Scallop Ceviche Recipe

Scallop ceviche on a plate.

The Spruce/Diana Chistruga

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Chilling and Marinating TimeTime: 2 hrs 5 mins
Total: 2 hrs 40 mins
Servings: 2 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
388 Calories
12g Fat
40g Carbs
32g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 388
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 15%
Saturated Fat 2g 11%
Cholesterol 39mg 13%
Sodium 4892mg 213%
Total Carbohydrate 40g 15%
Dietary Fiber 5g 19%
Total Sugars 12g
Protein 32g
Vitamin C 39mg 194%
Calcium 116mg 9%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 1798mg 38%
*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.)

There are countless variations on ahogadito ceviche, or scallop ceviche. This basic preparation is Peruvian style. The marinade is called leche de tigre, or tiger's milk, and it's composed of fish stock, lime juice, aromatics, and chiles.

When you marinade the scallops in the leche de tigre, the citric acid in the lime juice denatures the protein in the scallops, which creates the same change in texture as heat cooking. This is the basic concept behind ceviche. The lime juice does not necessarily kill bacteria or parasites, so you still want to be sure to use the freshest fish. Ceviche is not recommended for immunocompromised people.

All of that said, for the best texture we recommend marinating the scallops no longer than five minutes before serving it. Once ceviche is finished marinating, it should be eaten right away, and not stored.

"This ceviche is made with plump sea scallops marinated in Leche de Tigre, a mixture of fresh lime juice, fish stock and aromatics. Paper thin slices of red onion, gently cooked cubes of sweet potato, cucumber and chopped cilantro make this dish really stand out. It's a fresh take on ceviche and perfect for summer!" —Joan Velush

Scallop Ceviche Recipe/tester image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


For Leche de Tigre:

  • 4 1/4 cups fish stock

  • 1/2 medium onion, diced

  • 1 clove garlic, smashed and minced

  • 1/2 stalk celery, diced

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger

For the Ceviche:

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, diced

  • 4 cups water

  • Kosher salt, as needed

  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced

  • 1 small cucumber, peeled and diced

  • 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice, plus wedges for serving

  • 10 sea scallops

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil

Steps to Make It

Make the Leche de Tigre

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients to make scallop ceviche.

    The Spruce/Diana Chistruga

  2. In a large, non-reactive bowl, whisk together the fish stock, onion, garlic, celery, and ginger. Keep in the refrigerator for at least two hours to allow flavors to mingle before using.

    Scallop ceviche marinade.

    The Spruce/Diana Chistruga

Assemble the Ceviche

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients to make scallop ceviche.

    The Spruce/Diana Chistruga

  2. Add the potatoes, water, and 2 teaspoons of salt to a medium pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Lower heat to medium and cook until the sweet potato is tender, about 5 minutes.

    Chopped sweet potatoes cooking in a pot.

    The Spruce/Diana Chistruga

  3. Drain and cool to room temperature.

    Cooked sweet potato draining.

    The Spruce/Diana Chistruga

  4. Add the onion, cucumber, cilantro, and lime juice to the Leche de Tigre and stir to combine. Add the scallops and gently fold into the marinade so all of the pieces are coated. Cover and refrigerate to marinate, about 5 minutes.

    Scallops in a bowl of marinade.

    The Spruce/Diana Chistruga

  5. After marinating, divide into two serving bowls or plates. Place half of the sweet potato pieces on top of each serving of ceviche. Finish by drizzling each with olive oil and a generous sprinkling of salt. Serve with lime wedges.

    Scallop ceviche on plate.

    The Spruce/Diana Chistruga

Ceviche Warning

The acidic marinade may not kill all of the bacteria, so ceviche is not recommended for people who are pregnant or immunocompromised; in these cases, we recommend poaching the scallop, first. See directions below.


You can prepare Leche de Tigre itself a day or two ahead, but do not add the fish until the day you plan to eat it.

Recipe Variation

  • Poach the scallops for 1 to 2 minutes in salted, boiling water. Remove with a slotted spoon directly into an ice bath to stop the cooking; then move scallop into citrus marinade.
  • Instead of folding the sweet potato into the ceviche, you can serve it to the side.

Storing Ceviche

  • Once the ceviche has finished marinating, it should be eaten right away.
  • Do not store ceviche in the refrigerator or attempt to freeze for later.

Why should you use a non-reactive bowl for ceviche?

Ceviche should always be marinated in a non-reactive bowl such as glass or ceramic, and never in a reactive bowl, such as aluminum, iron, or copper. Since ceviche is acidic, if placed in a reactive bowl, the food can take on the metallic taste from the bowl and also change color.