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Thursday, 29 March 2012

Shrimp Ceviche

Adam and I recently travelled to Colombia where we spent some time in the coastal city of Cartagena. The city is known for its colonial architecture, abundance of emeralds and role in the 80’s classic Romancing the Stone starring Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas. It’s also a great place to enjoy seafood and sample ceviche (unless you’ve got a seafood allergy, like Adam, in which case it’s a great place to avoid 90% of all menu items and consume mostly mojitos and ice cream for a week).

Ceviche is typically made with raw fish that is marinated in citrus juice and other tasty ingredients.  I cobbled this recipe together from a few different versions I had in Cartagena. There are an infinite number of variations on this dish and you can easily adjust it to suit your own tastes or whatever you have in your fridge. Shrimp is delicious but it's also great with cod, snapper, haddock, scallops, and squid. The key is really, really, really fresh fish. The citrus will give the fish a “cooked” texture but it doesn’t kill any bacteria that may exist. This isn’t an issue with most high quality fresh fish (think sushi) but I’m personally a bit more cautious when it comes to shellfish as it tends to be more prone to bacterial issues. I opted to lightly cook the shrimp before marinating it, just to be safe.

If you’re ever in Cartagena, I highly recommend the ceviche at the bar in the Santa Clara hotel. Not only is the seafood delicious but the hotel is stunning and it’s a great spot to hang out and escape the blazing Caribbean heat for a couple of hours.

Serves 4-6 as an appetizer

1 lb raw shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed, minced
4-5 green onions, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely diced
1 avocado, diced
2 tablespoons ketchup (I know it's weird but don't skip this!)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup lime juice
zest of 1 lime
generous pinch of salt and pepper

zest of 1 lime
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
Pita, plantain, or tortilla chips

Combine all ingredients, except for the shrimp and garnish, in a bowl and set aside.
Bring a medium-sized pot of salted water to a boil. Add the shrimp, cover with a lid, and turn off the heat. Let the shrimp cook in the hot water for 1-2 minutes (if you're using frozen shrimp you may want to cook them a minute or two longer). Drain the shrimp in a colander and rinse with cool water.

Dice the shrimp into 1/4" pieces and add to the bowl with the remaining ingredients. Refrigerate for one hour. Serve in a martini glass or highball glass with chips alongside. Garnish with the additional chopped cilantro and lime zest.


  1. A very tempting and colourful ceviche! And of course a great way to snack.