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Shrimp ceviche is an easy appetizer traditionally made by steeping raw shrimp in lime juice. This recipe for Mexican Ceviche de Camaron gives you the option to cook the shrimp first. Either way, it’s delicious!
Seafood and shellfish appetizers are always a big hit at parties. Using quick cooking seafoods like lobster, crab, scallops, and shrimp allow you to prepare the food and still have time to entertain and mingle with guests.
Warm seafood appetizers like crab stuffed mushrooms, Cajun hot crab dip, or a warm, Connecticut style lobster roll are better suited for serving in cooler temperatures. This makes them perfect to serve for Christmas or New Year’s Eve.
During the summer months, you may want to use fish or shellfish to make light and refreshing appetizers. This is when making a ceviche recipe like this one becomes a fantastic option.
Ways to Prepare Shrimp Ceviche
Ceviche is one of the simplest party foods to prepare but at the same time, it seems elegant and almost gourmet. The origins of the dish date back over 2,000 years, to Peru.
Peruvian ceviche is made by steeping thin slices or small pieces of raw fish (usually sea bass) in citrus juice and seasonings. The same process applies for a traditional shrimp ceviche.
Through the art of food science, after several minutes, the citric acid in the juice denatures the proteins in the food. As a result, the fish or shrimp becomes firm and opaque, as if it were cooked with heat.
The steeping process is long enough for the acid in the juice to kill off harmful bacteria like salmonella and vitrio. However, if there are parasites (worms) present, the acid will not kill them.
This is why it is so important to get your seafood from a trusted source. (You’ll see more information on that below).
In Mexican ceviche, the shrimp is often cooked in boiling salt water first. At that point, it’s placed in a marinade of lime juice. Because the shrimp cooks in the salt water, the lime juice is purely to provide flavor.
This recipe option of cooking ceviche is great for people who may be uncomfortable or for health reasons, unable to consume raw shrimp.
Is Ceviche Safe to Eat Raw?
Without exception, this is the question most people have about preparing a ceviche recipe.
The answer depends on a number of important factors, including:
- Source of seafood– Is it wild-caught or farmed? Due to certain environmental conditions and farming methods, there are concerns with both open water and farmed seafood. There is also a risk of parasites in the fish, which raw ceviche preparations will not kill off, but cooked preparations will.
- Freshness of raw shrimp or fish – Freshness is determined by how long ago it was caught and also whether it is kept/stored following FDA food-safety standards.
- The physical health of the consumer – For people in certain high-risk groups, it is NEVER safe to consume raw seafood of any kind. These groups include:
- Pregnant women and those still breastfeeding
- Infants, younger children, and older seniors
- People with compromised immune systems (ie, HIV and autoimmune diseases).
Read this article by the FDA for more information and guidelines on the safety of consuming raw fish and shellfish.
Recipe Tips for Mexican Shrimp Ceviche
This ceviche recipe also goes by the Spanish name, Ceviche de Camarón. Whether you plan to prepare it in the authentic/traditional style or cook the shrimp first, the process is incredibly easy. There are just a couple of important things to note.
- Be sure the shrimp is as fresh as possible.
If you live in an area where you can buy it fresh, right from the boat, definitely use that option. Otherwise, be sure to buy it from a trusted source or reputable fishmonger. If all else fails, buy frozen raw shrimp.
- Don’t store fresh raw shrimp for longer than a day.
The safest option is to buy the fresh shrimp, bring it home and prepare the ceviche recipe right away. If you’re unable to do that, keep the shrimp on ice or in your freezer.
Do NOT store fresh, uncooked seafood in the refrigerator. Most home refrigerators don’t stay cold enough to keep the seafood below the “safe zone” of 40°F. Above that temperature, the food is at risk of growing harmful bacteria.
- Shrimp ceviche is best eaten the same day it’s prepared.
Rather than serving shrimp ceviche as an appetizer, you can add in other ingredients and serve as a side dish or a salad course. Diced avocado is a popular add-in, but you could use other fruits or vegetables too. Here are some ideas to give you inspiration:
- Corn kernels
- Mango, papaya, or pineapple
- Black beans
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Shrimp Ceviche (Traditional or Cooked)
- Torilla chips
For Raw Ceviche
- Slice the shrimp from head to tail down the middle or cut horizontally into small pieces.
- To a medium bowl, add the raw shrimp and 1 cup of fresh lime juice. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rest 25 minutes. Stir in diced onions and let it rest another 5 minutes.
- Add the jalapeño, tomato and cilantro to the bowl. Toss to mix thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately or cover and chill before serving with tortilla chips.
For Cooked Shrimp
- In large soup pot, bring 6 cups of water to a rolling boil over medium high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of salt, juice from1 lime and the raw shrimp. Cook 1 minute then remove immediately, drain through a colander and run cold water over shrimp to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside to cool.
- To a medium bowl, add the onions and 1 cup of fresh lime juice and let rest 5 minutes.
- Add the shrimp, jalapeño, tomato and cilantro to the bowl. Toss to mix thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately or cover and chill before serving with tortilla chips.
- Optionally, add corn and diced avocado to the mixture just before serving. Nutritional information shown does not include optional ingredients or chips.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.