Classic Peruvian Ceviche

Classic Peruvian Ceviche

The Spruce / Ali Redmond

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 2 hrs
Chilling : 2 hrs
Total: 4 hrs 15 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
99 Calories
2g Fat
7g Carbs
16g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 99
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 2%
Saturated Fat 1g 3%
Cholesterol 32mg 11%
Sodium 831mg 36%
Total Carbohydrate 7g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 16g
Vitamin C 33mg 166%
Calcium 21mg 2%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 355mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Although you can find ceviche written in numerous ways, the most two common spellings are ceviche and cebiche, both accepted as Spanish terms that identify dishes consisting of raw fish and seafood marinated in an acid mixture of lemon juice, lime juice, orange juice, or a mixture thereof. Regardless of the spelling, there is no doubt that classic Peruvian ceviches are gaining a lot of followers because of their simplicity and bold flavors, highlighted by the use fresh ingredients.

This citrus-marinated seafood dish originates in Peru and is thought to be a development from Spanish escabeche, which is a vinegar-marinated dish, but not specifically of seafood. By marinating the fish in the acid of citrus juice, the ceviche is essentially seafood that is "cooked" cold by this process. Our classic Peruvian ceviche pairs a high-quality white saltwater fish of your choice with citrus juice, salt, hot peppers, onions, and cilantro. For this recipe, you need chile rocoto, or chile manzano as it is known in Hispanic supermarkets.

Ceviches made out of shrimp or other similar crustaceans are best when the seafood is partially, but not totally cooked before placing it in the marinade. To make a great ceviche, go first with sushi-grade fish and second with fresh fish that has not previously been frozen. In Peru, you will most often find this dish served with potatoes, either sweet or white, or topped with roasted giant corn kernels.


  • 1 pound white saltwater fish

  • 1 tablespoon salt

  • 1 cup key lime juice, or lime juice

  • 1/2 cup lemon juice

  • 1/2 cup orange juice

  • 1 medium onion, sliced very thinly into feathers

  • 1 chile rocoto pepper, or 2 aji limón chile, or habanero peppers

  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Classic Peruvian Ceviche ingredients

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  2. Cut the fish into small pieces. Dice the fish or leave it in pieces of up to 1-inch square, but remember that the larger the pieces, the longer it will take to marinate.

    fish cut into pieces

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  3. Place the fish in a non-reactive bowl, add the salt, and pour the lime juice, lemon juice, and orange juice on top.

    fish pieces in citrus juice

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  4. Add the sliced onions and the chiles into the fish mixture and toss a few times to distribute.

    onions and peppers added to the fish mixture in the bowl

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  5. Chill the fish mixture in the fridge for at least 2 to 3 hours. If your fish is truly sushi quality, it is fine if the centers of the pieces are still raw-looking.​

    fish in the citrus mixture in the bowl

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  6. To serve, lay down some of the onions and chiles and top with the fish. Add some of the citrus juices on top. Garnish with the cilantro.

    Classic Peruvian Ceviche in a bowl

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

Why Do I Need a Non-Reactive Bowl for the Ceviche?

Reactive or non-reactive refers to the material out of which cookware is made. Aluminum, iron, and copper are reactive, whereas ceramic, glass, stainless steel, and enamel-coated metal cookware are considered non-reactive. When acidic preparations, like ceviche, are placed in a reactive bowl, the food can change color and take on a metallic taste after it's been sitting for a while, like in a marinating process.

Always marinate your ceviche in a glass or ceramic bowl.

How to Choose Fish for Ceviche

Here are some quick notes to help you buy the best option available at your local fishmonger or supermarket:

  • When choosing a whitefish, opt for albacore, sole, snapper, halibut, or anything else you would see on a sushi menu. High-quality, sushi-grade is best since ceviche is not cooked with heat.
  • Be sure to remove the skin, bones, and bloodline from the fish before cutting it up. The bloodline is the dark red portion of the fillet; if left on the fillet, your ceviche will have a very fishy flavor.