Mexican Ceviche de Pescado – Colima Style

Mexican ceviche de pescado is a refreshing, and healthy dish made with fresh fish cooked in lime juice and tossed with various vegetables.

Close-up of Mexican ceviche de pescado served with orange and lime wedges.

What is ceviche de pescado?

Ceviche de pescado is a Mexican dish consisting of raw fish marinated in lime juice and mixed with various types of vegetables.

The dish has a chunky texture and a combination of fresh, tarty flavors with a spicy kick from chiles.

Is mostly served in the country as an appetizer or light meal with tostadas or tortilla chips, and paired with refreshing drinks.

Ceviche can be spelled also as: Cebiche, seviche, or sebiche.

Our recipe features the way is made in Colima, a Mexican central-western state, and is truly delicious and easy to make.

Colima-style Fish Ceviche

I am from a small coastal town called Cuyutlán, which is in the state of Colima. This town is well known for the production of sea salt that dates to pre-hispanic times.

Moreover, Cuyutlán is also popular for the Green Wave (la ola verde), a season of 3-meter-high waves that are notorious for their dark-green color at sunset.

And then there’s the beach of course, where numerous palapa and umbrella restaurants sell amazing food and drinks like camarones a la diabla, pescado a la talla, cóctel de camarones y pulpo, fresh coconut water, and my favorite, fish ceviche.

One of the main differences between the fish ceviche from Colima and one from other states is the way the meat is cut.

In Colima, is common to finely chop the fish to the consistency of ground meat, while in other versions the meat is cut into small cubes.

The texture is also another notorious difference as most recipes aim for a juicy dish, while in Colima you’ll find that it has a dry consistency, perfect to serve over tostadas.

Mexican ceviche de pescado served on tostadas.

Best Type Of Fish To Make Ceviche

Guachinango (red snapper), dorado (Mahi Mahi), halibut, flounder, corvina (sea bass), or Tilapia are the most common choices to make this Mexican ceviche.

But you can also use other types of white-fleshed fish. I have made it even with cod. Just make sure you buy your fish from a trusted source.

Concerned about eating raw fish? – Don’t miss the article Is eating raw fish safe and healthy? in Healthline’s website to answer all your questions.

The Ingredients Needed

  • Fish. White fish with firm flesh (check options above).
  • Chilies. Use chiles verdes like serrano peppers, jalapeno pepper, or anything available to you.
  • Vegetables and herbs. Carrots, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, and lots of fresh cilantro.
  • Lime juice. For cooking the fish. You can also use lemon juice.
  • Orange juice. This citrus juice gives a distinctive flavor to Mexican ceviche.

How To Make Mexican Ceviche de Pescado

Step 1 – Prepare the fish meat.

Start by chopping the fish with a knife. Since the meat is very tender, it won’t take you more than 3-4 minutes to have it finely minced as in the picture below.

Fish meat for ceviche finely chopped on a plastic cutting board.

Now, place the meat in a glass container and add the lime juice. You can use either key limes or regular limes.

If you use key limes you’ll need more pieces to obtain the amount of juice needed.

Adding lime juice to a bowl with fish to make Mexican ceviche.

Make sure the fish meat is well covered with lime juice as this will assure the fish will cook evenly.

Fish meat covered with lime juice in a glass bowl.

Mix well, cover the container with a lid or cling film and allow to macerate for at least 1 hour in the fridge.

Step 2 – Prepare the veggies.

Using a cheese grater, grate the carrots. Dice tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, and green chilies (serrano, jalapeño, etc).

Finely chop the cilantro and last, squeeze the oranges and limes. Set everything aside.

Vegetables for Mexican ceviche de pescado diced and chopped on a wooden cutting board.

Step 3 – Make the Mexican ceviche.

Use your hands to nicely squeeze the fish meat. You need to remove as much juice as possible.

Squeezing the cooked fish meat with hands.

Place it in the bowl where you will prepare the ceviche and crumble it with your hands or using a fork.

Cooked fish meat squeezed and crumbled on a bowl to make ceviche.

Add all vegetables to the bowl, if you’re not used to spicy food, I suggest adding chilies in small batches and then adjusting to your taste after.

All ingredients for Mexican ceviche in a glass bowl before mixed.

Pour lime and orange juice over the ingredients, season with salt, and mix well.

Taste and make flavor adjustments, like adding more lime juice, salt, or even more spicy.

Mixing all ingredients for ceviche de pescado in a bowl.

Serve as suggested below or store in the refrigerator for later. Read below our recommendations for storing Mexican ceviche de pescado.

Recipe Notes

  • The acid from lime juice can react when in touch with stainless or aluminum material, so make sure you use a glass bowl for mixing and storing the ceviche.
  • As one of our readers mentioned in the comments, the juice left where the fish is cooked is called “leche de tigre” (tiger’s milk), and in some versions, like the one from Peru, is used as a condiment for this dish. Try it, you might like it.
  • Any type of semi-firm or firm white fish can be used to make this recipe.
  • Make sure to dice and chop all vegetables into small bits, so the dish will be easier to serve and eat.
  • For extra flavor, you can also add a few tablespoons of homemade Clamato juice, but this is optional.

How To Serve

Mexican ceviche de pescado can be served over tostadas with a few drops of hot sauce.

In Colima, is always served with a side of fresh cucumbers, slices of avocado, and various hot salsas.

A basket with saltine crackers, totopos corn chips, and tostadas is also brought to the table so anyone can eat their fish ceviche as they prefer.

For pairing this refreshing dish, we recommend going with a slightly sweet beverage, such as strawberry horchata fresca or this tropical agua de mango.

In Mexico is very common to pair fish ceviche or any other mariscos (sea food) with cold beer, or other boozy drinks. We recommend trying our classic michelada or this mango michelada with a sweet kick.

Mexican ceviche de pescado served on an enamel plate and various accompaniments scattered around in a turquoise wooden table.

How To Store

Take in mind that this is a fresh recipe made with raw fish, so our recommendation is to not store it for more than 2 days.

Place the Mexican ceviche leftovers in a glass container and close with a lid before storing them in the refrigerator.

If you don’t have a glass container with a lid, use wrap film to nicely cover it and prevent the smell from dispersing.

Related: Is ceviche safe to eat?

Frequently Asked Questions

Where ceviche come from?

Ceviche has a prehispanic origin. According to some food historians, it could be from Perú or Ecuador and then spread throughout other Latin American countries, being Mexico one of the most associated with this typical dish.

Can ceviche be cooked?

You can briefly cook the fish in water, allow to cool down, shred it, then follow the recipe to make the ceviche.

Can ceviche be frozen?

We don’t recommend freezing ceviche de pescado as the texture will change and become mushy when thawed.

How to tell when ceviche is done?

Make sure the fish has marinated for at least one hour fully immersed in the lime juice. After that time, it should have an opaque color and a firmer texture.

Can I make Mexican ceviche with frozen fish?

Absolutely. But before preparing it, make sure to defrost it first in a safe environment, such as the coldest spot in the fridge.

Mexican ceviche de pescado (Colima-style) served on a plate with lime and orange wedges.

Mexican ceviche de pescado (Colima-style)

author Maricruz
This refreshing and healthy Mexican ceviche de pescado is made with the recipe from Colime. Fish is cooked in lime juice and then tossed with vegetables to deliver a delicious and light appetizer.
prep 15 minutes
resting time 1 hour
total 1 hour 15 minutes


For fish marinade

  • 1 lb white-fleshed fish, finely minced (read notes)
  • 1 cup lime juice (freshly squeezed )
  • 1 tsp salt

For ceviche

  • 2 medium carrots (grated)
  • 1 medium white onion (diced)
  • 2 large tomatoes (diced)
  • 1 medium cucumber (diced)
  • 2 serrano chilies (chopped)
  • ½ cup cilantro (finely chopped)
  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice
  • 4 Tbsp lime juice
  • salt (to taste)


  • Add fish to a bowl, pour over the lime juice, and sprinkle with salt.
  • Mix well and allow to marinate for at least 1 hour in the fridge.
  • Squeeze the fish meat with your hands until there's no more liquid coming out.
  • Place fish in a large bowl and crumble it well with your hands or a fork.
  • Add to the bowl the onions, carrots, cucumber, tomatoes, chilies, and cilantro.
  • Add orange and lime juice and season with salt. Mix well.
  • Adjust flavors to taste by adding more lime or orange juice, chilies, and salt.
  • Serve with tostadas or saltine crackers or store in the fridge for later.


  • You can make this Mexican ceviche with Guachinango (red snapper), dorado (Mahi Mahi), halibut, flounder, corvina (sea bass), or Tilapia.
  • Make sure you use a glass bowl for mixing and storing the ceviche as stainless or aluminum containers can reach with the lime acid.
  • Make sure to dice and chop all vegetables into small bits, so the dish will be easier to serve and eat.
  • You can add a few tablespoons of homemade Clamato juice for extra flavor, but this is optional.
  • This recipe is made with raw fish, so we recommend storing it for no more than 2 days in an airtight glass container in the refrigerator.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 180kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 684mg | Potassium: 1003mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 6211IU | Vitamin C: 44mg | Calcium: 81mg | Iron: 1mg
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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Discard the lime juice??? That is the leche de tigre, one of the best parts of Ceviche! I love your recipe and have many friends in Manzanillo, so I eat it this way often. But, I would save the left over lime/fish juice and drink with with a beer!!! Aye que ricooo!! :D

    1. I’ve heard so many times about Peruvian ceviche and “leche de tigre” but really didn’t know what it was. Thank you for clarifying this! Definitely will give it a try next time and leave some for flavor! :)

  2. 5 stars
    God Bless you, the passion and love of a Mexican woman, there is nothing better. you explained this recipe simply and clearly! even I feel I can make it. leave the juice and mix the vegetables in after the fish has set and cooked in the lemon juice that way it will continue to add flavor and serve what you will eat in a strainer, with a spoon press juice out if that’s how you like it.

    1. Cuyutlán ceviche is the best! :) We love the one from Engracia and Rubén stand, it really taste amazing! Just like the one I used to eat when I was a kid :)