Shrimp Ceviche

It’s National Ceviche Day! I think this may only be a food holiday in Peru, but let’s just pretend I’m in South America for the day, not Detroit. Cool?

Ceviche is one of those things that allow me to appreciate the science and chemistry of cooking. The conventional wisdom is that the acid of the citrus juice “cooks” the seafood, but upon some further research, I’ve discovered that the citric acid in the lemon and lime juice causes the proteins in the seafood to become denatured, which means that the seafood looks like it is cooked (it will become more opaque and firm). The very fact that citrus juice can do this at all is pretty amazing to me. However, it is still a raw fish dish – if you like sushi, you’ll probably like ceviche. However, if you’re pregnant or your immune system has issues, you may want to skip it, because the acid in the lime juice will not be able to kill any stray bacteria or parasites the way that heat does (treat yourself with some fully-cooked Greek Shrimp Bruschetta instead). I probably don’t need to tell you this, but it’s important to start with the freshest, best-quality seafood you can find. Use this as an excuse to head to a great fish market in your area. 

Invite your friends over for a ceviche party, and wow them with the chemistry experiment. Although be prepared for detailed explanations to skeptical diners. I wrote a similar recipe for a publishing company I work for. It was published in a grocery store magazine, and shortly after it hit newsstands the publishing company received a voicemail from a very confused lady that thought we had accidentally forgotten the step where you cook the shrimp. We returned her call and tried to explain how ceviche works, but I’m pretty sure she didn’t trust us. Oh well, her loss, right? She’ll miss out on the spicy, tangy, fresh summer delight that is ceviche!

 
Shrimp Ceviche

Yield: 4 servings

Shrimp Ceviche

Ingredients

  • 1 pound 51-60 count peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1 large tomato, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped peeled cucumber
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons seeded and minced jalapeño
  • Lime wedges for garnish (optional)
  • Tortilla chips for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. In medium bowl, combine shrimp and 1/2 cup each lemon and lime juice. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or up to overnight, stirring at least 2 or 3 times.
  2. In small bowl, whisk together oil, sugar, paprika, salt, lemon and lime zest, and remaining 2 tablespoons each lemon and lime juice.
  3. Just before serving, pour excess liquid off of shrimp mixture. Add tomato, cilantro, cucumber, onion, jalapeño and oil mixture; toss to combine. Serve immediately garnished with lime wedges, with tortilla chips, if desired.
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  • Faith Watson

    Paprika, eh? This is a beautiful looking ceviche, I kinda want to lick my screen. Will definitely try your version! I’m thinking inside a half an avocado. Nom Nom as they say.

    • http://www.foxeslovelemons.com/ Lori | Foxes Love Lemons

      Haha yep, just a little bit of paprika :) Love the idea to serve it inside an avocado!

  • http://www.foxeslovelemons.com/ Lori @ Foxes Love Lemons

    Haha yep, just a little bit of paprika :) Love the idea to serve it inside an avocado!

  • Suzanne

    I learned something I never knew before, I thought the citrus cooked the fish, it’s so interesting that it only mimics cooking. I really enjoy ceviche, mainly because I am such a huge fan of citrus.

    • http://www.foxeslovelemons.com/ Lori | Foxes Love Lemons

      I know, all along I thought the citrus cooked the fish! It was only yesterday I did some research on it, and I was surprised!

      • Suzanne

        I am so glad to know that, for food safety and those who could be at risk it’s a very good thing to know.

  • Suzanne

    I learned something I never knew before, I thought the citrus cooked the fish, it’s so interesting that it only mimics cooking. I really enjoy ceviche, mainly because I am such a huge fan of citrus.

  • Laura Dembowski

    Ceviche is super cool, but I’m not a raw fish or meat eater. These shrimp do look cooked, though, which is pretty amazing.

    • http://www.foxeslovelemons.com/ Lori | Foxes Love Lemons

      Is it a texture thing, Laura?

  • http://www.foxeslovelemons.com/ Lori @ Foxes Love Lemons

    I know, all along I thought the citrus cooked the fish! It was only yesterday I did some research on it, and I was surprised!

  • http://www.foxeslovelemons.com/ Lori @ Foxes Love Lemons

    Is it a texture thing, Laura?

  • Suzanne

    I am so glad to know that, for food safety and those who could be at risk it’s a very good thing to know.

  • Susan Dikeman

    oh yumm! would love if you’d share this at my Sunday Funday Linky Party!

    http://soozind.blogspot.com/2013/06/sunday-funday-linky-party-2.html

    *Susan @ Adventures in my Kitchen

  • Susan Dikeman

    oh yumm! would love if you’d share this at my Sunday Funday Linky Party!

    http://soozind.blogspot.com/2013/06/sunday-funday-linky-party-2.html

    *Susan @ Adventures in my Kitchen

  • Brooke Schweers

    I love ceviche but have always been afraid to make it myself. I think it’s because I fear I will do something wrong and Ill end up poisoning my partner and myself… A lack of self confidence which i am glad you don’t have! Your prawn ceviche looks amazing, and certainly made world ceviche day proud!

    • http://www.foxeslovelemons.com/ Lori | Foxes Love Lemons

      Thanks Brooke! I definitely only start with really GREAT shrimp from a fish market. If that’s at all in question, yeah, I wouldn’t make it. I’ve had food poisoning enough times to know that it’s not something to be messed with .haha.

      • katie

        do you use raw shrimp or precooked?

        • http://www.foxeslovelemons.com/ Lori | Foxes Love Lemons

          Hi Katie – it’s raw shrimp – the best quality you can find. If you’d like to start with pre-cooked shrimp, I’d skip step 1, and just start at step 2 – it’ll mimic the ceviche flavor :)

  • Brooke Schweers

    I love ceviche but have always been afraid to make it myself. I think it’s because I fear I will do something wrong and Ill end up poisoning my partner and myself… A lack of self confidence which i am glad you don’t have! Your prawn ceviche looks amazing, and certainly made world ceviche day proud!

  • burne2ea

    Just saw this randomly when I was looking around for a good recipe. Lori– are there any restaurants in MI you’ve found that serve authentic ceviches?? I look on the menu at every Mexican/seafood etc place I eat at and NOTHING. Food in general is so much better in San Diego…

    • http://www.foxeslovelemons.com/ Lori | Foxes Love Lemons

      Nope, same here! Either there’s no ceviche, or it’s not a restaurant I trust enough to order ceviche from. Such a bummer! I think it’s best to just make it at home in this case :)

  • burne2ea

    Just saw this randomly when I was looking around for a good recipe. Lori– are there any restaurants in MI you’ve found that serve authentic ceviches?? I look on the menu at every Mexican/seafood etc place I eat at and NOTHING. Food in general is so much better in San Diego…

  • http://www.foxeslovelemons.com/ Lori @ Foxes Love Lemons

    Thanks Brooke! I definitely only start with really GREAT shrimp from a fish market. If that’s at all in question, yeah, I wouldn’t make it. I’ve had food poisoning enough times to know that it’s not something to be messed with .haha.

  • http://www.foxeslovelemons.com/ Lori @ Foxes Love Lemons

    Nope, same here! Either there’s no ceviche, or it’s not a restaurant I trust enough to order ceviche from. Such a bummer! I think it’s best to just make it at home in this case :)

  • Kristine Petersen

    I made this as an appetizer for a 4th of July party. It was excellent and a huge hit with the guests! I doubled the recipe, added a bit more cucumber and 2 diced avocados. I also gave it a few shakes of tapatio hot sauce. Next time I think I would use another jalapeno instead or just keep some ribs or seeds of the jalapeno for some balanced heat.

    • http://www.foxeslovelemons.com/ Lori | Foxes Love Lemons

      I’m so glad it was a hit, Kristine! I love the extra heat from some of the jalapeno seeds, too :) Also, I’m going to try adding avocado to mine next time. I bet it added a nice touch of richness.

  • Kristine Petersen

    I made this as an appetizer for a 4th of July party. It was excellent and a huge hit with the guests! I doubled the recipe, added a bit more cucumber and 2 diced avocados. I also gave it a few shakes of tapatio hot sauce. Next time I think I would use another jalapeno instead or just keep some ribs or seeds of the jalapeno for some balanced heat.

  • http://www.foxeslovelemons.com/ Lori @ Foxes Love Lemons

    I’m so glad it was a hit, Kristine! I love the extra heat from some of the jalapeno seeds, too :) Also, I’m going to try adding avocado to mine next time. I bet it added a nice touch of richness.

  • katie

    do you use raw shrimp or precooked?

  • http://www.foxeslovelemons.com/ Lori @ Foxes Love Lemons

    Hi Katie – it’s raw shrimp – the best quality you can find. If you’d like to start with pre-cooked shrimp, I’d skip step 1, and just start at step 2 – it’ll mimic the ceviche flavor :)

  • Laura Dembowski

    Ceviche is super cool, but I’m not a raw fish or meat eater. These shrimp do look cooked, though, which is pretty amazing.

  • Faith Watson

    Paprika, eh? This is a beautiful looking ceviche, I kinda want to lick my screen. Will definitely try your version! I’m thinking inside a half an avocado. Nom Nom as they say.