Shrimp Ceviche with Tequila and Lime

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 pound large shrimp (31/35 count), peeled and deveined
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 1/2 medium red bell pepper, stem, ribs, and seeds removed, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (juice of 8 to 9 medium limes)
  • 1/4 cup premium silver tequila* (2 ounces)
  • 1 small fresh serrano or jalapeño chile, stem and seeds removed, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 small avocado, peeled and finely diced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Lime wedges, for garnish
  • Tortilla chips, for garnish
Combine kosher salt and water in a medium saucepan over high heat; bring to a boil, then remove from heat. Immediately pour in shrimp, stirring occasionally, until shrimp are just cooked through, about 1 minute. (Note: The acid in the ceviche marinade continues to firm and “cook” the shrimp further; overcooking at this stage will produce rubbery shrimp.) Drain in a colander, then transfer to a large, non-reactive mixing bowl.

Mix together onion, bell pepper, lime juice, tequila, and chile. Pour over shrimp and toss to combine; cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. (Note: Do not marinate longer than one hour, or the shrimp will become tough.) Gently fold in cilantro and diced avocado; season to taste with salt and pepper, then cover and let sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes.

When ready to serve, divide ceviche among 4 chilled martini glasses or serving dishes; garnish with lime wedges and tortilla chips.

Note: Premium silver (blanco or white) tequila is not barrel aged; it is bottled directly from the still. The designation “premium” generally indicates that the tequila is made from 100% blue agave plant. Many Mexicans favor this powerful, clear tequila, considering it to be the purest of all tequilas.

Serves 4 as an appetizer