Fish ceviche {Ramon’s ceviche de pescado}

Fish ceviche

It has been a great week full of sun and zero rain here in the Seattle area, this is what everyone who has had to endure the very long winter and cold spring have been waiting for, obviously this means that I have been trying to spend as much time outside and away from the computer, but I can’t overcome my blogging addiction and have so many great summer recipes to share. Ceviche is one of those refreshing dishes that is perfect for the summer or anytime (especially when you have a hangover). This is my brother’s recipe for fish ceviche, whenever he visits he knows that he will have to make ceviche for us, this is great because not only is his ceviche awesome but he also does all the work (dicing the fish and vegetables and squeezing all those limes is hard work). Ramon uses shallots instead of onions, he finds the shallots to be much closer to the Ecuadorian cebolla paiteña, and he also adds some spicy hot peppers and garlic when the fish is “cooking” in the lime juice to infuse a little spiciness into the fish.

Ecuadorian ceviche – which for most of my life I thought was the only real ceviche – is different than it’s Peruvian counterpart in that the ceviche is soupier, the fish is served in the lime juice with tomatoes, peppers, onions (or shallots in this case) and chopped cilantro, it is typically served in a bowl with chifles, patacones, popcorn or corn nuts and eaten with a spoon; while the Peruvian version is served without the juice and with pickled onions, sweet potatoes, and corn on the side. For me (and many other Ecuadorians) the juice is an essential component and one of the best parts is drinking up the juice at the end. Ceviche can be made with many different types of seafood and non-seafood ingredients, but typically ceviche made with fish is the one where lime juice “cooks” the fish, for other types of ceviches -shrimp, octopus – the seafood is actually cooked with regular heat and then marinates with the lime juice and vegetables. It essentially depends on the seafood, the more delicate and the fresher seafood is more likely it is to be cooked with lime juice, or some like the ceviche de concha, a ceviche made from fresh black clams, is usually made fresh right before you – the black clam ceviche is very special and doesn’t appeal to everyone, so people either love it or hate it.

Ceviche de pescado


My final two-cents on ceviche, especially on eating ceviche in Ecuador, it is best to try ceviche at the beach or on the coast. The highlands are not the ideal place to eat seafood ceviches (there are a few good places but I wouldn’t walk it to any random restaurant and order ceviche in the highlands, you have to know where to go). It really drives me crazy when I talk to someone who complains about the seafood in Ecuador but yet only had seafood in the mountains – like my dear husband.


2 lbs of white fish fillets (corvina, halibut, sea bass, tilapia, sole), cut into small square pieces
2-3 hot peppers, red chilies or serranos, sliced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
4-5 large shallots, peeled and sliced finely
4 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced very finely
2 bell peppers, 1 orange and 1 yellow, diced finely
20 limes, separated into about 10 limes to cook the fish and 10 limes for the ceviche marinade
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped as finely as possible
2-3 tbs sunflower oil
Salt to taste


  1. Place the raw fish pieces in a glass dish and cover it with salt, hot peppers, crushed garlic, a tablespoon of chopped cilantro, and lime juice from about 10 limes, the fish should be completely covered by lime juice.
  2. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and chill, let the fish cook itself in the lime juice for at least 4 hours.
  3. Place the sliced shallots in a bowl, cover them with warm water and salt, let rest for at least 10 minutes, drain and rinse well.
  4. Once the fish is “cooked” in the lime juice rinse it well, removing the hot peppers, garlic and cilantro.
  5. Combine the fish with the shallots, tomatoes, bell peppers, cilantro, and lime juice from remaining 10 limes, sunflower oil and salt to taste in a large non-reactive bowl, mix well and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.
  6. Serve with chifles, patacones, popcorn or corn nuts as well as with some good hot sauce or aji.

Making fish ceviche

Fish ceviche


More ceviche recipes:

Shrimp ceviche

Mango ceviche

Mafi’s fish ceviche

Octopus ceviche


  1. Carrie G says:

    So good! This was my first time attempting ceviche. I used sole. I added a little fresh ginger and diced avocado too. And I went with red onion because its what I had but next time I’ll try the shallots. I thought the red onion was a bit overpowering. But other than that, it was so refreshing and yummy! Cant wait to bring it to a bbq this summer :)

  2. I’m making your recipe at the moment and the fish, lime juice, peppers and a bit of cilantro are marinating. I notice that in the photos it appears that there are some peppers in the final product. However you say that when we replace the lime juice, we must throw out the peppers. But no where does it state where to add more peppers. These are not just chopped tomatoes in the photo. I’m also worried that without the peppers that the ceviche won’t be hot enough.

    • Hi Dee – The peppers in the final photos are bell peppers. The hot peppers are mainly used to infuse heat and flavor into the fish while it’s marinating, and can discarded if you feel they’ve already added enough heat during the marinating process. You can also diced them and add them to the final ceviche if you want extra heat.

      • Thanks. I already decided to put some jalapenos and hot red peppers diced very fine on the side (for those who may have wanted more heat). By the way, it was brought to a pot luck and was enjoyed by the folks there.

  3. My sister and her husband have discerning tastes when it comes to ceviche. I tried a traditional Peruvian recipe that I was taught when I traveled there, but everyone was not impressed. Last week I prepared your recipe using halibut and they absolutely loved it. The batch was huge, but the fish stayed crisp for days after it was prepared. We enjoyed it from beginning to end-thank you.

  4. Hi, thank you for wonderful and inspiring recipes. I live in Norway, so it’s a wonderful cultural escape for me. I made the shrimp ceviche today, and it was fantastic.
    I am wondering though, can this fish ceviche be made a day ahead? We are having a party on a friday, and I will not have time to make it after work. Thank you:)

    The fish will be overcooked, it can get rubbery if you make it a day ahead. In this case, I would prepare the shrimp one, but add the tomato and cilantro right before the party (you have them prepped and sliced/chopped).

  5. I was wondering if you could skip the last step where you rince the fish and take away all the inrediants that have been cooking the fish, then replace the maranating lime juice then …. so on. could you skip that step and keep the maranating lime juice and peppers ect and serve that or is that not right? its just because 20 limes is alot!!!!

    • Yes, you can can skip it, but sometimes the lime juice where the fish cooked gets bitter, so it tastes better to have fresh lime juice for the last part.

  6. Hi Laylita,

    Would you please put together a table of content listing all the recipes? The categories on the side are helpful, but not quite effective when looking for a specific dish. I tried the ‘Search site’ link to look for aji and the results were of other dishes that had aji on them. I was able to find aji when I clicked on the ‘Sauces’ category. Anyways, this is just a recommendation. As for the recipes, I can’t wait to try them. Plus the pictures look enticing .. yummy!

    Congrats – great job! Thanks for sharing…

  7. Original peruvian ceviche are the best for me..i’ll try your recipe though : )

    This ceviche is closer to the original way that ceviche was prepared in the pre-Inca and Inca times, the modern day Peruvian style ceviche has a significant Japanese influence. I love both, but I have to have my ceviche with the liquid that it cooked in because it’s what I’m used to, and I’m not a huge fan of sweet potato with my ceviche (too mushy).

  8. June 1st was opening day of red snapper season and with the fish we caught I followed your recipe with the exception of the shallots. My local grocery did not have shallots available so I substituted red onion. The marinade was exceptional and “cooked” the snapper to perfection but I did leave the fish in for about 10 hours. I used three large red onions and I feel the red onion overpowered the dish however it was still the talk of the party dispute my palate. I wished to thank you for the recipe and to pass on my experience.

  9. Do shallots change the flavor at all, or do they taste like onions?

    The taste is similar to onions, but has more bite to it (like the cebolla paitena that we use in Ecuador).

  10. Dear Laylita,

    Been following your webpage for a few years now. I love and share your passion and dedication.

    I’ve been traveling back to Ecuador a few times and found something wonderful: Ecuadoreans are rediscovering their food. In the 80’s & 90’s it was much easier to find a burger or pizza than good traditional food. Now there has been an explosion of Ecuadorean food chains such as Menestras del Negro or Ceviches de la Rumiñahui to name a couple in Quito.

    I agree with you that nothing beats a ceviche or cebiche (depends where you are) by the sea, but was very impressed with Ceviches de la Rumiñahui in Quito (highlands). Strongly recommend it to travelers!

    You point out the difference of ceviches between Ecuador and Peru. Respectfully would like to add further. The differences are not also clearly marked between the highlands and the coast, but also between provinces. I am originally from Quito, but will not trade a ceviche from Manabi. A Guayas ceviche is different from what you find 50 miles up in Manabi, or another drive north to Esmeraldas, where I’ve had variations with peanut, coconut and salprieta.

    For such a small country, the diversity of foods is enormous… I took my oldest son this past summer to Ecuador and cannot recall as vividly the beauty of the country as much as the richness and variety of our flavors. He was truly amazed and impressed!

    Again, thank you for what you do.

  11. thank you for this! you’re right when you say in the highlands you have to know where you go, there are some “coast restaurants” in Quito that are great! but there are restaurants whe the “seafood” is so bad!! I always recommend to eat seafood in the coast, specially in Manta city, everywhere you go there you can find DELICIOUS FOOD!! every dish is …. hmmm my mouth it watering! I invite you all to eat in Manabí or any Province from the coast in Ecuador, all tourists love our food! is the best! ceviche has been always my favorite food and always will be =) thanks a lot

  12. Beautiful!! You capture how refreshing ceviche really is.

  13. paulconrad says:

    Followed your recipe and it was a smash hit, thanks so much for posting.

  14. Made this with Snapper and only added Canned, drained, orange sections – delicious!!!

  15. Hi Laylita,

    I want to thank you for this recipe. I follow it and I had a lot of compliments… I am ecuadorian, but I made the peruvian this time.
    The only suggestion is that instead of using shallots use red onions. And suggest to have it with a cold beer!!!

    Thanks again and kind regards,

    Daniel Guerra.

  16. Great post, I look forward to reading more of your blog. Really takes me back to my time in Ecuador, I loved the Ceviche there and I too prefer Ecuadorean to Peruvian, with the spicy-fishy-limey-tomato juice!

  17. YUMMY!! But I wanted to let you know that in Peru we ALSO love the juices in the ceviche – so much so that we drink it as a shot at the end of the meal. This delicacy is known as leche de tigre!

  18. pepe viteri says:

    Lailita, podrias poner este recipe en espanol para q’ mi madre lo pueda hacer al pie de la letra.
    I will be very thankful .pepe

  19. Travelled to Ecuador last year. Loved everything about it. As we are Australians, and Ceviche not a dish that is available here, We had our first ceviche in Ecuador. After our first try we were ceviche lovers for life. We had great ceviche in Quito, but even better down at the Beautiful town of Montanita. Have just tried your recipe, and wowed friends with it. We are heading back to Montanita next year for more surf, sun and Ceviche. Thanks for the recipe.

  20. Elisabeth says:

    Our friend used to make a very nice seviche but I had never tried to make it myself though. I had some in a Peruvian restautrant in Sarasota, very disappointing. But now, but now finally a great recipe from you and I can’t wait to make it, hopefully in the next few days. Will let you know how it turned out.

  21. Ah, Laylita. We are making ceviche right now and my mouth is watering – only from your description. Wonderful!

  22. I just made this last weekend and I must say that it was a complete success! the only thing I did differently was that I added a little fresh ground ginger. Great Recipe!

  23. Fantastic photos! This sounds wonderful. Next time I’m in Seattle and buy some excellent fish, I’ll make this one. Looking forward to meeting you at the dinner :-]

  24. great recipe-you cook the fish only with the limes?

    Hi Kira – Yes, the lime juice cooks the fish.

  25. Fantastic recipe. I have been trying to find a recipe similar to a ceviche I had in San Antonio and this surpasses that one. Great taste and awesome presentation. Thanks.

  26. As a Peruvian, I’m willing to give it a try… My Ecuadorian husband will love it, though, I’m sure!!

  27. WOW!!!!! my mouth is watering……

  28. Slowly but surely, my appetite is returning to me. I can almost taste this ceviche. ;-)


  29. This is one of my favourite restaurant dishes, but, I confess I’ve never made it myself. This version looks and sounds amazing :)

  30. This looks awesome!! So clean, fresh and simple.

    Have you guys been to Mutual Fish in Seattle? It’s my favorite fishmonger by a mile.

    Hi Matt – Thank you so much for the tip, I haven’t been there yet but will check it out for sure (especially since I love all the seafood dishes you show on your blog – the seafood always looks so fresh).

  31. On my trip to Ecuador last year, I never made it down to the coast (spent all my time in Quito and Riobamba) and I could not find any cevicerías. When I go back next year I plan on making a trip to the coast for some good seafood.

    In the meantime, I have a new recipe to try – thanks!

    Hi Scott – Definitely go to the coast, the beaches are great and the food is even better!

  32. Thanks for the education re the different kinds of ceviche. We recently dined in a home-y type place that serves various Latin American foods, but we didn’t really know what makes each food different from each other, in terms of country of origin. We’ll post something about this and hopefully you can enlighten us! =)

    (P.S. That ceviche looks so good!)

  33. Another dish that we love but have never made at home… it’s time!

  34. yum yum YUM. i love ceviche, but i’ve never tried to make it myself. first time for everything though!

  35. I only heard about Peruvian ceviche, but makes sense. Your story and recipe are so interesting. love it !!!

  36. Mmmm…Looks lovely! I miss Ecuadorian ceviche and the idea that fish is the best way to get rid of a hangover–most americans find that kind of weird…I love it though, there was a place on my way to work in Quito called ‘Cevicheria Saca la Resaca”

  37. Nice yummy pictures! This is something I never made.

  38. Just made this with dinner….on (one of the few) warm Wisconsin evening. ¡Perfecto! So many of your recipes are just like my abuelas made. Gracias.

  39. That’s something I really like! Your cerviche looks very good!



  40. This looks so refreshing! It would have been perfect for this sunny warm weekend.

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