What is Ceviche?

Find out what ceviche is and why you should try it

Halibut ceviche at Hearthstone Kitchen & Cellar in Las Vegas. 

Ceviche is a Latin American dish made with raw fish and seafood, combined with a marinade of vinegar or citrus juice from lemons and limes. The citric acid coagulates the proteins in the raw fish, which makes it safe to eat. Tomatoes, cilantro and onions are also often used in the recipe, and a shot of tequila can be added for sweetness. Ceviche is a unique dish because it’s essentially “cooked” without using heat, similar to pickling, and you can make it with shrimp, tilapia or even lobster.

Ceviche has been around almost as long as South America’s earliest inhabitants, as the Incas made use of salt, chili peppers and fruit to keep their fish fresh. The limes we use now came from Spanish conquistadors. But the easy-to-make meal isn’t only a great at-home appetizer or healthy menu option – it’s also reportedly a catalyst for weight loss, with only 120-175 calories per serving. Lady Gaga even requests yellowfin ceviche as her afternoon snack while on tour, and she prefers lime tortilla chips to add to the flavor. (She’s also partial to fresh herb falafel). See even more celebrity rider food requests here, or try this tuna and avocado ceviche

Ceviche De Salmón

Dalia Ceja

Ceviche is a raw seafood dish that has been "cooked" in citrus (usually lime) juice. This citrus marinade firms up the fish and gives it a solid coloration. These details make it a very different dish from raw sushi. Many people feel safer eating ceviche, as its citrus preparation is believed to kill any diseases carried by fish.

Ceviche recipes vary widely depending on the seafood and accessories available in the area. Some ceviches are packed with full-bodied octopus and dogfish; others are lighter with the more delicate scallops and baby shrimp. The seafood is often paired with flavorful chiles and fresh herbs. The long marinade period blends the tastes together.

Ceviche is best made with extremely fresh fish. However, if you cannot access the best fresh fish, choose fresh frozen seafood for your ceviche. 

Classic Ceviche

Andy Sewell

Ceviche is Peru’s flagship dish. Learn to make the fresh and flavorful raw fish dish and you’ll instantly be transported to this beautiful South American country. Gastón Acurio, author of Peru: The Cookbook (Phaidon, 2015), advises you to “always use firm-fleshed white fish, without skin and bones, to prepare classicceviche. Avoid oily or fatty varieties of fish.”

Halibut Ceviche

Hearthstone Kitchen & Cellar

What sets Hearthstone Kitchen & Cellar apart from other restaurants in Las Vegas is its innovative and forever-evolving menu that includes the current season's freshest ingredients. This summer, under the direction of executive chef Brian Massie, Hearthstone is offering a new menu of crafted house-made dishes including this seasonal, mouth-watering halibut ceviche. This dish completely encompasses summer's zesty and bold flavors.