Red Snapper Ceviche with Mango, Avocado and Tomatillo

limejalapenotortilla

To Die For Ceviche

My present career began with ceviche.

After years as an academic, with two degrees and many policy research papers under my belt, with a husband, two kids and one on the way, I resigned from a prestigious think tank to walk a completely uncharted path.

I had been professionally frustrated for over a year and just continued to get involved in more projects in the office thinking I just had to work harder.

What triggered my career change was this: I had been asked to write a research paper comparing the democratic transitions of Mexico and Peru. Yet something was really off with me. Instead of doing my research on the political processes and crisis resolution tactics, I felt myself pulled to research the differences between Mexican and Peruvian ceviche.

Both countries boast to have the best ceviches, and both countries insist that they came up with the dish. I wondered about the true origins of ceviche in both countries. It has been recorded that the people of both countries had been eating raw fish since pre-Hispanic times…

But who got citrus first? How did their people come to use citrus to “cook” the fish, since citrus is native to neither country? What about chiles? Why is the spelling “ceviche” in one country and “cebiche” in the other, and what is the meaning and origin of the word? Why do Mexicans marinate their fish for a while, whereas Peruvians serve the citrus-dressed fish right away?

All I wanted to do was research, write about, and cook Mexican food – the food I missed so much. I knew it was time to pursue my passion in a more serious way.

My dad was perplexed about this change of direction. “After so many years of study, Pati, you are going into a kitchen to rinse pots and pans?”

Now I give him a hard time and respond, “…and to make the best ever ceviches.”

I have made many a ceviche over the course of the more than a decade since I switched careers. And I’ve liked each and every one.

But this one is truly special. And it is my very favorite one.

To Die For Ceviche

Ceviche Que Te Mueres

Recipe Yield

2 to 4 servings

Cooking time

35 minutes

Rate this recipe

4.2 from 5 votes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound red snapper filet (or another mild flavored fish like grouper, trout, flounder, sole or rock fish), cut in small (about 1/2 inch) dice
  • 3/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 jalapeno chile stemmed and coarsely chopped, or to taste, seeding optional
  • 1/2 cup celery sliced
  • 1/2 cup red onion halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves and upper part of stems, chopped
  • 1 cup (about 1 large) ripe mango diced
  • 1 cup (about 1 large) ripe avocado diced
  • 1/3 cup (about 2) tomatillos husked and scrubbed, and diced
  • 2 tablespoons cacao nibs optional
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or coarse salt or to taste
  • Tortilla chips or tostadas

To Prepare

  • Combine the lime juice, orange juice, olive oil, jalapeño, celery, 1/4 cup of the sliced red onion, 1/4 cup of the chopped cilantro, and the salt in a blender and puree until completely smooth.
  • Place the fish in a bowl, add the pureed mixture, and toss well. Cover and let marinate for 20 to 25 minutes outside the refrigerator before serving, stirring from time to time. If marinating for more than 25 minutes, cover and refrigerate.
  • When ready to serve, add the rest of the onion and cilantro, the mango, avocado, tomatillo and cacao nibs if using. Toss well, taste for salt and add more as needed. Serve with tortilla chips (totopos) or tostadas.

Comments

102comments inTo Die For Ceviche

  1. Karla Lujan

    Jul 05

    Solo quiero decirle Paty que amo su cocina y todo su contenido,me hace sentir cerquitas de mi Mexico 🇲🇽 a pesar que estoy en Chicago. Cada vez que me entra la melancolía por estar lejos de mi familia me pongo a buscar sus episodios y me reconforta verla, y eso sin contar con lo delicioso de sus exquisitos platillos quiero prepararlos TODOS..mil gracias por existir Bendiciones 😊

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jul 08

      Ay Karla, que amable! Me da muchisima alegria que mis recetas te reconforten. Te mando un abrazo!

  2. Maria Rios

    Jul 05

    Pato, do you drain the marinade before you add the fresh ingredients? Gracias

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jul 08

      No Maria, the marinade is part of the dish, enjoy!

  3. Paeton

    Jun 20

    Pretty good and easy to make to! I’m trying to make more exotic meals and this one worked perfectly!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jul 04

      Hope you like it!

  4. Anonymous

    May 30

    Pati, I just got back from Cabo. They have a seafood cocktail there with shrimp, scallops and octopus. Have you ever made this?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jun 05

      I hope you had a lot of fun! I have this recipe for Shrimp cocktail that you may like 🙂 https://patijinich.com/shrimp-cocktail-pacifico/

  5. Elizabeth Kriel

    Jun 06

    Greetings…..Perhaps you address this in later questions, but do you feel substituting shrimp would work in this particular recipe?? I’ve made other versions of shrimp ceviche but I love the combination of your ingredients….Thank you!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jun 07

      Of course Elizabeth, you can go ahead and use Shrimp is this recipe, it will work perfectly. And if what you like the best is shrimp, I recommend to try it in this recipe, you will lick your fingers 🙂 https://patijinich.com/pati_2020/shrimp-cocktail-pacifico/

  6. Anne

    May 06

    I brought this to a party and had to share your recipe with a few people after rave reviews! Even people who claimed they didn’t like ceviche liked it. I used fresh halibut and a small yellow mango and was so good. Many requests to share the recipe followed. Patti, you made me the hit of the evening with this dish. It is the best! Have you tried using Yellowtail?

    1. Pati Jinich

      May 11

      This is a great story, yay Anne! Yellowtail is a great fish for ceviche, I see you used halibut instead of snapper so that is great!

  7. Marshall

    Jan 28

    Thank you for sharing this. I love the flavors and it doesn’t take a lot of time to prep.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 31

      So glad to hear you like this Ceviche Marshall!

  8. Amy

    Oct 18

    Hello Pati

    I tried your recipe for ceviche and it was delicious. My daughter loves ceviche and asked me to bring it to a summer swim team banquet potluck. I was a bit worried since I never made ceviche before and I am not of latino decent. Most of the crowd would be hispanic so I was unsure of the reactions. Well, everyone liked it because the bowl was empty by the end of the event. Thank you for all your great shows and recipes that are easy for busy moms like me to tackle and succeed with.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Oct 18

      I’m so glad everyone loved it…and that you had fun making it, Amy.

  9. Sarah

    Aug 17

    Hello! I would really like to try this. But the last time I had a dish with raw fish, I got food poisoning and had to go to the hospital because I was so sick and dehydrated. Can this dish be made with cooked fish? I really don’t want an encore! I love your recipes!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Aug 20

      Oh I’m sorry to hear that, Sarah. The citrus cold cooks the fish…and this cooking method gives the fish a somewhat different texture to fish cooked on the stove or in the oven.

    2. Chris Beck

      Aug 28

      Sarah, I am an avid fisherman so I know my fish is fresh. However, I frequently do 2 things in prep for my ceviche (or poke)
      1) I freeze it as soon as I get home and thaw it out the next day
      2) I brine the fish for a couple hours

      I’ve been told by some sushi chef friends they often freeze it first because it kills bacteria and makes it easier to cut

      I’ve been told by some ceviche friends that the brine kills bacteria and makes for much better fish flavor instead of just adding salt to the recip

      1. Joseph,

        Sep 26

        Hi Chris Sushi and Sashimi. are not same texture and consistency as Ceviche I also avid fisherman have been around for 75 years ….freezing but never frozen solid makes easy to slice thin but I have eaten plenty of raw fish just caught and freezing does not kill bacteria ,,,freezing makes Cells rupture the digestive enzymes in the cells start to digest the cellthats why when thawing liquid developed ,,,citrus is an acid and like heat ,,,cooking, also breaks down the cells but in different way not loosing texture ,,acid kills bacteria ,,like in limes, and lemons now a brine uses SALT ,,which tenderizes used for meats and poultry ,totally different than acid ,,,,

    3. Mónica Mandujano

      May 02

      Hi Sarah,

      I make this recipe vegan and use Palm of Hearts! Palm of hearts are sold in cans in health food stores. Try it, no one notices a difference, and the texture is so on point it will blow your mind.

  10. Judy

    Aug 12

    Thanks Pati! This dish lives up to its name. I will archive your recipe & will pass it down to my family! We love it & we also enjoy the heart you put in to cooking & everything you share about Mexican culture/cuisine.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Aug 13

      Oh I love to hear that, thank you so much, Judy!

  11. Marcella Corrales-Valenzuela

    Jan 24

    Pati I’m so happy to have found you.. Thank you for sharing so much… Love your show..

    1. Pati

      Jan 24

      I’m so happy you found me too, Marcella!

  12. PJ

    Jan 21

    Hello Pati! I love your show so much. The travel segments and history really bring the foods and heritage to life. I want to visit every one of the places you have shared. This recipe is actually the first one I have made. It really IS to die for! I plan on making it again for my book club. Not only is is beyond delicious, but it is beautiful and healthy. Thank you for all you do to enrich us!

    1. Pati

      Jan 23

      Yay for your first recipe, PJ! I hope you enjoy many more.

  13. Jewel Robertson

    Nov 10

    I love your recipes. Favorite is the cod in beer and egg white batter and fried. I must try it soon. I love seafood.

    1. Pati

      Nov 11

      Oh enjoy the fish tacos and the ceviche, Jewel!

  14. Monica Mandujano

    Jun 29

    Pati- I made this dish on Father’s Day and your ESQUITES! My dad & entir family we’re blown away. I veganized it by using palm of hearts instead of fish- they couldn’t tell the difference! My sister and I who hadn’t had ceviche since going vegan were drooling. Truly the b I at ceviche I ever had. The cacao nibs I nice touch ;). For the esquites I used simple store bought mayo and made some crema from almonds (so easy)! Thank you so much for this recipe. & Your passion in the kitchen that inspires

    1. Pati

      Jul 02

      Oh I’m so glad you made the recipe your own, and that everyone loved it!

  15. Jessaleah

    Jan 16

    Pati, I have never tried ceviche, and I would love to try your recipe. I am not familiar with rock fish or snapper as i have only tried fish like halibut, cod, talapia, shrimp, crab and lobster and I have never tried raw fish. My question is…does the citrus actually cook the raw fish like heat would or does it just make it edible, but still have the raw texture? If so I’m not sure if I will like raw fish, so do you have a suggestion of a fish to start me off with that can ease me into the dish like the mildest fish or maybe cooked shrimp….IDK Pati, Help!…Lol…I would really appreciate your answers and suggestion. Thank you again for your fabulous recipes and show. You are by far the best chef of all on television because your passion and entusiasm for each and every recipe and the history behind the food that you share with us just shines through. You do such a great job sharing the cultures and history, and it truly makes each dish taste better and more appreciated. Much thanks all the way from Milwaukee, WI, Jessica F.

    1. Pati

      Jan 18

      The citrus cold cooks the fish but it does have a somewhat different texture to fish cooked on the stove or in the oven. You can use any white fish in this recipe as long as it if fresh!
      Oh I hope you like it and thanks so much for your kind and lovely comments Jessaleah!

  16. susana samaniego

    Dec 17

    Just love u r show u do great dishes and the look so easy to make them…thank you for sharing ur mexican cusine knowledge with us..is really apreciated …..from a true Mexican Lady from Juarez Chihuahua Mexico….Susana

    1. Pati

      Dec 18

      Thank you so much Susana!

  17. Cindy

    Oct 26

    Hi Pati,
    I love to watch you cook! My question is, do you have a recipe using the outer part of a pineapple for a vinearette ? I remember making it and lost the recipe .
    Thank you for taking my question
    Cindy

      1. Jim R

        Feb 21

        Wow 😯 That Shrimp Salad looks Fantastic! I would Love to try it! 😋 Thank You… 👌😊

        1. Pati

          Feb 22

          Hope you love it, Jim.

  18. Ivette

    Oct 15

    Thank you so much Pati for your delicious food. You inspire me! So much passion into everything that you do

    1. Pati

      Oct 19

      Thank YOU Ivette!

  19. AK

    Oct 09

    Made this using 1.5 pounds of shrimp instead of red snapper. First time making Ceviche, so I gave the shrimp 2 hours in the mixture before eating and it was absolutely DELICIOUS!! I omitted the cacao nibs and avocado (didn’t have any) and it was still amazing. Thank you so much for sharing!!

    1. Pati

      Oct 12

      That is great that you made the recipe your own AK! So glad you enjoyed it.

  20. Anonymous

    May 18

    Last time I had ceviche was 11 years ago at the beach in northern Cali. Your recipe was truly “to die for”!!!! Sherrie

    1. Pati

      May 19

      Sherrie that is so wonderful to hear! Thank you.

  21. Travis

    Apr 23

    Wow! All I can say is wow! Made this tonight, the only adjustment I had to make is the fish . They didn’t have red snapper at the market. But the seasoning and marinade are spot-on. Very good dish!

    1. Pati

      Apr 27

      YAY!!!

  22. Andy Rodriguez

    Feb 27

    I tried this recipe, almost immediately after seeing it on PBS. I had to make a few adjustments, because I didn’t have a mango, but wow, it was delicious! I also let it sit in the refrigerator for 2 hours, and it mixed all the flavors together, and tasted even better, then it did at 30 minutes.

    Thank you for sharing such great recipes.

    All the way from Idaho.

    Andy

    1. Pati

      Feb 27

      So glad you enjoyed it Andy!

  23. Marion J Rojas

    Feb 22

    I am addicted to your ceviche; I have made your recipe,
    and all my friends and family loved it!

    So, I told them how to find your page online!

    Appreciaitvely,

    Marion J Rojas (I was the only survivor of twins, and my father filled out my birthcertificate; did not know “Marian!”

    1. Pati

      Feb 23

      Super happy you love this ceviche…and that you share it with all of your friends and family!

  24. Patricia Hernandez

    Feb 15

    Hola Paty, gracias por enseñar al mundo nuestra riqueza culinaria, me encanta tu programa soy una gran fan tuya al igual me esposo…. nos encanto esta receta de ceviche nos hacen sentir parte de tu familia a través de la pantalla ya conocemos tus hijos y esposo eres un Orgullo Mexicano!!!!

    1. Pati

      Feb 24

      Gracias a ti y tu esposo por ver la programa… y por dar​nos a mi y a mi familia,​ la bienvenida en tu casa.

  25. Karen Herrington Santiago. Texas

    Feb 12

    I love ceviche and absolutely love your ceviche recipe! You have a great show!

    1. Pati

      Feb 13

      Thank you Karen!

  26. Frida Loyola

    Sep 17

    Hello Pati
    Did you ever come to a difinite conclusion as to which country invented civiche. I’m curios because my father was Peruvian and my mom who is Ecuadorian learned to make ceviche the Peruvian way.
    I just started watching your show and the passion you have for the cuisine of Mexico is contagious and infectious. I can’t wait to try this and more of your recipes.
    Best regards,
    Frida

  27. Frida Loyola

    Sep 17

    Hello Pati
    Did you ever come to a difinite conclusion as to which country invented civiche. I’m curios because my father was Peruvian and my mom who is Ecuadorian learned to make ceviche the Peruvian way.
    I just started watching your show and the passion you have for the cuisine of Mexico is contagious and infectious. I can’t wait to try this and more of your recipes.
    Best regards,
    Frida

    1. Pati

      Oct 11

      ​Oh thank you! Turns out that we are all quite even: Mexicans and Peruvians were eating raw fish, spiked with salt and spices before the Spanish arrived… ​

      1. amarlow

        Oct 31

        Ahhh… spoken like a true, inside-the-beltway diplomat!
        ~Allen

        1. Pati

          Nov 01

          haha!

        2. Pati

          Nov 01

          haha!

      2. amarlow

        Oct 31

        Ahhh… spoken like a true, inside-the-beltway diplomat!
        ~Allen

  28. Brenda Babcock

    Sep 17

    Love your passion(s)! How very interesting! But … you leave us hanging 🙂 What are the answers to your ceviche questions above?

  29. Brenda Babcock

    Sep 17

    Love your passion(s)! How very interesting! But … you leave us hanging 🙂 What are the answers to your ceviche questions above?

    1. Pati

      Oct 11

      Turns out Mexicans and Peruvians were both doing it long before the Spanish arrived! I say it’s a tie. =)

  30. Buffy Miller

    Sep 05

    Your job in a think tank doesn’t surprise me. I could tell you were very intelligent the first time I saw you on TV. I’m glad you switched to being a chef. I believe that everyone should pursue their passion to be truly happy. Thank you for all your wonderful recipes.

    1. Pati

      Sep 05

      Thank you!

  31. Buffy Miller

    Sep 05

    Doesn’t surprise me. I could tell you were very intelligent the first time I saw you on TV. I’m glad you are a chef. I strongly believe that you need to pursue your passion to be truly happy. Thank you for the wonderful recipes.

  32. M Carst

    Jul 24

    Delicious ceviche!

    1. Pati

      Jul 25

      Thank you!

      1. Tim

        Nov 13

        I haven’t made it yet. I have eaten Ceviche from the Officer’s Club at the old Fort Clayton Base in Panama, which was exceptional. I hope this is as good. Pati your making my mouth water just thinking of it.

        1. Pati

          Nov 16

          Panama?! Now THAT sounds divine, Tim! I hope you enjoy it!

  33. Grandma

    Jun 21

    Hi Patie, This dish this did is the bomb . COM ….

    1. Pati

      Jun 30

      Haha!! So glad you like it!

  34. Erich Brough

    Jun 05

    ¡Imaginase! My mind is now officially blown… Pati, a think-tank academic?? Shut the front door!

    1. Pati

      Jun 09

      =)

  35. Chris Beck

    May 13

    Making this tonite for missionary friends who are leaving San Diego for 3 years in Norway. Hope this makes them homesick. I’m substituting blood oranges because…well…Shelley went with nectarines.

    1. Pati

      May 16

      =)

  36. Shelley Geary

    May 08

    Omg, I just made this for Mother’s day lunch and you’re right, it’s to die for. I used nectarines instead of mangoes since I had them here and it’s still delicious. Thanks! Your recipes never disappoint, Pati.

    1. Pati

      May 09

      YAY!!!!

  37. wrknathome

    May 08

    Thanks for sharing this, Pati. I had to laugh when you described the difference between the Peruvian and Mexican approaches to this classic dish. My first experience with Ceviche was in a small restaurant in the Mid-west US many years ago. My co-workers were both Mexican and Peruvian. One day (after a fairly long night of imbibing I might add) my good friend Kike (de Peru) promised to make some civiche for breakfast. I didn’t know what it was. He did use Snapper with lots of garlic, onions, peppers and lemon. As I recall he also used lettuce as well, which was interesting. My point is that he let it sit for maybe a few minutes before serving. I thought I was eating raw fish! But it was really fantastic and delicious. I look forward to trying your recipe. Thanks again!

    1. Pati

      May 09

      Lettuce? Amazing!!!!! Love this story! Thanks for sharing and for trying my recipe!

  38. Jor

    May 05

    Made this tonight and it was delicious! I thought the cacao nibs would be weird but they weren’t.

    1. Pati

      May 09

      yay!

  39. MB

    May 05

    Hi Pati,
    I just saw your mango, avocado, bacon shrimp rolls on TODAY. They look amazing. I’m unable to eat avocado. What if anything, would you suggest as a replacement for avocado?
    Thank you!!
    Myrna

    1. Pati

      May 12

      If you don’t like avocado, you can either skip it or add cherry tomatoes, asparagus or corn…. I think those would be lovely in there too!

      1. MB

        May 12

        Wonderful! Thank you Pati!

  40. jkraszkowski

    May 04

    Can raw shrimp be used in this recipe but marinated longerer? How much longer? Thank you!

    1. Pati

      May 09

      ​Yes! Raw shrimp would be lovely, marinade is the same time. ​ ​You can also quickly “blanche” the shrimp, in hot boiling water for 1 minute. ​

  41. Shuly

    May 03

    Pati, por fa acaba de contarnos la historia del ceviche/cebiche, me dejaste picada!

    1. Pati

      May 09

      ​Voy a escribir un articulo al respecto!​

  42. Velia

    May 03

    Is this your version of ceviche? If not, where did it come from? Never heard of adding mangos, orange juice or cacao nibs to it. But then the world’s cuisine varies a lot!

    1. Pati

      May 04

      Yes, this is my recipe! I hope you like it =)

      1. Velia

        May 04

        I will, thank you

  43. lecole

    May 03

    Pineapple is a new world citrus fruit; is there any evidence that it was used in ceviche prior to the arrival of lemons, limes, etc.?

    1. Pati

      May 09

      No evidence that I have found yet, but sounds very plausible

  44. Ben Gritzewsky

    May 03

    Hola Pati. I am dying to try it – I think even I can make it! I’ll let you know…abrazo

    1. Pati

      May 04

      Yes, Ben! Let me know!

      1. Ben Gritzewsky

        Jun 13

        Pati, the ceviche was awesome! Smart career move of yours!

        1. Pati

          Jun 14

          I’m glad you liked it, Ben! Thank you for trying it!

  45. Nun Ya

    May 03

    I can eat Ceviche every day! I Just had Cebiche Chileno yesterday and it was amazing with cucumber. I can’t wait to try your recipe. My mouth is watering now.

    1. Pati

      May 04

      Yay!

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