Skip the cooking this summer with this fresh and delicious Sea Bass Ceviche recipe! It’s allergy friendly, grain free, and low carb
We’re on the tail end of summer right now, but before I start posting fall recipes, I wanted to share a few more summer recipes since summer cooking is my favorite!
One of the recipes I’m excited to share with you is my take on traditional sea bass ceviche. There are tons of variations on ceviche, but mine is closer to the Peruvian or Chilean version (no tomato sauce like some versions, but there are fresh tomatoes).
Ceviche is one of my favorite foods: I’ve had it many ways (cooked ceviche made with shrimp, traditional Mexican ceviche, and this homemade sea bass ceviche made in the traditional way with marinated fish.
If you’d love to try your hand at delicious homemade ceviche, read more for tips on how to make it!
Is it safe to eat uncooked fish?
I personally love sushi, sashimi, and ceviche, so undercooked or raw fish doesn’t bother me. But some people might be concerned about eating fish that’s uncooked in this recipe, so here are a few tips and things to consider:
Use sushi-grade fish for ceviche
Use a high quality, sushi-grade fish for your ceviche to reduce the likelihood of bacteria and parasites, and for the best flavor and texture of fish.
Marinating in lime juice is a type of “cooking”
Marinating fish in lime juice is a type of “cooking”. It’s not real cooking since heat isn’t applied, but lime juice denatures the proteins in the fish and make it firmer and more opaque as if it had been cooked with heat.
Marinating fish in lime juice doesn’t destroy pathogens or parasites like cooking with heat does, so make sure you use sushi grade fish. You can also freeze your fish for several hours before thawing again to make ceviche, or blanch the fish for a few minutes as well.
For my ceviche, I used a sushi-grade flash frozen sea bass that I had thawed to make this recipe.
Don’t use fresh water fish
Always use ocean fish for traditional ceviche recipes, don’t use fresh-water fish. Fresh water fish carry more bacteria and parasites than salt water fish do, so fresh fish should always be cooked with heat.
Still not convinced to try preparing your fish with lime juice? Make this recipe with cooked shrimp instead, just skip the marinating steps. It’s still delicious! 🙂
How long do you marinate fish for ceviche?
I did a little research when I made this recipe, and found a lot of different answers. But it is possible to overcook your fish with lime juice, so it’s a good idea to watch it and make sure you’re not soaking it too long.
Serious Eats and Cooks Illustrated have some good tips and comparisons for different marinating times for fish meant for ceviche. Some articles and recipes said marinate fish for up to 5 hours, and other said as little as 10 minutes.
I decided on 30-45 minutes for my cubed sea bass, and that worked perfectly for my type of fish and size of cubes (the cubes were about 3/4-inch cubes). The texture and flavor was great!
Note that the size of your fish cubes will also affect your marinating time: small cubes of fish will marinate/”cook” much faster than larger cubes of fish. And the type of fish will affect the time as well: firm varieties will marinate slower than flakier/softer varieties.
Check out our shrimp ceviche recipe if you want an easier ceviche recipe without the uncooked fish!
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Sea Bass Ceviche
- Zest of 1 lime
- 1 cup fresh lime juice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon unbleached cane sugar
- ½ teaspoon Mexican hot sauce, or more to taste*
- 1 small clove garlic, pressed
- 12 ounces sushi-grade sea bass (fresh or previously frozen and thawed), cubed
- 1 ½ cup peeled, seeded, and chopped cucumber
- 1 cup halved grape tomatoes
- 2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro minced
- 1 Tablespoon minced chives
- 1 avocado, diced + more for garnish (use a ripe but firm avocado that's not too soft)
- Salt, pepper, and Creole seasoning, to taste
- Hot sauce, to taste* (skip if using fresh hot peppers)
- Prepare the fish marinade by mixing together the lime zest, lime juice, salt, sugar, hot sauce (or minced hot peppers), and garlic in a ziploc bag.
- Cube your sea bass into cubes about ¾-inch each and place in the bag with the marinade. Mix together well so everything is coated, and let rest in the fridge for 30-45 minutes (marinate your fish less time if you like it softer and more rare, more time if you prefer it more firm and opaque).
- While the fish is marinating, prepare the cucumber, tomatoes, cilantro, and chives and place in a large bowl.
- Once the fish is done marinating, place the fish in the bowl along with a few Tablespoons of the marinade liquid.
- Toss together the veggies, the fish and a little marinade (as little or as much marinade as you prefer), the avocado, additional salt, pepper, Creole seasoning, and hot sauce to taste.
- Serve immediately. You can serve this with tortilla chips or by itself. Store this in an airtight container 1 day, best if consumed on the day it's made.
Sarah Jane Parker is the founder, recipe creator, and photographer behind The Fit Cookie. She’s a food allergy mom and healthy living blogger based in Wyoming. Sarah is also an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer, ACE Certified Health Coach, Revolution Running certified running coach, and an ACE Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist