Summer heat has officially arrived, and we just crave easy meals that will cool us down. During July and August, we use our oven as little as possible. No need to add extra heat into the kitchen if it’s avoidable. Needless to say, this shrimp ceviche with passion fruit is refreshing and vibrant. Our ceviche with cooked shrimp, zesty lime juice, exotic slightly tart passion fruit and just the right heat from the jalapeno is a delicious, invigorating and welcoming dish. Serve it as a snack, lunch, or light dinner with a bowl of tortilla chips and watch it disappear. I would say you can store this ceviche in the refrigerator for about a day, but it will not last that long.
What is Ceviche
Ceviche is a popular Latin American dish made by soaking raw fish and other seafood such as shrimp, scallops, or octopus in an acidic liquid citrus juice, usually lime or lemon. The acid in the citrus denatures which means takes away or alters the proteins in the fish. By altering these proteins in the fish, it essentially “cooks” the fish without adding heat. The flesh of the fish becomes opaque in color with a firm texture, very similar to when it is cooked with heat.
Classic ceviche is made with a few simple ingredients, usually, a citrus marinade, tomatoes, onions, cilantro and salt and pepper to season. However, the possibilities for a ceviche recipe are endless. I think ceviche would be amazing with avocado, corn, celery, cucumbers, radishes, mango, sweet potatoes, pineapple, peppers just to name a few suggestions. Use your creativity.
Ceviche is usually served as an appetizer with tortilla chips. But really there are no rules!
Is Ceviche Safe to Eat
Classic ceviche recipes contain raw fish or seafood. The macerating method might not completely kill any or all the lingering bacteria that may be in the fish or seafood. Therefore, it is crucial to use the freshest seafood you can find when making ceviche.
I might add that there is absolutely nothing wrong with cooking the fish, allowing it to cool and adding it to the mixture of your choice. As a matter of fact, when I make shrimp ceviche, I prefer to fully cook the shrimp. Our shrimp ceviche with passion fruit recipe contains fully cooked and cooled shrimp. And it’s fantastic!
In short, yes ceviche is safe to eat if you are using super fresh raw fish or seafood, eat it within a day, and don’t cross contaminate the raw fish or seafood.
Using cooked shrimp for ceviche
Fresh, raw white fish such as mahi-mahi, sole, grouper or bass work very well with ceviche. However, any other seafood such a shrimp, scallops or octopus, I prefer pre-cooked and chilled before mixing in with citrus juice and ceviche ingredients. Especially if using frozen seafood. Technically frozen seafood is not a fresh product, it is a frozen product. And I highly suggest cooking it with heat rather than letting it marinate in citrus juice.
raw frozen shrimp – we used a 12-ounce bag of raw frozen shrimp with tails on. Since this recipe calls for cooked shrimp, there is a short but extra step that requires cooking and cooling the shrimp. To give the shrimp some extra zesty and spicy flavor, we cooked it in a citrus boil. If you wish to eliminate the cooking step, you can use defrosted, already cooked and peeled shrimp. It’s as easy as defrosting and cutting the shrimp. And I think it will work well in this recipe.
fresh passion fruit pulp – passion fruit is available at most grocery stores during the summer. It is more difficult to find it during the colder months. Passion fruit is usually imported from Hawaii or other tropical countries. If you can’t find fresh passion fruit, freeze dried passion fruit can be substituted. Freeze dried passion fruit easily rehydrates with just a little hot water and looks and tastes like the fresh fruit pulp.
Ingredients and Variations for this Recipe
red onion – thinly sliced or chopped. If you don’t have red onions, you can use yellow or white onions.
cilantro – is a classic ingredient in ceviche, if you don’t like the flavor of cilantro, you can eliminate it. However, it will be missing the unique fragrant citrusy flavor the cilantro adds to the dish.
fresh lime juice – works best in this recipe. If you don’t have lime juice, you can use lemon juice.
pure passion fruit puree – frozen unsweetened pure passion fruit puree is recommended. Goya has frozen pure passion fruit pulp available in some grocery stores. I found it at Target and Shop Rite here in New York. If you can’t find unsweetened passion fruit puree, you can eliminate this ingredient. Note: you can use sweetened passion fruit puree but if you do eliminate the agave.
jalapeno pepper – will add a delicious, balanced heat to the shrimp ceviche. However, if you prefer less spice cut the jalapeno in half or if you prefer no spice you can substitute with green bell pepper. It will add a peppery flavor and crunch without the heat.
agave nectar – we used agave nectar to balance the acidity in the recipe. Both the lime juice and unsweetened passion fruit pure pack a sour punch that needs a bit of balance. You can use maple syrup, honey or simple syrup if you don’t have agave nectar on hand.
fresh ginger – ginger adds a fresh vibrant flavor to this recipe with a hint of distinct spice. You can eliminate the ginger if you prefer.
seasonings – salt, fresh ground black pepper, and paprika
shrimp boil - left over lime, salt, crushed red pepper and black peppercorns. This boil is essentially flavored water to cook the shrimp in. As the shrimp cooks it absorbs the flavored water and is more flavorful.
How to make shrimp ceviche with cooked shrimp
Chop red onion, cilantro and jalapeno. Set aside
Squeeze juice out of one large or two small limes and save the leftovers for the shrimp boil.
Create the shrimp boil by adding water into a large pot along with left over lime, salt, red crushed pepper and crushed black peppercorns. Bring to a boil.
Add shrimp and cook for 1-2 minutes or until they become firm and opaque white and bright orange in color. Remove from boil and let cool completely. To expedite the cooling process, rinse with cold water.
Remove tails and any shells from the shrimp.
Roughly chop shrimp into bite sized pieces.
Place chopped shrimp into a large mixing bowl and add all the ingredients. Mix well and transfer into a serving dish.
Cover the shrimp ceviche mixture and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving to allow the flavors to marry. Mix well before serving.
Enjoy with tortilla chips or eat alone.
Shrimp Ceviche with Passion Fruit
- 12 ounces raw frozen shrimp – defrosted
- 1 fresh passion fruit pulp
- ⅓ cup chopped red onion
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 3 tablespoons pure passion fruit pure
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped jalapeno pepper
- 1 tablespoon agave nectar
- 1 teaspoon pressed ginger with the juice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- Chop red onion, cilantro and jalapeno. Set aside
- Squeeze juice out of one large or two small limes and save the leftovers for the shrimp boil.
- Create the shrimp boil by adding water into a large pot along with left over lime, salt, red crushed pepper and crushed black peppercorns. Bring to a boil.
- Add shrimp and cook for 2-4 minutes or until they become firm and opaque white and bright orange in color. Remove from boil and let cool completely. To expedite the cooling process, rinse with cold water.
- Remove tails and any shells from the shrimp.
- Roughly chop shrimp into bite sized pieces.
- Place chopped shrimp into a large mixing bowl and add all the ingredients. Mix well and transfer into a serving dish.
- Cover the shrimp ceviche mixture and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving to allow the flavors to marry. Mix well before serving.