A Refreshing Take: Tilapia Ceviche Recipe

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Ceviche is a vibrant Latin American dish that bursts with fresh flavors. It’s traditionally made with raw seafood cured in citrus juices, but this recipe uses the delightful tilapia fish, offering a light and healthy option.

This guide will take you through everything you need to know to create a restaurant-worthy tilapia ceviche at home, from picking the freshest ingredients to plating it up for a stunning presentation.

Tilapia Ceviche
Tilapia Ceviche


1 pound fresh tilapia fillets (skinless and boneless)

  • 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 limes, juiced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 grapefruit, juiced (about ½ cup)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped (adjust for spice preference)
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 avocado, pitted, diced, and tossed with lime juice (to prevent browning)
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh red bell pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh yellow bell pepper
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Optional garnishes: fresh cilantro sprigs, chopped fresh jalapeno, avocado slices, lime wedges, tostadas or tortilla chips

  • Directions

    1. Prepare the Tilapia:

  • Rinse the tilapia fillets thoroughly under cold water and pat them dry with paper towels.
  • Freeze the tilapia fillets for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours. Freezing helps kill any potential parasites and ensures a safe and delicious ceviche. Thaw the fillets completely in the refrigerator before using.
  • Cut the thawed tilapia fillets into bite-sized cubes.

  • 2. Marinate the Seafood:

  • In a large bowl, combine the freshly squeezed lime and grapefruit juices.
  • Add the chopped red onion and jalapeno pepper to the citrus juices. Let the mixture marinate for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
  • Gently add the cubed tilapia to the citrus marinade. Important Note: The acidity of the citrus juices will “cook” the fish. Aim for a marinating time of 20-30 minutes, but no longer than 45 minutes to prevent the fish from becoming overly tough.

  • 3. Assemble the Ceviche:

  • Once the tilapia is fully cured, drain the citrus marinade from the fish.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the drained tilapia with the chopped avocado, cucumber, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, and chopped fresh cilantro.
  • Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

  • 4. Serve and Enjoy:

  • For a beautiful presentation, transfer the ceviche mixture to a serving platter or chilled bowls.
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro sprigs, chopped jalapeno (optional, for an extra kick), avocado slices, and lime wedges.
  • Serve immediately with tostadas or tortilla chips for scooping.

  • Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

    This recipe yields approximately 4-6 servings. Here’s a general estimate of the nutritional content per serving:

    Calories: 250-300

  • Protein: 30-40 grams
  • Fat: 5-10 grams (depending on added avocado)
  • Carbohydrates: 10-15 grams
  • Sodium: Trace amounts (depending on added salt)
  • Vitamin C: Excellent source (from citrus juices)

  • Please note: This is just an approximation, and the actual nutritional content can vary depending on the specific ingredients you use and portion sizes.


    This tilapia ceviche recipe is a delightful combination of fresh, vibrant flavors and textures. It’s a perfect appetizer or light main course for a healthy and satisfying meal. With its ease of preparation and impressive presentation, this ceviche is sure to become a crowd-pleaser!

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1. Can I use a different type of fish besides tilapia?

    Absolutely! Popular ceviche options include cod, sea bass, scallops, shrimp, or even a combination of seafood. Just remember to follow proper freezing guidelines for raw fish consumption.

    2. How long will leftover ceviche stay fresh?

    Due to the raw fish and citrus marinade, leftover ceviche should not be stored for longer than 24 hours in the refrigerator. It’s best enjoyed fresh for optimal taste and safety.

    3. Is there a non-citrus way to marinate ceviche?