Fresh, bright, delicious and eye-catching colorful, Peruvian Shrimp Ceviche is a recipe I'm asked to make over and over again!
Peruvian Shrimp Ceviche
This page contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases when you purchase using the links on this page. It doesn't increase the price of the items for you, and it helps me cover the costs of bringing great recipes to you.
People ask me to make this ceviche recipe over and over again!
Peruvian ceviche is very similar to its close cousin found in Mexico. Aji peppers are generally uses aji peppers for the heat, though. And Peruvian ceviche is not served with a lot of the lemon juice. Some juice is great for spooning onto the patacones or tortilla chips, but the shrimp and its ingredients should not be drowning in it.
Another difference is that Mexican ceviche will often include avocado, whereas Peruvian ceviche does not.
Although it seems anathema to the mantra of always cooking with fresh ingredients, it's generally best to used frozen shrimp. Unless you live in area with access to the day's catch, you can't be sure how fresh the shrimp is.
The lemon-lime acid "cooking" time will work just as well for cold-water shrimp as for warm-water shrimp. If you actually end up with leftovers, drain off the acid and store it separately from the shrimp. Why? Warm-water shrimp left in acid too long can turn mushy-soft. Yuck.
Pick a pepper
A word about choice of peppers. Peruvian-style ceviche has a kick, but you can tone it down by your choice of peppers or by how much of the pepper you add. The recipe below retains the kick, but it's by no means overwhelming. And remember, jalapenos (or ajis or habaneros) are not all made alike. A Pepper's Scoville heat rating varies. It , depends on where they were grown, how much rain they got, and when they were picked. Test your pepper to determine how much you need to add for your heat tolerance.
The scoop on serving ceviche
Ceviche and guacamole are generally served with patacones (fried green plantains) in Peru and most of Latin America. They're easy to make. Once you try this (or any!) ceviche with warm patacones, you may very well be a convert. Slices of steamed sweet potato are also a traditional side in Peru.
This dish can easily feed two people with moderate appetites as a meal when served with patacones. As an appetizer, it will serve 4-5 people.
For added heat, try dabbing a little of Don Tony's Chili Salsa on your bite - it's a bright, fresh and zippy salsa.
Another fan favorite recipe here at The Unfussy Cook is Grilled Shrimp with Old Bay seasoning - give it a whirl, I just know you're going to love it!
Peruvian Ceviche with Shrimp
- 1 pound raw jumbo shrimp 21/25 per pound
- 1 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
- 1 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- 1 small red onion
- ¼ cup finely chopped aji or habanero chili peppers
- ½ cup cilantro loosely chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger grated
- If your shrimp is frozen, thaw it in an ice-water bath. Separating the shrimp will make the thaw go much faster; just let them soak a bit and gently separate them as the thawing process allows.
- For shrimp with shells and tails on, remove the shells and tails and de-vein the shrimp.
- Juice the limes and lemons, discarding any seeds, with a hand or electric juicer.
- Combine the shrimp and citrus juices in a bowl large enough to hold them. If your shrimp are not submerged in the lime and lemon juic, press them down gently and weight them with a plate, or add more juice. The citrus is what's doing the cooking, so you want to be sure the shrimp is completely covered with it.
- Refrigerate the shrimp in the citrus for about 45 minutes. Every 15 minutes, toss the shrimp and check to make sure they're turning opaque nicely, then refrigerate again.
- While the shrimp cooks in the refrigerator, cut the onion first on the equator, and then for each half onion, cut it down the pole. Thinly slice each quarter on the latitude.
- Finely dice your pepper of choice. Use disposable gloves if you have a pair - your fingers will thank you later.
- Rough chop the cilantro in the bunch in about ⅓" chops. No need to go back and cut the opposite way - just the one cut will do. Stems are okay to include, too - just not beyond the leaves, though, or they'll be too thick.
- Grate the ginger with a microplane or the fine side of a box grater.
- Remove the shrimp from the refrigerator and add the onion, cilantro and ginger. Serve on a bed of lettuce with your "scoop" of choice.