If you're looking for a refreshing, classic ceviche recipe, this is the one.

Active Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
4 hrs 25 mins
8 servings

Here, expert on Mexican flavors Rick Bayless shows us how to make ceviche. His traditional ceviche recipe, a classic no-cook summer appetizer, works with any fresh fish fillet with mild flavor, like halibut or snapper. Be sure to pick up lots of limes to squeeze — you’ll need 1 1/2 cups to marinate the fish. Afterward, toss the “cooked” fish with plenty of tomatoes, onion, green chiles, olives, cilantro, and avocado for layers of freshness and flavor.


  • 1 pound fresh, skinless snapper, bass, halibut, or other ocean fish fillets, cut into 1/2-inch dice

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh lime juice

  • 1 medium white onion, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces

  • 2 medium-large tomatoes (about 1 pound), chopped into 1/2-inch pieces

  • Fresh hot green chiles (2 to 3 serranos or 1 to 2 jalapeños), stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped

  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro, plus a few leaves for garnish

  • 1/3 cup chopped pitted green olives (manzanillos for a typical Mexican flavor)

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (optional)

  • Kosher salt

  • 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice or 1/2 teaspoon sugar

  • 1 large or 2 small ripe avocados, peeled, pitted, and diced

  • Tostadas, tortilla chips, or saltine crackers, for serving


  1. Classic Ceviche Recipe

    Julia Hartbeck

    Gather the ingredients.

  2. Classic Ceviche Recipe

    Julia Hartbeck

    In a 1 1/2-quart glass or stainless steel bowl, combine the fish, lime juice, and onion. Use enough juice to cover the fish and allow it to float freely; too little juice means unevenly "cooked" fish. Cover and refrigerate for about 4 hours, until a cube of fish no longer looks raw when broken open. Drain in a colander.

  3. Classic Ceviche Recipe

    Julia Hartbeck

    In a large bowl, mix together the tomatoes, green chiles, cilantro, olives, and optional olive oil. Stir in the fish and season with salt, usually about 1/2 teaspoon. Add the orange juice or sugar. Cover and refrigerate if not serving immediately.

  4. Classic Ceviche Recipe

    Julia Hartbeck

    Just before serving, gently stir in the diced avocado.

Classic Ceviche Recipe

Julia Hartbeck

Make ahead

The fish may be marinated a day in advance; after about 4 hours, when the fish is "cooked," drain it so that it won't become too tangy. For the freshest taste, add the veggies and flavorings to the fish no more than a couple of hours before serving.


There are many ways to serve ceviche. Here are some of our favorites: Place the ceviche in a large bowl and let people spoon it onto individual plates to eat with chips or saltines; spoon the ceviche into small bowls and serve tostadas, chips, or saltines alongside; or pile the ceviche onto chips or tostadas and pass around for guests to consume on these edible little plates. Garnish the ceviche with cilantro leaves before serving.

Suggested pairing

Chile tends to be known for inexpensive reds, but the real secret is the country’s terrific Sauvignon Blancs. The cold winds off the Pacific give its Sauvignon Blancs a finely tuned citrus zestiness, perfect for ceviche (something else they do extremely well in Chile).

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