Fresh Caught White Fish Ceviche Recipe

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What exactly is fish ceviche you ask?

Ceviche, also cebiche, seviche or sebiche pronounced ‘she-vee-shei, is a seafood dish made up of fresh, cubed raw fish or shellfish marinated or ‘cooked’ in a large amount of acidic juice, typically lime, lemon or orange or sometimes a combination of the 3. Sometimes even vinegars are used for cooking with acid bases for food.  It is usually served cold and can include fresh vegetables such as onion, garlic, tomatoes and jalapeños, fresh herbs and various spices.

Other main question I have been asked. Chef, has the ceviche been cooked?

Ceviche is technically not cooked since cooking requires heat, but it isn’t raw either.  Acid whether it is citrus or vinegar based is also a form of ‘cooking’ through a chemical process called Denaturation  The process of denaturation when soaking the fish in citrus juice for ceviche changes the flesh of the fish from raw to firm and opaque, as if the fish has been cooked with heat. also happens with acid. Acid denaturation is slower that that of heat. In marinades, the acid slowly tenderizes protein.

We recently went out on a whale shark tour while visiting Isla Mujeres last July, 2019 and on our return our ship captain and his mates made us some fresh ceviche while we were snorkeling. I have made fresh ceviche many times while I was Chef/Owner of Farm to Table restaurant Farm to Fork in Leander, Texas with wild caught Chilean sea bass, Texas shrimp or scallops and sometimes adding fresh mango. I usually do everything to taste but tried to come up with an actual recipe close for people wanting to make ceviche if they haven’t made this dish before.

I say recipes are like a road map for instructions for what and how we eat, however everyone’s palate of what they prefer is always a little different than others. This ceviche recipe is just that, a road map for ceviche. If you like a little more tomato or jalapeno to heat to it, then add it. This recipe will just get you close to some good ceviche, you then put your spin on it.


  • 2 pounds of white fish fillets mahi mahi or snapper ct into small square pieces

  • 2 to 3 jalapeno peppers, or serranos sliced

  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced

  • 2 to 3 small red onions finely sliced/diced depending on how you want to serve, I use diced

  • 5 to 6 tomatoes, diced

  • 20 small to medium sized limes, separated into about 10 limes to cook the fish and 10 limes for the onion and tomato marinade (add more if you like)

  • 1 bunch of cilantro, chopped as finely as possible

  • 2-3 tablespoon of oil olive oil

  • Salt to taste

  • pinch or couple of sugar, if you want this can be omitted! (preference)


  1. Place the diced raw fish in a large bowl or dish with the diced peppers, minced garlic, a tablespoon of chopped cilantro, 1 teaspoons of salt, and cover it with lime juice from about 10 limes, the fish should be completely covered or almost completely covered by the lime juice.

  2. Combine the onions with the diced tomatoes. Add the juice from about 5 limes and pinch of salt. Let this mix marinate for at least 10 minutes.

  3. Once the fish is “cooked” in the lime juice, it should be completely white Add the onion and tomato mix to the fish. Add the rest of the chopped cilantro, oil, salt and additional lime juice to taste (pinch of sugar – cuts the acid if it is too much). Let it rest for another 20-30 minutes and then serve immediately. “OR”

  4. If you are making ahead for dinner, as an appetizer course. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for about 3-4 hours, or you can also let sit in the fridge for a day it is always better the next day in my opinion, the flavors really have time to marry.

  5. Mix well and serve with tortilla chips or on a tostada adding fresh avocado.

  6. Enjoy!

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