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This easy shrimp ceviche recipe combines tender, juicy shrimp with lots of freshly chopped produce for an easy appetizer that always impresses! I’ll show you how to make shrimp ceviche with raw shrimp or cooked shrimp — both ways are fast and simple. It’s similar to Mexican shrimp cocktail, but with a fresh and tangy burst of citrus.
What Is Shrimp Ceviche?
Shrimp ceviche recipes include an acidic marinade that changes the proteins in the shrimp to “cook” it without any heat! Then, the shrimp mixes with other fresh ingredients to create a delicious appetizer or dip.
Why You’ll Love This Shrimp Ceviche Recipe
- Sweet, savory, and spicy tastes
- Tender seafood with juicy veggies and fruit
- No cooking required
- Naturally gluten-free and low in carbohydrates
- A fresh and flavorful addition to your favorite Mexican dishes!
Ingredients You’ll Need
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 can use raw shrimp or cooked shrimp such as baked shrimp for this recipe in any size (see my cooking tips 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 for this recipe. 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. (Omit this if you want a low carb version.)
- 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
How To Cook Shrimp For Ceviche
Cooking the shrimp ahead of time is not mandatory for ceviche, especially if you are using very fresh, high-quality seafood. (Marinating the shrimp in lemon juice will “cook” it without any heat!)
However, if you do not have ready access to very fresh shrimp, cooking beforehand is a safer option that can reduce the risk of harmful bacteria that could otherwise remain after marinating. The easiest way is to poach them, and it only takes a few minutes:
- Defrost. If using frozen shrimp, defrost in cold water or overnight in the fridge.
- Peel and remove tails. This dish only uses the meat of the shrimp, so any shells need to be removed. Use kitchen shears to cut through the shell (which you can skip if you have “easy peel” shrimp). Holding by the tail, peel the shell, slide it off, and then remove the tail.
- Devein. Use a paring knife to create a cut down the back of the shrimp and remove the dark vein down the middle.
- Poach. Boil water in a large pot. Add whole shrimp, immediately turn off heat, and leave shrimp in the water until opaque (about 1-3 minutes).
- Cool. Drain shrimp and plunge into an ice bath to stop the cooking process and keep shrimp tender.
- Chop. If using larger shrimp, cut them down into 1/2-inch pieces.
TIP: Why poach?
Nobody likes tough shrimp! Since it’s so easy to overcook them, poaching uses residual heat from the boiling water to gently cook the shrimp.
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.
- Marinate. If using raw shrimp, add to a bowl with 1/4 cup of lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate until shrimp turns pink and opaque. (Alternatively, poach shrimp as explained above, or simply buy cooked shrimp.)
- Combine veggies. Add tomatoes, cucumber, mango, shallots, jalapeno, and cilantro to the same bowl. Add lemon juice (if not already added in the previous step). Season with salt and pepper, and mix well.
- Cover and chill. Refrigerate the ceviche for 30 minutes to develop flavors. Finish by adding more salt and pepper to taste. Serve cold or at room temperature.
How Long Do You Marinate Shrimp Ceviche?
Shrimp should marinate for at least 20-30 minutes, or until opaque.
Tips For The Best Ceviche Shrimp
Despite its simplicity, this dish can seem a little intimidating to master. Use these tips to make sure you get the best recipe for shrimp ceviche every time!
- Use a flat-bottomed bowl. This shape helps ensure that the shrimp will get fully coated in the marinade.
- Chop pepper more finely than the other vegetables. Since it’s spicy, small pieces distribute the heat more evenly.
- Choose high-quality shrimp. If marinating raw, use the freshest shrimp possible as bacteria can grow over time.
- Look for signs of doneness. Shrimp 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, or thinly sliced radish.
- 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.
Although best enjoyed fresh, ceviche shrimp recipe leftovers will keep in the fridge covered for up to 2 days. Any longer, and the fiber in the shrimp will start to break down and become mushy.
Can You Freeze Shrimp Ceviche?
Avoid freezing any recipe for shrimp ceviche, as the texture will become unappetizing.
What To Serve With Shrimp Ceviche
You can dish ceviche up all on its own in serving bowls with spoons. However, this recipe pairs well with salty or sweet foods like tortilla chips or slices of sweet potatoes. Try these other pairings, too:
More Healthy Shrimp Recipes
Shrimp is the ultimate quick-cooking seafood! Try these easy shrimp dishes next.
- Flat-bottomed bowl – This medium bowl has the shape to help shrimp marinate.
- Paring knife – For easier shrimp prep.
- Serving bowls – The perfect size for individual ceviche servings.
How To Make Shrimp Ceviche
Shrimp Ceviche Recipe (Easy!)
Ceviche shrimp are so easy and elegant. Learn how to make a shrimp ceviche recipe with fresh, zesty ingredients, and raw OR cooked shrimp!
Recipe VideoTap on the image below to watch the video.
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Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
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.(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 the lemon juice (if not already added in step 1). 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.
Last Step: Leave A Rating!
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Serving size: 1 cup
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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Arlene M Majauskas0
Should the lemon juice be drained after the shrimp is cooked in the juice?
Wholesome Yum D0
Hi Arlene, You don’t have to drain the lemon juice, as it’s not a lot, but you can if you like.
Mary Ellen Berthold0
What is a substitute for Mango? I’m not a fan. Thanks.
Wholesome Yum D0
Hi Mary Ellen, You can try diced strawberries or pineapple instead of mango.
Hi Maya, Is it ok to freeze ceviche? I haven’t made it yet but like to make ahead. Thanks in advance.
Wholesome Yum D0
Hi Janine, I do not recommend freezing this dish.
This was easy and delicious. I will definitely make this again.