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This easy shrimp ceviche recipe combines tender, juicy shrimp with lots of freshly chopped produce for an easy, healthy appetizer. It always impresses people, but is actually so simple! I’ll show you how to make shrimp ceviche with raw shrimp or cooked shrimp — both ways are fast to make. And if you like the fresh and tangy burst of citrus in this dish, you’ll also like Mexican shrimp cocktail.
I first tried shrimp ceviche at a friend’s wedding in Mexico. At that point, I was aprehensive about both shrimp and the concept of ceviche (ha), but I’m so glad I went for it — it tasted so fresh and bright! Years later, I recreated the dish at home based on how I remembered it.
Why You’ll Love This Shrimp Ceviche Recipe
- Savory, sweet, and spicy flavors
- Tender seafood with juicy veggies and fruit
- Options to use raw or cooked shrimp
- Easy to make
- Healthy and naturally gluten-free
- A fresh and flavorful addition to your favorite Mexican dishes!
What Is Shrimp Ceviche?
Shrimp ceviche is an appetizer dish that combines shrimp with fresh ingredients and a citrus marinade for a tangy flavor. The dish originated in Peru, but is now popular in Mexico, Chile, Ecuador, and other Latin American countries. Traditional shrimp ceviche recipes let the acidic marinade “cook” the shrimp without any heat, but some homemade versions pre-cook the shrimp.
Ingredients & Substitutions
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for Mexican shrimp ceviche, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
- Shrimp – You’ll need peeled, deveined shrimp with the tails removed for this shrimp ceviche recipe. If it’s frozen, defrost it first, either in the fridge overnight or in a bowl of cold water the day-of. You can use raw shrimp or cooked shrimp in any size — see the method below. I used smaller shrimp (51/60 size), but you can use larger shrimp cut into small pieces. You’ll need 3 cups of shrimp, but wait to cut them until you decide on the cooking method you wish to use.
- Lemon Juice – You can also use lime juice. With either fruit, I recommend freshly squeezed citrus juice instead of bottled varieties. If using raw shrimp, you’ll need extra juice.
- Tomatoes – I used plum tomatoes because they have fewer seeds, but any tomato will work. Other small to medium tomatoes that don’t have too many seeds, such as San Marzano or Campari (the same kinds I use for making sun-dried tomatoes), also work well.
- Cucumber – For easier serving, consider English cucumbers or other varieties with more edible skin.
- Mango – Choose a ripe, fragrant mango and dice it into bite-sized pieces. (Not all shrimp ceviche recipes have this, feel free to omit it.)
- Jalapeno – Hot peppers are typical in classic Mexican ceviche, but you can use less pepper or simply omit seeds to cut down on the spice level.
- Cilantro – Fresh works best for ceviche.
- Shallots – These impart a more delicate onion flavor, but you can also use green onions or any other onion you prefer. Mince them finely.
- Sea Salt & Black Pepper – I use sea salt in all my recipes, but kosher salt works fine.
How To Make Shrimp Ceviche
This section shows how to make ceviche shrimp, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
Cook Or Marinate The Shrimp
Cooking the shrimp ahead of time is not mandatory for ceviche, especially if you are using very fresh, high-quality seafood. You have 3 options:
- Marinate the shrimp – This is the method traditional ceviche recipes use. Simple add fresh, raw shrimp to a bowl with lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate until the shrimp turns pink and opaque. (Marinating the shrimp in lemon juice will “cook” it without any heat!)
- Cook the shrimp – This option is safer if you don’t have access to very fresh shrimp. You can cook it any way you like, but I highly recommend poaching if you want to cook it, because it’s less prone to overcooking. To do this, boil water in a large saucepan or pot. Add the shrimp, turn off the heat, and leave the shrimp in the water until it’s pink and opaque. Transfer to an ice bath to stop the cooking process.
- Use precooked shrimp – If you have leftover baked shrimp or simply purchase shrimp that’s already cooked, either will work fine. Just proceed to the next step.
Combine The Ingredients
If your shrimp is not already very small, chop it into 1/2-inch pieces and place in a large bowl. Add the tomatoes, cucumber, mango, shallots, jalapeno, and cilantro. Add lemon juice (if not already added in the previous step). Season with salt and pepper, and mix well.
Let the Flavors Develop
Cover and refrigerate the shrimp ceviche to let the flavors develop. Finish by adding more salt and pepper to taste. Serve cold or at room temperature.
Tips For The Best Shrimp Ceviche
Despite its simplicity, this dish can seem a little intimidating. Use these tips to make sure you get the best recipe for shrimp ceviche every time!
- Choose high-quality shrimp. If marinating raw, use the freshest shrimp possible for the best taste as well as safety.
- Chop jalapeno more finely than the other vegetables. Since it’s spicy, small pieces distribute the heat more evenly.
- Use a flat-bottomed bowl. This shape helps ensure that the shrimp will get fully coated in the marinade.
- Don’t marinate for too long. The sweet spot is 30 minutes to marinate the shrimp itself (if choosing that option instead of cooking it) and 30 minutes to marinate the entire shrimp ceviche dish, so around 1 hour total. If you marinate it for much longer than that, the shrimp will taste overcooked.
- Look for signs of doneness. Whether you’re pre-cooking or counting on the marinade to cure the shrimp, they are fully cooked when they appear opaque and pink.
- Switch up the vegetables – Try adding chopped bell pepper, white or red onion instead of shallots, thinly sliced radish, or diced jicama.
- Swap the peppers – Trade jalapeño for serrano chile or your favorite chile peppers.
- Use different fruit – Try diced strawberries or pineapple instead of mango, add a splash of fresh orange juice, or sprinkle in lemon or lime zest for extra citrus flavor.
- Add avocado – Add diced avocado just before serving for a creamy element in this dish.
Shrimp ceviche is best enjoyed fresh, as it will become tough after an hour or so. If you need to store leftovers, you can keep them in the fridge for a day or two.
What To Serve With Shrimp Ceviche
You can also try serve it with other Mexican and Latin-inspired recipes, like chili verde (another one inspired by my Mexico travels), pollo asado, my reader-favorite taco salad, or a comforting taco casserole.
More Easy Shrimp Recipes
Shrimp is the ultimate quick-cooking seafood! Try these easy shrimp dishes next:
How To Make Shrimp Ceviche
Shrimp Ceviche Recipe (Easy!)
This shrimp ceviche recipe is easy and elegant! Learn how to make a shrimp ceviche with fresh, zesty ingredients, using raw OR cooked shrimp.
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Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Raw shrimp method: If using raw shrimp, place it into a bowl and add 1/4 cup lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate for about 20 minutes, until the shrimp turns pink and opaque.
Cooked shrimp method: Alternatively, you can poach the shrimp. Bring a pot of salt water to a boil. Turn off the heat and add the shrimp. Cook for 1-3 minutes, until the shrimp turns pink and opaque.
In a large bowl, combine the shrimp, tomatoes, cucumber, mango, shallots, jalapeno, and cilantro.
Add 1/4 cup lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Mix well.
Cover the shrimp ceviche and refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to develop.
Adjust salt and pepper to taste if needed. Serve cold or at room temperature.
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Serving size: 1 cup
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