This margarita-inspired Seafood Ceviche is a winner for any seafood lover! Fresh calamari, ahi tuna, scallops, and shrimp are “cooked” in lots of lime juice & tequila, then tossed with fresh vegetables. Serve it with tortilla chips or tostones – crispy fried green plantains – for a fab summer tapas dish!
There is nothing like enjoying good food with good friends, am I right?
Friends that love the same things you do, laugh at the same jokes, tolerate your (occasional) inappropriateness with a smile.
Those same friends that will share a room with you on vacation, don’t cringe when you double-dip in the salsa, and get just as excited about the latest episode of Game of Thrones as you.
Not everyone is on board with seafood, much less seafood cooked only with citrus.
But a good friend would try to at least get you to try it – so here I am.
Easy Homemade Ceviche Recipe
Believe it or not, ceviche is the food that got me into raw sushi.
Back in my college days, I used to meet up with a group of friends/coworkers at this fun little sushi joint in Daytona about once a month. The tables were situated around a sushi bar that had a “river” of floating sushi boats. The price was indicated by the color of the plate, and you could pick up whichever type you wanted as it sailed by.
The folks at my table usually stuck with California rolls, Alaskan rolls (cooked salmon & cream cheese), and KFC rolls (yeah, chicken). We all had similar tastes.
Then I met Abe and my whole culinary world was turned upside down. He introduced me to his Margarita Ceviche and I suddenly couldn’t get enough raw fish.
Hang with me, here. This stuff is legit.
What Is Ceviche?
A classic Peruvian ceviche recipe from Latin America consists of raw seafood, tossed in an acidic marinade (usually citrus juices) which “cooks” the fish. The cured seafood is mixed with spices, herbs, and fresh vegetables such as
Also known as cebiche, seviche, or sebich around the world, it is considered a national dish in Peru, and only reached the United States in the 1980s.
- Seafood – our favorite seafood to put in this ceviche is calamari, ahi tuna, shrimp, and scallops.
- Limes – these are the main cooking component of the dish.
- Tequila – to add a bit of cocktail-inspired flair! (You can definitely leave this out if you’d prefer.)
- Peppers – we use poblanos and cubanelles, but you can use your favorites.
- Vegetables – tomatoes, red onion, avocado, and garlic make for a great flavor profile.
Feel free to mix and match the types of fresh fish and seafood that you use in your ceviche. Just make sure that the seafood (main ingredient) is either sushi grade or super fresh. Maybe even venture out and try adding in some sea bass!
Same goes for your peppers and onions. Want to make it spicier? Add a habanero pepper or hot peppers.
Want a little citrus flair? Add some orange juice.
I didn’t have any on hand but you can also add in leche de Tigre (Tiger’s Milk) or coconut milk.
How to make seafood ceviche
- First, chop up all your fresh (or previously frozen) seafood – calamari, shrimp, scallops, and tuna. Smaller pieces mean faster cooking time! Place the chopped seafood in a metal or steel (non-reactive) bowl.
- Then, add the lime juice, tequila, and salt and stir well. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill it for at least 30 minutes, until the seafood is opaque (white). You can refrigerate the seafood overnight, but it may be overcooked for your tastes.
- After the seafood has cooked, stir in diced peppers, tomato, onion, garlic, avocado, and cilantro. Season the mixture to taste with salt or hot sauce. Refrigerate until ready to serve. (Chilling the ceviche with the vegetables isn’t necessary, but it gives the flavors a chance to mix and mingle, meaning awesome taste!)
- Finally, transfer the ceviche to a serving bowl. Serve it with tortilla chips or tostones (friend green plantains), garnished with additional lime wedges and cilantro.
How to Serve Ceviche
Serve ceviche with tortilla chips, tostones (fried green plantains), plantain chips, or even sweet potatoes and garnished with additional lime wedges and cilantro.
How long does ceviche last?
Fresh ceviche should be eaten immediately after cooking & mixing for the best flavor and texture.
It can be stored up to 48 hours, but the quality of the dish will degrade over time, as the citrus continues to cook the ingredients inside.
What kind of fish is best for seafood ceviche?
The freshest fish, truly the best for ceviche, is sushi-grade, which can be found at any fish market. If you plan to use fish from your supermarket, frozen is an equally good and safe option.
Firm and semi-firm white fish like bass, grouper, or flounder are usually recommended for ceviche. I have found that tuna works very well and adds an umami flavor that white fish lacks. Feel free to experiment with your favorite fish, or try a combo.
Is ceviche safe to eat?
Ceviche is perfectly safe to eat, as long as super fresh seafood is used, and it is prepared in a sanitary environment.
The seafood in ceviche is cooked by the acid in the citrus juices, rearranging proteins and making it safe to eat through a process called denaturation. Just like by the heat of an oven, stovetop, or grill, the food is cooked by the citrus (and tequila, in this case), but it’s not killing off any potential bacteria in the seafood like heat does.
When you plan to make ceviche, purchase your super-fresh seafood the day of and pop it in the freezer for a bit prior to preparing it. You can also purchase frozen fish and thaw it to use.
If you’re still worried about possible bacteria in your seafood, blanch it in boiling water for one or two minutes before marinating it. It won’t be traditionally prepared, but will still be tasty!
As with any raw seafood, pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems should avoid ceviche.
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Margarita Seafood Ceviche
- 6 ounces calamari tubes finely chopped
- 6 ounces ahi tuna filet finely chopped
- 6 medium shrimp finely chopped
- 10 small scallops finely chopped
- 5 limes juiced
- ¼ cup tequila blanco
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ poblano pepper diced
- ¼ cubanelle pepper diced
- ½ small tomato seeded and diced
- 3 tablespoons red onion finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ⅓ avocado finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro finely chopped
- Lime wedges for garnish
- Tostones or tortilla chips
- Combine calamari, tuna, shrimp, scallops, lime juice, tequila, and salt in a stainless steel or glass bowl. Stir to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes to 3 hours, or until the seafood has turned opaque.
- Combine diced peppers, tomato, onion, and garlic in a separate bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until seafood is thoroughly cooked.
- When seafood has cooked, stir in diced vegetables, avocado, and cilantro. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve, allowing the ceviche flavors to mix. Transfer to serving bowl, garnish with additional lime wedges and cilantro.
- Serve with tostones (fried green plantains) or tortilla chips. Store leftovers covered in the fridge for no more than 48 hours.