Cod ceviche is one of my all time favorite appetizers. Scooped up with crispy tortilla chips, it's salty, spicy, and refreshing. This easy and healthy cod ceviche recipe with lime and jalapeño is a traditional Peruvian dish that is popular around the world. With just 6 ingredients, 15 minutes of active time, and less than 100 calories per serving, this is a fantastic appetizer for any occasion!
Why I made this recipe
I love seafood and I also love the flavours of South America. Fresh fish combined with chilis, fresh herbs and citrus dressing is magical. A tasty appetizer with lots of great health benefits.
This is inspired by and very similar to my Mexican tuna ceviche. While I might be biased, I think this is the best fish ceviche recipe there is. Simple, fresh and authentic.
If you like this one, you might love Coctel De Camaron (Mexican Shrimp Cocktail, my take on a Cuban Gin Mojito, or the Top 20+ Authentic Mexican Soup Recipes. Don't forget to make a refreshing Margarita to serve alongside any of these delicious recipes.
With just 6 main ingredients (plus sea salt and black pepper), this Peruvian ceviche comes together fast. This is a fabulous and healthy recipe that is easy to make for an intimate evening for two or double it up for a party.
- Cod - Boneless fillets of pacific cod are what I buy but rockfish, red snapper, Atlantic cod or lingcod are all great options. If you have a whole codfish, you can fillet it yourself. Then run your fingers down the pieces of fish to check for bones. Trim out any remains bones from the cod fillets and give them a rinse with cold water to get rid of any remaining scales. Pat it dry and dice it into small, even cubes. Buy the freshest fish possible for this dish as it is the main ingredient and be sure to keep it refrigerated or on ice.
- Lime Juice - The other main ingredient in traditional ceviche, using fresh lime juice will take this dish from average to awesome. Fresh lime juice is sweeter, the acid is less harsh and it just all round tastes better. If you must use bottles lime juice, add 2 teaspoon of sugar to it to temper the acidity and bring out the fruity flavor.
- Chili Peppers - Ahi peppers are the traditional Peruvian chili pepper but I've used jalapeno chili peppers because they are easier to find throughout North America. If you can get aji chilis, definitely use them! You can use other peppers too. Habaneros make a spicier ceviche while Anaheim and bell peppers will make a milder version.
- Red Onion - I've used red onion, mainly for the pretty color. If you like white onion, sweet onions (Spanish onions) are a great alternative.
See recipe card for quantities.
Substitutions + Variations
- Fish - Almost any fresh white fish that you like the flavor of, will work well in this ceviche recipe. Sea bass, tuna, mahi mahi or any other sushi grade seafood at the marketplace are great. You can make shrimp ceviche too and when I was in Thailand, they made a version of shellfish ceviche with what looked like little clams and oysters. (If you choose shellfish, it must be fresh, live and shucked right before using.)
- Citrus Juices - Lime is traditional but lemon juice can be swapped at a 1:1 ratio. Ceviche needs a high acidity level properly marinate the fish so oranges won't work well. If you like the flavor of orange, other citrus or passion fruit in your ceviche, you can add it in at the end. Simply drain off ¼ cup of the lime juice once the fish is opaque and "cooked" and add ¼ cup of your favourite fresh squeezed juice.
- Doubling The Recipe - Easily double (or even triple) this recipe for a crowd. This recipe multiplies really easily. You may need less lime if you have a deep bowl. You know you have enough as long as your cod pieces are fully submerged in the lime juice.
With just a few minutes to juice the limes and slice up the raw fish, you'll have this marinating in the fridge in no time. Once you're ready to serve, just bring it out and add some tasty sides to scoop it up with and enjoy. I highly recommend serving it with a homemade margarita 😉
Step 1. Dice your cod filets into even ¼" or ½" cubes and place it in a large bowl. Having a very sharp knife makes this job easy and will keep your cubes looking neat.
Step 2. Pour over the lime juice to start the "cooking" process. Place marinating fish in the fridge while you continue to chop the other ingredients.
Step 3. Stir in the slivered onion and continue to let the fish mixture marinade in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes.
Step 4. Add in the rest of the ingredients.
5. Stir together gently and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve right away or place back in the refrigerator until you're ready to serve.
What To Serve Cod Ceviche With
You can serve it up in small bowls, one large bowl or give it to each guest in a martini glass for fun, individual servings. Peruvians like some cooked thin slices of sweet potato alongside and some saltine crackers or tortilla chips. Ceviche makes a great potluck or buffet dish.
You can scoop it onto tostadas for a great appetizer or serve it over an avocado salad for a light main course.
For drinks, cold beer, a Pisco sour or a margarita are all great, refreshing beverages. For non-alcoholic choices, a limonada (Peruvian limeade), lemonade or aqua Fresca are great options.
There are a few tips to make the very best ceviche de pescado.
- Prepared properly, ceviche is very safe. For food safety, buy freshest, best fish available and store it properly (on ice or in the fridge) to prevent harmful bacteria from forming.
- Cut your fresh cod into even small pieces for so it cures properly and evenly.
- Use fresh lime juice and fresh cilantro (aka fresh coriander) for the tastiest and best finished dish. Fresh herbs make such a difference in uncooked recipes, they are definitely worth seeking out.
Made this way, with no shortcuts, this is one of my favourite dishes!
Rock cod, pacific cod (aka gray cod) and Atlantic cod are all wonderful white fish that firm up perfectly for ceviche. Lingcod and red snapper are great, firm white fish to use as well. Ideally you should choose the freshest type of fish available when shopping.
Once your fresh cod is marinated in the acidic lime juice, it keeps really well for 3 days. The vegetables will be less crisp but the fish preserves well and stays firm and fresh tasting. Keep it in the fridge covered with plastic wrap.
Pin It For Later
I hope you like this Peruvian cod ceviche as much as me and my family. If you try it, leave a star rating in the recipe card or let me know how you like it in the comments below.
Cheers and happy cooking, Friends! Sabrina
Easy and Healthy Peruvian Cod Ceviche With Lime And Jalapeño
- ¾ lb Fresh Cod (340 grams)
- ¾ c Fresh Lime Juice
- ½ c Red Onion finely sliced
- 2 tablespoon Jalapeno +/- to taste, finely diced
- 2 tablespoon Tomato finely diced
- ¼ c Cilantro finely chopped
- Salt + Pepper
- Squeeze your fresh lime to make ¾ cup of juice.
- Evenly dice fresh cod to ¼" or ½" cubes. Add to a medium sized bowl and pour in fresh lime juice and 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir well and place bowl in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, finely slice red onion and add to chilled bowl of ceviche. Return to fridge and dice up tomato, jalapeno and cilantro.
- After fish has been marinating for 30 minutes (or up to 4 hours), remove from fridge and add tomato, jalapeno and cilantro. Stir through and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve with slices of cooked sweet potato, tortilla chips, saltines or tostadas for a great appetizer or light main course.