Ceviche: Way Easier to Make Than You Think (by Tom Lee)

Tom Lee's Ceviche Recipe

This post is written by Tom Lee, a student at Santa Barbara City College. He’s a business development associate for the Santa Barbara Fish Market, where you can support local fishermen and buy fresh seafood online or buy fresh fish online.

Ceviche is a dish that is commonly found in Central America. My first time trying it was in Costa Rica a few years ago and I was instantly hooked. The colors of the dish make it visually appealing and the taste is so refreshing that you just keep on coming back for more.  I had to know how to make it. Looking at the ingredients I thought that it couldn’t be that complicated. Fortunately, I was right! The ingredients are easy to find and if someone like me (a person with zero culinary experience) can make it, anyone can!

Ceviche Prep Work

Traditional ceviche usually involves cooking raw seafood using the acidity of lemon and lime juice. This recipe speeds things up a bit by blanching the shrimp in hot water first. This does two very important things. First off it will kill off any potential bacteria on the shrimp, something that lemon and lime juice cannot do. Secondly, it greatly speeds up the process of preparing the dish.  This is a great dish to serve at parties and also makes for an amazing appetizer.
How to make ceviche by Tom Lee

Shrimp Ceviche Recipe:


  • 3 tomatoes, medium-large
  • ½  red onion, large
  • 1 avocado, medium
  • 1 cup cilantro
  • 3 limes
  • 4 lemons
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 pound shrimp

1. Cut the tomatoes into ¼” cubes. The best way to do this is by a technique known as coring. You want to cut away all the sides of the tomato and avoid the soft and seedy core. After you have cut out the sides, you want to cut them into strips, flip them and cut again. At this point you should have fairly even cubes.

2. Dice the red onion.

3. Finely chop the cilantro.

4. Cut the avocado into small pieces.

5. In a large bowl, gently mix the tomatoes, red onions, avocado, cilantro, salt, and pepper. Set aside in refrigerator while the other ingredients are being prepared.

6.  Bring a large pot of water to boil. The pot should have enough water and be big enough to boil the pound of shrimp.

7. While the water is boiling, take this time to peel the shells from the shrimp and de-vein them, if necessary.  Make sure to keep the shrimp cold at all times. A good way to accomplish this is to keep the shrimp under running cold water.

8. When the water comes to a boil, drop the shrimp in and blanch for about 2 minutes.

9. At the 2-minute mark, dump the hot water out and rinse the shrimp with cold water to avoid overcooking. This also helps so that the shrimp aren’t too hot to handle when cutting them.

10. Cut the shrimp into ½” pieces and place into a container.

11. Quarter all the lemons and limes and place them into the microwave and heat for 1 minute. This will make them easier to juice. Be careful when juicing them as the juices may be very hot. You want to take all the lemon and lime juice and pour it into the container with the shrimp.

12. Cover the shrimp with the lime/lemon mixture and let sit in refrigerator for about 45 minutes.

13.  Mix the container of shrimp, juice and all, with the rest of the ingredients.

14. Serve with your favorite chips and enjoy!

Spicy Tip: If you prefer your food to have a kick, finely chop one whole jalapeno and mix it into the ceviche. Another way to add some more heat is to add some of your favorite hot sauces (such as Tapatio or Chalua) to the lemon/lime juice.  Combine both methods for even better results.


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