Seafood has always been the general food category I’ve dubbed “my favorite.” As a kid I would call shrimp, “spiders,” and incessantly beg my grandpa to cook me some spiders. Fortunately, he knew what I meant and to this day he looks for my face to light up when he says, “Lisha, guess what I’m making? Shrimp!”
One of my favorite seafood dishes (specifically showcasing shrimp) is ceviche. My mom is 100% Mexican and so I’m blessed to have tasted and seen that ceviche is BOMB. I’ve never ordered ceviche (in the U.S.) and actually enjoyed it though. Ordering in Mexico is different. I recently went to Mexico and had — for the first time — aguachile. This is different type of ceviche but I’ll have to post on it in the future. I’ve not yet attempted this version of ceviche but it’s delicious! Today, I want to showcase the ceviche recipe I grew up with at the hands of my mother and Mexican family. Oh, how glorious were the days that we would visit my mom’s brother, Enrique, in Sacramento where my aunt, Lupita, would devote HOURS of her day making a giant tub of this stuff.
The ingredients are simple and inexpensive for the most part. Were it not for the shrimp itself, it would be quite cheap. But alas, shrimp is quite expensive. And frankly, the more lbs., the merrier. Now, I got this recipe straight from my momma — she even wrote it out in Spanish! The woman didn’t give me specific measurements, nor did I feel the need for them seeing that this is meant to be done according to personal preference. I will say that I scored over 11 limes for $1 at a local farmer’s market for this recipe. Don’t be a poop head (stingy) when it comes to lime. Like the shrimp, the more lime the better! The steps are simple but there’s a lot of wait time required in this for the perfect batch. Be warned. I have truly jacked up this recipe many times and it ends up ruining so much expensive shrimp! DO NOT dump all the ingredients in at once or you’ll have nasty, shrimpy water, rather than that fresh lime taste. It’s real gross. You need to let that shrimp soak in lime juice for a long time before adding anything else. Ok, without further ado…
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 3.5 hours
- Raw Shrimp – Medium or Large (w/o the head)
- LOTS of Lime (you’ll want to set aside extra)
- Purple Onion (small strips, *not* chopped!, ran through warm H20)
- Serrano Peppers
- Tapatio (optional)
- Peel the raw shrimp and rinse under cold water
- Cut each shrimp into medium-sized chunks and set aside in a large bowl
- Squeeze fresh limes (save a few for later steps) into the bowl until the shrimp is entirely submerged in lime juice
- Set the bowl in the fridge and let sit for 3+hrs.
- Meanwhile, cut the purple onion in large strips (julienne) and either run it under warm water, or let it soak in a bowl of warm water — this is to take out some of the harsh bitterness. If you like that strong flavor, you can bypass this step.
- Chop the cilantro *the more the merrier*
- Finely chop (but not quite mincing) the Serrano peppers *the more the spicier! Remove seeds if you don’t desire a spicy batch.
- Combine the onions, cilantro, and peppers in a small bowl (if you soaked the onions, remove them from the water). Set aside.
- Rinse and then dice the red tomatoes. Set aside.
- After the ceviche has sat for at least 3 hours in the lime juice (the juice “cooks” the raw shrimp), add the onions, cilantro, and peppers. Add more lime juice if desired. Let this sit again for 20-30 minutes. *do not put in the tomatoes yet or they will get soggy* It’s also recommended that you dump some of the juice out from the bowl that had been soaking the shrimp, and add fresh lime juice before adding the onions, cilantro, and peppers. The juice that had sat with the shrimp may have less of a lime flavor and more of a shrimpy/fishy taste.
- After the 20-30 minutes, add the tomatoes and it is ready to serve. Serve with lime for additional application as people desire. Serve chilled over tostadas. Tastes fantastic with Tapatio!
Enjoy, my friends! And if you give this refreshing recipe a try, let me know how you liked it and how it turned out 🙂