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Ramon’s fish ceviche {Ceviche de pescado}

This is my brother Ramon’s fish ceviche recipe, aka ceviche de pescado. We make it with fresh fish “cooked” in lime juice with hot peppers and garlic, and then mixed with lime marinated red onions (or shallots), tomatoes, bell peppers, and cilantro.

Fish ceviche with chifles

En Español

I used to tell Ramon that he could visit us whenever he wanted as long as he made this ceviche for us. Not only is it so good and refreshing, but he also does all the work (cutting the fish, dicing/slicing the vegetables, and squeezing all those limes is hard work). These days when we visit him in Ecuador, he’s still kind enough to prepare it for us. 

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Preparing fish ceviche in Ecuador

Our family has always been pro spicy food and we add aji or spicy hot sauce to almost anything. You should have seen the look on the French relatives faces when they saw Ramon add some Tabasco to his foie gras.

Ramon’s fish ceviche is similar to my friend Mafi’s recipe, however he adds spicy hot peppers (just sliced) and some garlic cloves (gently crushed) to infuse spiciness into the fish. He removes the hot peppers and garlic before adding the rest of ingredients, and will dice the hot peppers so that if anyone wants extra heat they can add it to their own individual ceviche bowl.

My brother's fish ceviche recipe

In Ecuador we have a small red onion variety – called cebolla paiteña – that is spicier and stronger than the red onions that are common in the US and Europe. When Ramon started preparing ceviche in the US he found that shallots were more similar to the Ecuadorian cebolla paiteña and used them for this ceviche. I find that slicing shallots is a pain, so depending on the amount of time (and patience) that I have, I sometimes will use regular red onions. Though, I do try to buy smaller red onions when I make ceviche and onion curtido.

Ceviche or cebiche de pescado ecuatoriano

Ceviche is one of those mouthwatering dishes that is perfect for a warm day or when you want to reminisce about those relaxing days spent at the beach. The younger me would add that ceviche is also a great hangover cure.

Ecuadorian fish ceviche

You can make it with many different types of seafood and non-seafood ingredients. But when most people think of ceviche, it’s usually the fish variation, especially since ceviche made with fish is the one where the lime juice “cooks” the fish. I use quotes because the fish might look like it’s cooked, but it does not cook to the same extent as when you cook it over a heat source. This is why there are warnings and if you have any condition that prevents you from eating raw fish or sushi, then the same probably applies to most variations of fish ceviche.

Ecuadorian ceviche de pescado recipe

Now for other types of ceviche, like shrimp or octopus, at least in Ecuador, the seafood is actually cooked with regular heat and then marinated with the lime juice and vegetables. It essentially depends on the seafood, the more delicate and the fresher seafood is more likely it is to be cooked with lime juice.

Ramon's fish ceviche or fish cebiche recipe

Other ceviches containing raw seafood include oysters, scallops, and the mouthwatering ceviche de concha, a ceviche made from fresh black clams, which you can usually prepare fresh and serve immediately. You can complement this ceviche with chifles (thin green plantain chips) or patacones/tostones (thick green plantain chips), tostado or cancha style corn nuts, popcorn, and hot sauce for an extra kick.

Ecuadorian fish ceviche

Ramon’s fish ceviche {Ceviche de pescado}

My brother Ramon’s fish ceviche recipe (ceviche de pescado), made with fish “cooked” in lime juice with hot peppers and garlic, and then mixed with red onions (or shallots), tomatoes, bell peppers, and cilantro.
4.74 from 624 votes
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Course: Appetizer, Fish
Cuisine: Ecuadorian, Latin, South American
Keyword: Cebiche, Ceviche, Ecuadorian ceviche, Fish ceviche
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8 people, as an appetizer


  • 2 pounds of white fish fillets corvina, halibut, sea bass, tilapia, mahi mahi, snapper, cut into small square pieces
  • 2-3 hot peppers can use Ecuadorian style aji peppers, red chilies, or serranos, sliced
  • 2-4 garlic cloves whole but gently crushed (optional)
  • 2-3 small red onions use Ecuadorian style cebolla paiteña or replace with 4-5 large shallots, peeled and finely sliced
  • 4 tomatoes diced
  • 2 bell peppers any color, diced
  • 20 small to medium sized limes separated into about 10 limes to cook the fish and 10 limes for the onion and tomato marinade
  • 1 bunch of cilantro chopped as finely as possible
  • 2-3 tablespoon of oil avocado oil, sunflower oil, etc
  • Salt to taste

Fish ceviche sides or toppings:


  • Place the diced raw fish in a large bowl or dish with the sliced hot peppers, garlic cloves, a tablespoon of chopped cilantro, 1-2 teaspoons of salt, and cover it with lime juice from about 10 limes, the fish should be completely covered or almost completely covered by the lime juice.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for about 3-4 hours.
  • Place the sliced onions or shallots in a bowl, sprinkle them with a few teaspoons of salt and add warm water (enough to cover the onions), let rest for about 10 minutes, drain and rinse well with cold water.
  • Combine the rinsed onions with the diced tomatoes and diced bell peppers. Add the juice from about 5 limes and some salt. Let this mix marinate for at least 10 minutes, it can also be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated until ready to mix with the fish.
  • Once the fish is “cooked” in the lime juice, it should be completely white, remove the sliced hot peppers and garlic cloves. Based on your preference, and the acidity level, you can keep all the lime juice where the fish cooked in, or just some of it. You can strain the liquid to remove any pieces of hot peppers (or seeds) or garlic.
  • Add the marinated onion or shallot, tomato, and bell pepper mix to the fish. Add the chopped cilantro, oil, salt and additional lime juice to taste. You can serve immediately or let it rest for another 20-30 minutes before serving.
  • Serve with chifles, patacones, popcorn or corn nuts as well as with some good hot sauce or aji.

Step by step photos for how to make fish ceviche:

Limes for ceviche in Ecuador
Making fish ceviche
Onions, tomato and bell pepper with lime juice for ceviche
How to make Ecuadorian fish ceviche
Mix the fish with the onions, tomatoes, peppers, and cilantro
Fish ceviche
Ceviche de pescado
Fish ceviche
Fish ceviche or ceviche de pescado preparation
Fish ceviche
Ecuadorian fish ceviche or cebiche with plantain chips

More ceviche recipes:

Shrimp ceviche

Mango ceviche

Mafi’s fish ceviche

Octopus ceviche

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  1. So good! This was my first time attempting ceviche. I used sole. I added a little fresh ginger and diced avocado too. And I went with red onion because its what I had but next time I’ll try the shallots. I thought the red onion was a bit overpowering. But other than that, it was so refreshing and yummy! Cant wait to bring it to a bbq this summer :)

  2. I’m making your recipe at the moment and the fish, lime juice, peppers and a bit of cilantro are marinating. I notice that in the photos it appears that there are some peppers in the final product. However you say that when we replace the lime juice, we must throw out the peppers. But no where does it state where to add more peppers. These are not just chopped tomatoes in the photo. I’m also worried that without the peppers that the ceviche won’t be hot enough.

    1. Hi Dee – The peppers in the final photos are bell peppers. The hot peppers are mainly used to infuse heat and flavor into the fish while it’s marinating, and can discarded if you feel they’ve already added enough heat during the marinating process. You can also diced them and add them to the final ceviche if you want extra heat.

      1. Thanks. I already decided to put some jalapenos and hot red peppers diced very fine on the side (for those who may have wanted more heat). By the way, it was brought to a pot luck and was enjoyed by the folks there.

  3. My sister and her husband have discerning tastes when it comes to ceviche. I tried a traditional Peruvian recipe that I was taught when I traveled there, but everyone was not impressed. Last week I prepared your recipe using halibut and they absolutely loved it. The batch was huge, but the fish stayed crisp for days after it was prepared. We enjoyed it from beginning to end-thank you.

  4. Hi, thank you for wonderful and inspiring recipes. I live in Norway, so it’s a wonderful cultural escape for me. I made the shrimp ceviche today, and it was fantastic.
    I am wondering though, can this fish ceviche be made a day ahead? We are having a party on a friday, and I will not have time to make it after work. Thank you:)

    The fish will be overcooked, it can get rubbery if you make it a day ahead. In this case, I would prepare the shrimp one, but add the tomato and cilantro right before the party (you have them prepped and sliced/chopped).

  5. I was wondering if you could skip the last step where you rince the fish and take away all the inrediants that have been cooking the fish, then replace the maranating lime juice then …. so on. could you skip that step and keep the maranating lime juice and peppers ect and serve that or is that not right? its just because 20 limes is alot!!!!

    1. Yes, you can can skip it, but sometimes the lime juice where the fish cooked gets bitter, so it tastes better to have fresh lime juice for the last part.

  6. Hi Laylita,

    Would you please put together a table of content listing all the recipes? The categories on the side are helpful, but not quite effective when looking for a specific dish. I tried the ‘Search site’ link to look for aji and the results were of other dishes that had aji on them. I was able to find aji when I clicked on the ‘Sauces’ category. Anyways, this is just a recommendation. As for the recipes, I can’t wait to try them. Plus the pictures look enticing .. yummy!

    Congrats – great job! Thanks for sharing…

  7. Original peruvian ceviche are the best for me..i’ll try your recipe though : )

    This ceviche is closer to the original way that ceviche was prepared in the pre-Inca and Inca times, the modern day Peruvian style ceviche has a significant Japanese influence. I love both, but I have to have my ceviche with the liquid that it cooked in because it’s what I’m used to, and I’m not a huge fan of sweet potato with my ceviche (too mushy).

  8. June 1st was opening day of red snapper season and with the fish we caught I followed your recipe with the exception of the shallots. My local grocery did not have shallots available so I substituted red onion. The marinade was exceptional and “cooked” the snapper to perfection but I did leave the fish in for about 10 hours. I used three large red onions and I feel the red onion overpowered the dish however it was still the talk of the party dispute my palate. I wished to thank you for the recipe and to pass on my experience.

  9. Dear Laylita,

    Been following your webpage for a few years now. I love and share your passion and dedication.

    I’ve been traveling back to Ecuador a few times and found something wonderful: Ecuadoreans are rediscovering their food. In the 80’s & 90’s it was much easier to find a burger or pizza than good traditional food. Now there has been an explosion of Ecuadorean food chains such as Menestras del Negro or Ceviches de la Rumiñahui to name a couple in Quito.

    I agree with you that nothing beats a ceviche or cebiche (depends where you are) by the sea, but was very impressed with Ceviches de la Rumiñahui in Quito (highlands). Strongly recommend it to travelers!

    You point out the difference of ceviches between Ecuador and Peru. Respectfully would like to add further. The differences are not also clearly marked between the highlands and the coast, but also between provinces. I am originally from Quito, but will not trade a ceviche from Manabi. A Guayas ceviche is different from what you find 50 miles up in Manabi, or another drive north to Esmeraldas, where I’ve had variations with peanut, coconut and salprieta.

    For such a small country, the diversity of foods is enormous… I took my oldest son this past summer to Ecuador and cannot recall as vividly the beauty of the country as much as the richness and variety of our flavors. He was truly amazed and impressed!

    Again, thank you for what you do.

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