes (Junior League of Baton Rouge) and Jambalaya: The Official Cookbook of the Louisiana World Fair (also Junior League of N.O.), these books were pretty much the only cookbooks I used those days. Really plain vanilla, right? Although I’ve never been a member of any Junior League anywhere, I have to hand it to these organizations, they did a good job of collecting local and regional “home cooked” recipes back in the days when no one else was interested in amassing such collections. Nowadays, I refer to them mostly when I’m researching recipes and how they’ve evolved over the years. And nowadays I have almost 500 cookbooks. Just ask Lewis.

Here are my Tips for Making Ceviche:

  • Raw vs. Cooked : I get it, gang. I know “authentic” ceviche is supposed to involve raw seafood that is “cooked” by marinating it in citrus juice. In a perfect world we would all eat it this way. I’ve done a whole lot of research on this topic and let me save you some time (and potentially a lot of pain). Par-boil or poach your fresh seafood for at least 1 minute in salted boiling water. Even seafood fresh from the sea can harbor parasites, bacteria and worms that will make your skin crawl. Literally. And when it hits the open air — the world — Katie bar the door. If you want raw, go to your favorite sushi bar where they know what they’re doing.
  • No Plastic: Use a glass stainless steel bowl to marinate your poached seafood in lime juice, onion and salt. There’s some science involved here, don’t ask me what kind, just trust me.
  • Taste Test It: Taste the finished product, you may need to drain off some of the liquid. If you find it too tart, add a half teaspoon of sugar. Lots of people do.
  • Extras: Instead of tomato or avocado or mango, you can add pitted green olives, such as manzanillos. Really you can add anything you want.

Shrimp Ceviche

June 13, 2019
: 15 min



  • 1 lb. fresh shrimp (or fresh white fish cut up in pieces), parboiled in shells for one minute only in salted water
  • 1 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 red onion, finely diced
  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup carrots, grated on large hole of box grater (can dice shredded carrots)
  • 1 large jalapeño, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup cucumber (seeds removed), finely diced
  • 2 tbsp. green onions, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, diced (optional)
  • 1avocado, finely diced (optional)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Step 1 Place the poached shrimp in a bowl of ice to cool.
  • Step 2 When cool, peel and cut up shrimp into small pieces. Combine shrimp, lime juice, red onion and salt in mixing bowl.
  • Step 3 Let stand 5 minutes.
  • Step 4 Add rest of the ingredients, then taste and adjust as needed. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil on top. Serve with tortilla chips.