Mexican Tilapia Ceviche

tilapia ceviche recipe, mexico

This is my favorite quick dinner. Tilapia ceviche is addictive. It’s also healthy, and you can make it under half an hour. It graces our dinner table at least once a week and no one gets tired of it. Ceviche is commonly sold by street vendors here in Mexico, but it’s so easy to prepare, why not make your own? Then you can have it just the way you like it.

Ceviche Ingredients

Ingredients for Tilapia ceviche, Mexico

I use tilapia because it’s inexpensive (about $4 USD/kilo), commonly available, mild tasting, and firm. But Mexican ceviche can be made with any similar fish. Just use something neutral tasting with firm-enough flesh so that it makes nice-looking cubes instead of mushy blobs. Red snapper, mahi mahi, and sea bass work well, as do shrimp, octopus, squid, and other types of shellfish. Be creative.

One filet per person should do it….maybe 4 oz each? For the following recipe I used three smallish fillets.

Besides the fish, you’ll need…

6 – 8 limes

1 cucumber

3 or 4 ripe tomatoes

1 small onion (red or white)

2 avocados



1 serrano or jalapeño pepper (This is to taste, obviously. If you don’t like heat, don’t use the whole thing.)


Mexican hot sauce (having said that, I often use Sriracha.)

First prepare the fish

How to prepare fish for ceviche, Mexican ceviche

Use a sharp knife. You need to slice the fish, not saw or hack it. To get super-sharp edges, prep the fish while it is partially frozen.

Cut the tilapia filets into 1-cm strips and then cut those into 1-cm pieces. Don’t make the pieces too big or they will take too long too cook and also be too big to get a nice blend of flavors in each bite.

Put all the cubes into a bowl and then squeeze limes over it until all the fish is covered. I also add a few squirts of Sriracha, but that’s just me. You can’t have too much heat, right?

The fish will cook in 30 to 60 minutes. Don’t let it go much longer than that or it will get rubbery. When the fish is done, drain off the lime juice. (It’s pretty fishy, so you don’t want to use it in your ceviche.)

While the fish is marinading, prepare the rest of your ingredients.

Now prepare the vegetables

Ingredients in tillapia ceviche, Mexico

All veggies should be chopped into small pieces, so you get a nice mix of flavors in each bite.

Chop the onion.

Peel, seed, and chop the cucumber.

Chop the tomatoes.

Seed and dice the serrano.

Peel and cube one avocado.

Make your ceviche

Put everything except the avocado in the bowl. (I add it last so it doesn’t get mushy). It doesn’t really matter how much of each thing you include, because you’re making this to your personal taste. I prefer ceviche when the vegetables don’t overwhelm the fish, so I shoot for a 1:1 ratio of fish to vegetables.

Drain your fish, and the combine it with the vegetables. Mix it gently…don’t smash it around. Once it’s mixed, fold in the avocado cubes and add some salt and chopped cilantro. Sometimes I mix in a spoon or two of olive oil, which balances out the lime a bit.

Serve with tostadas. You can make these or buy them; these are some we made in the oven to use up day-old tortillas. Sometimes I just buy them, if I can find the baked ones.

homemade tostadas, mexican ceviche, tilapia ceviche

Garnish with avocado slices and cilantro. Hot sauce should be close at hand.

authentic mexican ceviche recipe, tilapia ceviche, fish ceviche

Buen provecho!

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Linda Beil January 19, 2014 at 5:51 pm

This recipe sounds great. We are driving down to Puerto Vallarta the end of this week for 2 months. I will be sure to make this recipe numerous times as our casa is very close to the fish market. This will be our first extended stay in Mexico and I’m really looking forward to our time. Thanks for the great recipe, and the wonderful blog.


2 Renee January 19, 2014 at 6:52 pm

Thanks Linda! You’ll have a great time. I’m envious of all that PV humidity….it’s dry here in Morelia and my skin is parched 🙂


3 Svetlana Fro July 3, 2014 at 10:37 pm

Thank you so much for this recipe. It is amazing! This is the first ceviche I have ever made and it was amazing! We ate the whole thing for dinner, was supposed to be appetizer…That’s how good it was. The only thing I did differently is that I marinated fish and vegetables together.


Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

Previous post:

Next post: