Ceviche is one of my favorite warm weather dishes. It’s so basic, yet incredibly tasty. Ceviche is traditionally made out of raw seafood that is marinaded in lemon or lime juice until the proteins are “cooked.” Additional ingredients such as avocado, red onion, cilantro, tomato, and cucumbers are mixed in.
Like most popular dishes, the exact origin of ceviche is in dispute. Every country and region seems to have its own distinct contributions to the dish. When I was in Peru, we ate ceviche with giant corn kernels and purple potato. At my local Mexican food joints, they serve it tostada-style, atop a fried corn tortilla. This is my favorite way to eat ceviche–probably because it is what I grew up on. I love how the salty crunchiness of the shell complements the tangy ceviche.
Ceviche de camaron (shrimp ceviche) is a great way to ease your way into the wonderful world of ceviche. Traditionally, the raw seafood is “cooked” by the citrus juices and never touches any form of heat. I am totally fine with this method when it comes to fish. However, when it comes to shellfish, there is much less room for error because it goes bad so quickly. A quick poach will do that trick, and the results are still very tasty. Cooking the shrimp ahead of time will also cut down on marination time so you can enjoy your ceviche faster!
I really enjoy the balance of salty, sweet, and tangy flavors in this dish. While most people don’t do this, I like to add a couple pinches of sugar to balance out the flavors. This is just personal preference though. I found that a lot of people will use ketchup to achieve that mild sweetness. I couldn’t bring myself to add ketchup to my ceviche this time around. But if you find yourself sitting there thinking, “wow, this just needs that ONE last ingredient to make it super delicious…,” just know that it’s probably ketchup. And I won’t judge you.
As I mentioned, there are so many different ways to enjoy ceviche. If you want to make your own tostada shells, check out this tutorial from Simply Recipes. You will want to make about 2-3 shells per person. If you don’t feel like making tostada shells, use store-bought tortilla chips and treat the ceviche like one big, delicious dip. You can also tear pieces of crusty bread off the loaf and pile on the ceviche. Some people even eat it with saltines which I don’t necessarily endorse.
Hope you enjoy, and happy Cinco de Mayo!
Ceviche de Camarón
Yield: About 4 servings
- 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1/2 cup lime juice
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 cup red onions, finely chopped
- 1-2 serrano chiles (depending on how hot you like it), ribs and seeds removed, minced
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 ripe avocado, peeled, seeded, and diced into ½” chunks
- 1 cup tomatoes, seeds removed and diced
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Sugar (optional)
- For tostada shells, check out this Simply Recipes tutorial. Make about 2-3 shells per person.
- Place a 1-gallon stockpot over high heat and fill with 2 quarts of water. Season the water with 1/4 cup of salt and bring to a boil. Once the water comes to a boil, add the shrimp to the pot and immediately turn off the heat. Let the shrimp sit until just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Remove the shrimp from the water run under cold water to stop the cooking. Pat the shrimp dry with a paper towel.
- Chop shrimp into 1/2″ pieces and place in a medium-sized stainless steel or ceramic bowl. Add the lemon juice, lime juice, red onion, and chiles. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Stir the tomato, avocado, cilantro, and olive oil into the shrimp mixture. Add salt and sugar to taste, if desired.
- If serving tostada-style, use a slotted spoon to lift the ceviche out of the liquid and place on top of tostada shell.