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What is the Definition of Ceviche and How to Make Ceviche

Different Types of Ceviche and How to make it Yourself

If you enjoy making authentic Mexican recipes, you might like to try making ceviche. Many Mexican appetizers are quick and easy to make and ceviche is not complicated. If you enjoy fish and shellfish, you will love the delicate flavor of ceviche.

What is Ceviche?

What is the definition of ceviche, you might be wondering. Well, ceviche is a deliciously refreshing appetizer, featuring seafood, which has been marinated in citrus juice, as well as vegetables and spices. The citric acid in the lemon or limejuice adds flavor and causes the proteins in the fish to become denatured. This allows the fish to be “cooked” without any heat, so when people talk about cooking ceviche, this is the process they mean.

Ceviche, also spelled seviche or cebiche in some areas, is popular in Latin American countries such as Mexico, Colombia, Peru, and Chile. Shellfish and finfish are both used. Shellfish is normally cooked and finfish is normally raw.

Ceviche History

The history of ceviche tells us that the word itself is thought to either come from the Quechua word “siwichi” or the Spanish word “escabeche”, which means marinade. Ceviche is believed to have originated in the Philippines and been introduced to South American and Central America in the sixteenth century.

Traditionally, ceviche was marinated for several hours but modern ceviche recipes usually need very little marinating time. If you use the right fish, it can marinate in the time it takes you to combine the ingredients. Marinating it for too long might give you a dish that tastes strongly of lemon or lime and little else.

Each Latin American country has its own way of serving this delicious dish. Peruvian ceviche, which is made with lemon, lime, or bitter orange juice, is served with cold sweet potato slices or corn on the cob. Ecuadorian ceviche comes with nuts, corn nuts, or popcorn and the ceviche is made with shrimp and tomato sauce. Cuban ceviche is made with mahi-mahi and limejuice.

Making Ceviche Yourself

If you have never made ceviche recipes before and you want to learn how to make ceviche, it is best to follow one of our ceviche recipes. Making ceviche is pretty straightforward but it is important to get the quantities right, else you might find yourself serving raw fish instead of real ceviche!

The first thing you need to know, if you want to know how to make ceviche, is the types of fish you can use. Red snapper, sea bass, marlin, pompano, sole, shark, tilapia, and tuna are all great in ceviche recipes. If you want to use seafood you can choose from squid, scallops, octopus, shrimp, crab and more. Seafood is usually blanched or steamed and then oiled before going into the lemon or limejuice, because the acid can break down the texture if it is raw.

Salt is also used in ceviche recipes, to prevent the growth of microorganisms in the fish and to break down the fibers, making the fish soft and tender. Bell peppers, hot peppers, onion, and garlic enhance the flavor of the overall dish and add color and texture. Some ceviche recipes are spiced with chili powder or hot sauce.

South American lemons are not as sweet as those found in the United States so ceviche will have a different flavor there. Limes are popular in the north of South America and in Central America. Some people like to use a mixture of lemon juice and limejuice. The most important thing to remember, if you want to learn how to make ceviche recipes, is to only use very fresh fish because it is softer, more fragrant, and completely delicious.

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Christine Szalay-Kudra

Hi, I'm Christine, and I'm pleased to welcome you to I have endeavored to gather as many delicious South of the border recipes here for you, including Mexican-inspired as well as traditional Mexican, and also some Tex-Mex and Mexican fusion dishes. Food is very important to our family's lives and Mexican food is certainly a favorite around here.

We have everything from appetizers and snacks to soups, drinks, entrées, and much more. You will find everything from mild dishes to super-spicy ones, simple recipes based on fresh ingredients up to more complex ones suitable for a dinner party.

Home cooks just starting out with Mexican cooking tend to be surprised how much of the emphasis is placed on using fresh ingredients and aromatic herbs and spices. Forget the typical ideas about Mexican food being all beans, cheese and beef (that applies a little more to Tex-Mex), take inspiration from authentic Mexican dishes based on fresh ingredients, and inject all your passion into cooking South of the border food, for perfect results every time.

Thanks for visiting,