6 Ceviche Recipes & Pairings from Around the Globe
A hot day by the ocean or the pool might beg for a cold brew and a basket of chips with guacamole. But at some of the world’s most luxurious resorts, the sips and snacks are a whole lot more enticing, with delicate wines being the drink of choice to serve alongside another classic summer dish–ceviche.
If you’re already missing hot summer days, extend the season’s flavors into fall with these superstar recipes that bring the fresh and light hot weather staple back into your kitchen. Ceviche is not only surprisingly easy to make, but also pairs well with a variety of crisp and creamy wines that enhance the recipe’s vibrant citrus and bite without overpowering the delicate flavors of the fish.
Recipe courtesy of Pacific Resort Aitutaki, Cook Islands.
While in the Pacific paradise that is Aitutaki, there’s not a care in the world, unless you run out of Ika Mata. At Pacific Resort, what makes their ceviche a truly regional, Cook Islands-inspired dish is the coconut cream (made from husking, grating and squeezing fresh coconut) and red chili. The sweet-hot combination takes the traditional lime-marinated dish to new levels of complexity. As such, the wine pairing needs to be less complicated or the taste buds get confused. Lawson’s Dry Hills Pinot Gris from New Zealand is the resort’s wine pairing of choice for its full but smooth body alongside a floral finish with hints of pear, which bring out the silkiness of the coconut and tone down the spiciness of the chili.
- 1¾ to 2 pounds yellow fin tuna (fillet, skin and bone removed)
- ½ cup plus 5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- ½ cup diced tomatoes
- ½ cup chopped red or green bell pepper
- 1 stalk spring onion
- 6 cups coconut cream, homemade using your favorite recipe, or store-bought coconut milk can be used as a substitute
- 1 finely chopped red chili
- 1 small bunch of fresh, chopped coriander
- ¼ cup onion, diced
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Coconut shells and fresh lemon slices, for serving
- Cut the tuna into ½-inch pieces.
Place the tuna and lemon juice in large ceramic or glass bowl and toss to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for an hour to marinate, tossing occasionally with a wooden spoon.
Remove the fish from the fridge and add the tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, coconut cream and chili, stirring gently to combine. Add in the coriander and spring onion. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve in ½ a coconut shell with fresh sliced lemons. Serves 10.
Ceviche is a traditional way to eat on the beach in Mexico, especially in Nayarit. It is most commonly made with tuna or shrimp, but at the Four Seasons Punta Mita, their octopus version is as good and local as it gets. You can even go out and catch it yourself, then prepare it with Chef José Salas for a true ocean-to-table experience. Served with large chips, the crunch of the tostadas makes it fun and easy to eat.
- To prepare the octopus:
- 2 fresh octopus (1-pound each), cleaned and rinsed well
- 1 cup mirepoix (roughly chopped celery, onion, and carrot)
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ bunch of parsley
- Pinch of salt, to taste
- To prepare the ceviche:
- ½ cup diced red onion
- ½ cup diced cucumber
- ½ cup diced tomato, seedless
- 1 serrano chili, diced (seedless if you don’t want it too spicy)
- Juice of 1 lime
- 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 12 corn tostadas or a bag of tortillas chips
- ½ cup chipotle aioli (your favorite recipe or store bought is fine)
- Cut the tentacles in ¼-inch cubes or slices.
To prepare the octopus:
Wash the octopus under cold water and rinse well. Bring ¾ gallon of water to a boil, add the octopus and reduce the heat to a simmer, skimming off the foam from time to time. When all the foam is gone, add the mirepoix and bay leaf to the water. Continue simmering for approximately 1 hour until the octopus is cooked and tender. (The octopus must always be submerged in water. Add more water, if needed.) When cooked, strain and let cool down. Cut off the tentacles individually and reserve.
Note: The head of a small octopus is not substantial—with a sheath-like casing like a balloon. It’s also thin and less flavorful than the tentacles. You can choose to dispose of the head and not use it in the ceviche. But if not disposing, the hardest part of prepping the octopus head is removing the “beak” (mouth). Start by slicing off the head (work over the sink) and flip the octopus over to remove the beak, which is in the middle of all the legs. It does actually look like a bird’s beak. Use a paring knife to slice around it, then as if coring a tomato, push it through to pop out the other side and remove. Chop and cook with the tentacles.
To prepare the ceviche:
Mix all ingredients together. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve chilled on crispy corn tostadas or with tortillas chips on the side.
Optional: customize your ceviche adding or changing ingredients to your liking such as diced avocado, jalapeño, sweet corn, bell peppers, mango, or pineapple. You can also grill the octopus before cutting and then served as a warm ceviche. Serves 4.
Chef Salas recommends a chilled Cora Beer, the resort’s own artisan beer, while sommelier Alfredo Sánchez prefers the Casa Grande Chardonnay, a Mexican wine from the Parras Valley in Coahuila. Surprisingly rich, with hints of butter and oak, the wine has a delicious, well-balanced acidity and vibrant finish, that perfectly complements the smokiness of the chipotle aioli and sweetness of the octopus.
Recipe courtesy of Executive Chef Franco Rivadeneyra, Hotel Paracas, Paracas, Peru.
Peru is often considered the country where ceviche originated, so it’s no surprise the Peruvians know how to do it right. Franco Rivadeneyra, the executive chef at Hotel Paracas in Peru, was inspired to create this fisherman-style ceviche thanks to the property’s easy access to the freshest sole and the best raw ingredients in the area. This recipe is classically Peruvian, with the additions of lima beans and big Peruvian cancha corn from the mountains.
- 1 pound sole fish filets, cut into cubes
- Salt and black pepper, as desired
- 1 teaspoon ground garlic
- 1 teaspoon chopped cilantro
- ½ teaspoon chopped ginger
- 1 tablespoon chopped celery
- 1 red onion, julienned
- 1 teaspoon rocoto chili paste
- 1 cup lime juice
- ½ cup fish broth
- ½ cup asparagus, blanched and cut into pieces
- ½ cup green lima beans, steamed
- ½ cup steamed corn, for garnish
- ½ cup toasted Cancha corn (can be found in specialty markets, or corn nuts can be substituted), for garnish
Place fish in a bowl, and season with salt, pepper, garlic and cilantro. Add ginger, celery, red onion, rocoto paste and mix well. Pour in lime juice and marinate all for 2 minutes, then add broth.
Add asparagus and lima beans, combine, and adjust seasoning to taste. Serve in a deep plate and garnish with steamed corn and cancha corn. Serves 4.
An homage and tribute to the Ica region, Chef Rivadeneyra pairs it with Intipalka Sauvignon Blanc, from Santiago Queirolo, Peru. Translated to mean “Valley of the Sun,” the wine’s sweet accents of peach and citrus bring out the citrus of the ceviche, while the zest and balanced acidity complements spice of the chili and ginger.
Recipe courtesy Amandari Resort, Ubud, Bali.
Amandari means “peaceful spirits,” and with a location 10 minutes from the arts community of Ubud in central Bali, every part of the property is spirit-calming, exuding luxury and elegance. Their red snapper ceviche is no exception, as sacred as a pool of holy water below where locals have made pilgrimages every six months for centuries.
- 7 ounces red snapper, deboned, skinned and filleted
- Juice of 2 kaffir limes, plus finely chop ½ kaffir lime leaf
- ½ teaspoon Balinese torch ginger, finely sliced*
- ½ stalk lemongrass, finely sliced
- 1 ripe tomato, deseeded and finely diced
- 2 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced
- ½ cup of cucumber ribbons
- 1–2 fresh red chilies, deseeded and finely chopped
- 4 sprigs of fresh mint, leaves picked and chopped
- 4 sprigs of fresh cilantro, leaves picked and chopped
- 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, for garnish
- Pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, for garnish
Slice snapper into ½-inch pieces. Place in a bowl with lime juice, lemongrass, chili and ginger. Marinate in the fridge for 15–20 minutes. Add tomato, onion, cucumber ribbons, chilies, mint and cilantro. Reserve a pinch of the herbs for garnish at the end. Use a spoon to gently mix together all ingredients in the bowl. Season lightly with salt and pepper, to taste. Garnish with fresh herbs and a drizzle of coconut oil before serving.
* Torch ginger is the long-stemmed bud of the ginger flower that resembles a pink spear-like bulb and stem before it blossoms into a waxy-petalled ginger flower. Technically an herb and a member of the perennial ginger family, the bud releases an aromatic, floral fragrance with a hint of citrus and spicy pepper. Find it at your local Asian market or some specialty farmer’s markets. It may also be called bunga kantan (in Malay).
The chef recommends Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé NV Champagne, with exotic citrus and fresh strawberry flavors, and a sexy sweet hint of ginger, lemon shortbread and spicy herbal notes. The clean mineral finish is ideal to cool down in the hot, humid Balinese climate.
Sometimes a pairing so perfect is like art for the taste buds. Chef Andrés Dávila’s Ecuadorian Shrimp Ceviche at Casa Gangotena in Quito, paried with Montes Cherub Rosé of Syrah 2013 from Chile’s Colchagua Valley is exactly that. Using Ecuadorian shrimp—what many consider to be the world’s best shrimp—and served with a base of its own juices with onion, lime, orange and tomato, it is served with chifles (green plantain chips), tostado (toasted corn), popcorn and a traditional spicy sauce from the region.
- Short Stock (to cook shrimp):
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 red onion, quartered, plus 2 red onions, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves
- 3 sprigs of cilantro
- 1 whole red chili
- 2 ounces lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 pounds of raw large shrimp (labeled 31–35 per pound)
- 5 tomatoes
- Juice of 10 limes
- Juice of 8 oranges
- 1 small bunch of cilantro finely chopped (just the leaves)
- 1 teaspoon of mild mustard
- Salt, pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon of oil (sunflower or canola oil)
- 2 cups chifles (green plantain chips)
- 1 cup toasted corn and popcorn, optional
Bring 8 cups of water to boil and add the bay leaf, quartered onion, garlic, cilantro, chili, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Cook the shrimp in the short stock for 3 to 5 minutes, then put it in cold water with ice to stop the cooking process. Remove the shrimp from the broth and reserve both.
Soak the onion slices in lime juice for about 5 minutes, rinse well and drain. Peel and seed 4 tomatoes, then cut into cubes. Finely chop the remaining tomato and add it to the reserved shrimp stock. Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl and let it sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Serve with chifles (green plantain chips) to scoop the ceviche like a spoon, and if desired, add toasted corn and popcorn to top the ceviche with for added saltiness and texture.
To eat it like a local, add a couple drops of your favorite hot sauce, like Tapatio or Sriracha, on top of the bite size, loaded plantain chips.
The well-balanced and fresh Rosé of Syrah honors the character of the grape, while the powerful fruit concentration and a bright acidity brings out the delicate citrus and spiciness of the ceviche.
Belmond El Encanto’s Executive Chef Leo Andres Ayala puts a California twist on the classic ceviche in his signature Halibut Ceviche. Sourced with local Southern California ingredients like avocado, his fish of choice is halibut infused with cucumber, citrus, and jalapeño for a little kick. The dish is served with made-to-order lemon pepper tortilla chips.
Storm 2013 Presqu’ile Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc (Santa Maria Valley)
- 1 pound halibut filet
- 4 ounces thinly sliced English cucumber
- 2 ounces thinly sliced jalapeño pepper
- ½ cup lemon juice, fresh squeezed
- ½ cup lime juice, fresh squeezed
- ¾ cup orange juice, fresh squeezed
- Salt and crushed black pepper, to taste
- Canola oil (enough for frying tortillas)
- 4 corn tortillas, quartered
- Harissa paste, (your favorite recipe or store-bought), to taste
- ½ of medium sized avocado
Cut the fresh halibut into small strips, set aside in a medium bowl. Add both the cucumber and jalapeño to the halibut. Mix all the juices with the halibut mixture. Taste and add the salt and pepper to your liking, and combine well.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for at least 3 hours for mixture to cure.
While the ceviche is curing, heat canola oil in a frying pan to 350 degrees. Add tortillas to the oil and fry for 2–3 minutes on each side, or until chips have reached desired crispness. Season fresh tortilla chips with a pinch of salt.
Once ceviche is sufficiently cured (at least 30 minutes) divide evenly between two dishes with the chips alongside. Spread a thin layer of harissa on the chips, as desired, along with a slice of avocado. Serves 2.
Belmond recommends pairing it with the Storm Vineyards’ 2013 Presqu’ile Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc from the Santa Maria Valley. Berries and jalapeño give the wine a sweet and spicy nose, while a juicy fruit quality lingers on the palate for a bold and salty marriage of flavors that highlights the subtle spice and saltiness of the fish.
- 1Cook Islands Style: Ika Mata
- 2Mexican Style: Octopus Ceviche
- 3Peruvian Style: Ica Ceviche
- 4Balinese Style: Red Snapper Ceviche
- 5Ecuadorian Style: Shrimp Ceviche
- 6California Style: Leo’s Halibut Ceviche