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Shrimp Ceviche Advice

Hi there

I'm planning a Mexican menu, and would love to make a ceviche. It will be for a party and I think choosing just shrimp would be the most "guest friendly".

Anyhow I have never made ceviche before, and in searching out recipes I have seen such a vast variety - that I am getting confused.
I'm seeing recipes with everything but the kitchen sink in there - and I am seeing mostly recipes that call for boiling the shrimp first.

I found only one recipe that calls for "cooking" the shrimp in the acid for 3 hours.
My gut is telling me to use that one - as I feel that is what a true ceviche is. And then just tweaking the ingredients to my liking.

But maybe there is a reason most call for boiling the shrimp first.
Is the texture really off when you don't?

Does anyone have any ideas or advice for me?
Favorite recipes are very much welcomed!!


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  1. While this is not really a ceviche, it's one of my favorite shrimp recipes and very easy

    Too Hot Tamales Pickled Shrimp

    Serving Size : 4
    1 pound large shrimp - peeled, deviened
    coarse salt to taste
    freshly-ground black pepper to taste

    1/3 cup olive oil
    2 small onions - thinly sliced
    6 jalapeno chiles - stemmed, and
    thinly sliced

    4 garlic cloves - crushed
    1 tablespoon ground cumin
    1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
    2 bay leaves
    1 cup white vinegar
    mixed baby lettuce leaves
    8 radishes - sliced
    16 green olives - pitted and sliced

    Season the shrimp all over with 1 teaspoon

    salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in

    a large skillet over high heat. Saute the shrimp in two batches, until lightly browned, about 3 to 4
    minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer to a plastic or glass container. Add the remaining oil
    and the remaining ingredients except the garnishes to the skillet. Season to taste
    with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until the onions are tender, about
    5 minutes. Pour the vinegar mixture over the shrimp. Cover and chill overnight.
    Serve on baby lettuce leaves, and garnish with the radishes and green olives.

    1 Reply
    1. re: roro1831

      Wow - thanks roro!

      I def want to do a very simple ceviche for the party because I am going to make homemade Cochinita Pibil as the main star, so I need something light and simple to start - so ceviche and guac to begin - and the the CP (which will have lots of flavor)

      However - this recipe does sound great and I will surely keep it!
      Thanks so much for posting it

    2. I like to add bay scallops to my shell fish ceviche. They are delicate and sweet.

      Some people like to blanch the shrimp. I've done it totally raw and have also put shrimp in a colander and poured boiling water over them then stopped any further cooking with ice water.

      2 Replies
      1. re: scubadoo97

        thanks scuba -
        I was thinking about adding scallops - I do love them so....

        when you used completely raw shrimp vs blanching - was the texture very different ? And in what way?

        1. re: NellyNel

          The shrimp are good if just blanched. You don't want to cook them through. For some people the texutre of raw shrimp even if cooked in acid is too "raw".

      2. i would quickly blanch the shrimp, but only marinate it in lime juice etc. for maybe 45 minutes -- tops. i'd cut the shrimp into chunks, too. don't waste money on buying big sized shrimp -- the smaller ones are cheaper and have sweeter meat.

        i'd never put the shrimp in lime juice for three hours. they'd be mushy. in fact, no ceviche needs three hours -- that's way too long, imo.

        i like red snapper and bay scallops in ceviche for different textures and flavors, and a wee bit of ginger in addition to the chopped onions and peppers. if you use bell peppers, don't put them in until a few minutes before serving. i like to serve on top of shredded iceberg, in a margarita or martini glass.

        1 Reply
        1. re: alkapal

          Well Alk, we must agree to differ here. Mine is made the night before. The shrimps do not go mushy. Scallops do - but only slightly. Then again I put sugar as well as salt in marinade. Other things I do...
          Use a combination of lime and lemon - and don't forget the zest
          I also tend to add orange juice but this does a number on the marinade colour.
          Red Onions
          I always include salmon - for one thing it looks prettier.
          Heavily roasted sweet peppers
          Sliced red onions.
          Lots of cilantro
          Shrimp - I blanch about half of them so they are orange. The unblanched ones taste better / have a better texture.

          And after the course offer people the marinade mixed with a strong clear liquor. Pisco, schnapps, aquavit, cachaca, grappa (ugh), marc, whatever. This is the famous Tiger Milk.

          Edit: If you are going to include raw fish then it is safer to freeze it for a day first. (Apparently.)

        2. I make a blackberry ceviche with shrimp and scallops. I have done the shrimp both ways, cooked in lime juice and added cooked shrimp to the ceviche.. I prefer to add cooked bay shrimp because I feel like the lime juice makes the shrimp too mushy and the shrimp loses its sweetness if its in the lime juice for too long. For whatever reason, the scallops don't lose their sweetness and I let those cook in the lime juice the whole time. I just add the cooked shrimp about an hour before serving.

          1. A lot depends on the shrimp. If you can get Florida or Key West pink gulf shrimp, the lime marinade for about 2 hours and pico de gallo is perfect. I suggest not using farmed asian shrimp, as they are flaccid, colorless, and tasteless. I make ceviche quite often with wild caught Florida shrimp.

            1. I've used the following recipe as a guide for seviche several times, usually mixing shrimp and scallops, instead of shrimp and octopus . If you do make the recipe, make sure you squeeze your own juice from the limes and oranges. A friend of mine tried making the recipe using Tropicana and couldn't figure out why it didn't taste like the recipe I had made.

              I don't trust the shrimp/seafood that I buy in the supermarkets enough to cook it with the lime juice, so I blanch the shrimp/scallops for a minute or 2 until cooked, then rinse with cold water, then add the dressing. I try to do this a couple hours before serving.


              1. The texture's just a little bit firmer when you blanch the shrimp, first. I've made it both ways. The difference isn't great. I can't speak to relative sanitariness.

                I made this recipe (a hybrid of a few that I found online) last week for friends and enjoyed it:

                1 pound of shrimp blanched for 1-2 minutes and cut into 1/3 inch pieces (devein and peel, of course)
                1 pound of red snapper cut into 1/3 inch pieces
                juice of 2 limes and 1 lemon, splash of OJ if you need more liquid
                1 small clove garlic, very finely chopped
                1 large or two medium fresh tomatoes, diced, seeds retained
                1/2 red onion, finely chopped
                1/2 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
                1/2 green sweet pepper, brunoised
                1/2 red sweet pepper, brunoised
                1/4 to 1/3 bunch cilantro, chopped
                corn kernels from about one ear of grilled corn
                salt to taste

                Mix everything together, then stir occasionally, especially for the first 10 minutes or so, so all the seafood has contact with the acidic liquid and 'cooks' through. Serve with popcorn and/or tortilla chips.

                We ate our ceviche about three hours after making it. Leftovers the next day and the day after were still good, though. No unpleasant mushiness in my experience.

                7 Replies
                1. re: cimui

                  Thanks everyone - this is all really useful to me!

                  I am def going to try a trial run before the party - and I do think I will blanche the shrimp first so as to attain a firmer texture.

                  how do you all think ceviche would be without onions?

                  Whenever I have ceviche I always take the onions out - I personally don't like chopped raw onions in anything...but that is my personal taste, and I would hate to ruin what others might find to be a big part of the flavor

                  1. re: NellyNel

                    I've seen recipes without onions, though personally I love them! If you chop them into very small pieces and use mild red or sweet vidalia onions, I don't think the flavor is overwhelming. If you're okay with garlic and not onion, that could give your recipe some kick, too.

                    1. re: cimui

                      Hi cimu -
                      but if I chop the onions really small - then they would be harder for me to dispose of!
                      I really want the flavor to be fresh and simple - I think I am going to omit onion (& garlic!) altogether and add avocado..

                      1. re: NellyNel

                        i don't care for raw onions either and usually use scallions or leeks, regardless of what the recipe says. use the green part of the scallions too for added color.

                        1. re: NellyNel

                          >>but if I chop the onions really small - then they would be harder for me to dispose of!

                          Good point. =)

                      2. re: NellyNel

                        to get sweet onion flavor without the bite of raw onion, use shallots that you've minced and let rest in some ice water. squeeze dry in clean cloth before adding to marinade. i think onion does add to a good depth of flavor, though. they also add a nice little texture "under the tooth," as lidia would say. remember, if using them, don't add bell peppers until shortly before serving; those you don't want to marinate.

                        but you don't have tp put onions or garlic if you don't like them, of course. you could put chunks of onion in the marinade -- for flavoring -- then easily remove before serving.

                        1. re: NellyNel

                          My wife hates raw onions. I think you need a little bit for the correct flavor. I will often soak cut onions in ice water for a couple of hours. If you are using sweet onions or red it will take some heat out of them but will retain the sweetness.

                      3. The classic Ecuadorian version (usually) cooks the shrimp first.


                        Cebollas encurtidas - pickled red onion - is an important part of the Ecuadorian preparation, used both in the marinade, and as an accompaniment. You'd also get comments by including popcorn and/or corn nuts ('tostadas').

                        1. I really like Rick Bayless' recipe for shrimp seviche "cocktail." It was in his book Mexico: One Plate at a Time. I found a link to it on the food newtork site also:


                          2 Replies
                          1. re: liamsaunt

                            Thanks guys
                            I did happen to come across Ricks "cocktail" recipe...it does sound good...but I think in my head I am thinking fish/shrimp , parsely and a bright acidy lemony flavor - That is the idea I am after...
                            I am making a (hopefully) very flavorful pork dish as well and so I don't want anyone to already have tons of tastes in their mouths

                            If you were served a ceviche with just the above ingredients - would you be disappointed?

                            1. re: NellyNel

                              parsley and not cilantro?

                              i'd have no problem with just about any shrimp dish, but i think of lime and not lemon for ceviche.

                              also, if you're making a flavorful pork, i'd say the ceviche could be even *more* spicy than if you were serving it before a mild dish. it might seem rather bland as you describe it -- and if you're going to make the shrimp shine, then i would just do a nice steamed or boiled shrimp, with lemon wedges alongside. the acid in ceviche somewhat diminishes the shrimpitude that you get with a good shrimp cocktail -- where the best shrimp is the unabashed star.