Classic Summer Ceviche Recipe

Chef Matt Rainey with Caledon Concepts, owners of Ceviche in Orlando, Tampa, and St. Petersburg, shares his recipe for a classic Ceviche.


3oz. Blanched Small Shrimp

3oz. Blanched Calamari Rings

2oz.Bay Scallops

8oz. White Fish

¼ cup Diced Red Bell Pepper

¼ cup Diced Green Bell Pepper

¼ cup thin sliced Red Onion

¼ cup Diced Roma Tomato

½ cup Tomato Juice

½ Tablespoon Chopped Garlic

¼ cup Chopped Cilantro

1 Teaspoon Spanish paprika

½ teaspoon Cumin

½ cup Fresh Lime Juice

¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 teaspoon Sugar

Diced Fresh Jalapenos or cayenne to your liking


  1. Blanch shrimp and calamari in lightly salted water for 30 seconds and then shock it in ice water to stop the cooking process.
  2. Cut or slice the rest of your seafood into half inch pieces. Place into a mixing bowl.
  3. Add Spanish paprika, cumin, fresh lime juice, EVOO and sugar. Whisk and store in your refrigerator until you have the rest of your components ready to be assembled.
  4. Remove the seeds from the peppers and tomatoes. Dice to half inch pieces.
  5. Mix the peppers and tomatoes with chopped cilantro, garlic, tomato juice.
  6. Combine all ingredients and season with salt and white pepper to taste and stir well.
  7. Allow to marinate for at least thirty minutes, this will allow all the flavors to come together and the citrus will have time to cook the seafood.
  8. Serve with a salad, fried plantain chips or just by itself and enjoy!

Ceviche — the refreshing dish of seafood marinated in citrus juice — is perfect for summer. It’s light, bright and it won’t weigh you down in the heat. Plus, it requires little or no cooking, so you don’t have to worry about turning on your oven.

Ceviche is also surprisingly easy to prepare. When making it at home, there are just a few key things to keep in mind. The most important is to use the freshest fish possible.  Beyond that it’s all about the marinating process, which works similar to pickling.

If your first attempt at making ceviche doesn’t come out quite like you expected, fear not, it could be one of the following easy to fix mistakes:

  1. Not letting the fish marinate long enough
  2. Using the wrong fish or seafood
  3. Not having the freshest ingredients

Here are some tips to keep in mind when making ceviche:

  • Most fish will work, but the best kinds are semi-firm white-fleshed ocean fish like sea bass, striped bass, grouper, sole or flounder.
  • Stay away from oily fish like mackerel, sardines, tuna, bluefish or jack, along with freshwater fish like trout or catfish.

Though it’s not always possible, fresh caught fish makes the best ceviche. Otherwise, buy the freshest fish possible at the market, it’s the single most important thing. Fresh fish/seafood should smell like the ocean.

It shouldn’t be stinky the flesh should appear glossy and iridescent, not opaque.

When you get your fish home from the store, it’s best to put it over ice and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to use it. Not only does this keep the fish fresh, it will also make for a better tasting ceviche when you serve it.

Aim to make the ceviche the same day you buy your seafood.

When preparing fish or seafood for ceviche, before you start to cut it up, you need to remove the bloodline. If left on the fish, the bloodline (the dark red portion on the fillet) will give the finished dish a really fishy flavor.

Don’t forget to remove the skin and any pin bones, or have your fishmonger do it for you. There’s nothing worse than biting into a piece of fish with skin or a sharp bone.

When making ceviche, it’s important that the different components are evenly sized so they marinate evenly. This also helps with presentation and ease of eating. The fish should preferably be chopped into large, even chunks or sliced into thin pieces. The vegetables, such as peppers or onions, are best diced, but for presentation sake you can slice the onions very thin.

Most chefs recommend marinating fish for ceviche for at least 10 to 20 minutes. It ensures that the fish properly absorbs the citrus juice and turns an opaque color. If you marinate for over an hour you run the risk of the fish falling apart.

Make sure you use enough acid (lemon or lime juice) to properly make ceviche. I recommend ½ cup of lemon or lime juice to 1 pound of fish or seafood. This ratio will ensure the fish is properly cured and tender to eat.

It’s best to keep the fish separate from the vegetables until you’re ready to serve. This prevents the vegetables or the fish from turning mushy and keeps the different colors (especially if you’re using red onions) from bleeding together. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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