How To Make Authentic Mexican Cerviche


When I mention the word “'cerviche”' to people, I am usually questioned, "What the ___ is that?"” After they taste my recipe for true Mexican cerviche, they are begging me to teach them how to make it.

First let me explain why I call it authentic Mexican cerviche. I lived in the Yucatan Peninsula over 20 years ago at the beginning of the birth of Cancun. I worked on boats every day and learned to make Mexican food dishes from the natives I worked with. One of my favorites has always been cerviche because it is very fast and easy to make, and it is very light and cooling on hot days.

So what is it and how do I make it? Well, for starters, there are several different types of cerviche. It can be made from Conch, a large shellfish found all over the Caribbean; shrimp; or a white meat fish such as snapper, trout, etc. We used Spanish Mackerel a lot as well when I was in Cancun.

The recipe is the same regardless of the meat you choose so let me begin.

For a refreshing snack that will feed six to eight people, you will want about a pound of meat filleted and de-boned. You will need a couple of large tomatoes, several limes, or a couple bottles of lime concentrate; an onion; and several chili peppers. If you are averse to really spicy foods, you can substitute less spicy peppers.

The first thing you do is cut the meat into small fingertip sized chunks and place it in a large bowl with a lid so you can shake the mixture up easily later. After you have the meat cut up, pour just enough lime juice over it to cover the meat thoroughly; shake it up and put it to the side.

Next, cut up your tomatoes into small chunks and scrape them into the mixture; then your onions and peppers and so on. Be sure to cut the peppers in extra small sizes.

If you like a little more seasoned taste, you can sprinkle a little of your favorite spice on it although most people prefer to eat it as is.

Let the mixture chill in the refrigerator or on ice for at least one hour then serve with tortilla chips or crackers washed down with a good cold beer.