The etiquette rules on how to serve and eat ceviche. Tips to be the ideal host or the perfect guest and avoid any embarrassment.

What ceviche etiquette is

Ceviche etiquette is the set of rules to properly serve and eat ceviche. Such rules help avoid behaviors that can disrespect your hosts or guests, or make you look unpolite.

If you are hosting, follow the etiquette to serve ceviche to your guests appropriately.

As a guest, respect the etiquette rules to properly eat ceviche at the dining table and avoid offending your hosts or embarrassing yourself.

how to serve and eat ceviche

What you should know about ceviche

Ceviche is a dish made from raw fish or seafood that is marinated in citrus juice, usually with other ingredients such as onions, chili peppers, and herbs.

Ceviche has a fresh and tangy flavor, with a firm texture and a bright, white appearance. The color can vary depending on the type of fish used, but it is typically light and translucent.

Etiquette rules to serve and eat ceviche

1) How to store ceviche

Store ceviche in the fridge at a temperature between 35-40°F (1-4°C). Do not store it in the pantry or freezer. Eat fresh ceviche within a few hours of preparation. Store leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2-3 days.

2) How to clean ceviche

To clean the fish for ceviche, rinse it thoroughly under cold running water. There is a risk of foodborne illness when preparing ceviche due to the use of raw seafood. It is best to use a clean cutting board and knife when preparing ceviche.

When ceviche turns bad, it will have a sour smell and a slimy texture.

3) How to prepare & cook ceviche

The fish in ceviche can be raw or cooked. To prepare fish for ceviche, it is best to marinate it in citrus juice for at least 30 minutes. A sharp knife and cutting board are the most important tools for preparing ceviche. The most common ways to cook fish for ceviche are by grilling, baking, or frying.

Some popular dishes or types of dishes with ceviche include ceviche tacos, ceviche tostadas, ceviche bowls, and ceviche salads.

You can use ceviche also in salads and sandwiches. Ceviche is not suitable for vegan, keto, or paleo diets due to the use of seafood.

4) How to serve & present ceviche

Ceviche is appropriate for both formal and informal meals. You can serve it as a side dish, appetizer, or main course. It is not common for breakfast or as a dessert.

Ceviche is best served cold at a temperature between 35-40°F (1-4°C). You can present it in a bowl or on a plate. Use a serving fork and spoon.

You can accompany ceviche with avocado, cilantro, and lime wedges. You can also season it with salt, pepper, and chili powder.

5) Food and wine to pair ceviche with

Ceviche pairs well with flavors such as lime, cilantro, and garlic. It can pair with vegetables such as cucumber, tomato, and onion. Fruits such as mango and pineapple also pair well with ceviche. Vegetables and fruits to avoid with ceviche include those with strong flavors, such as broccoli and durian.

Cheese and dairy are not common pairings with ceviche. Similarly, it is best to avoid pairing ceviche with meat. You can pair ceviche with other types of fish or seafood, such as shrimp or scallops.

Ceviche pairs well with white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, and Albariño. Red wine is not a great pairing with ceviche. Other beverage options include sparkling wine, beer, and cocktails.

6) How to eat ceviche

The most polite etiquette to eat ceviche is to use a fork or spoon to scoop it up and eat it. It is not polite to eat ceviche with your fingers. Generally, you should eat the whole ceviche. You can discard any inedible parts, such as bones or peels. It may be appropriate to use small utensils, such as seafood forks, to help remove any bones or shells from the ceviche.

Ceviche etiquette: the worst mistakes

The Rude Index identifies and ranks negative behaviors. 

A high score (8-10) means that the behavior has the potential to trigger a conflict with others. A medium score (4-7) means that the behavior risks making you look inelegant and unsophisticated. Read more about the Rude Index and its methodology here.  

Avoid the most common ceviche etiquette mistakes:

  • 9/10. Failing to properly refrigerate or store the ceviche.
  • 8/10. Double dipping.
  • 8/10. Leaving the ceviche sitting out for too long.
  • 7/10. Serving ceviche with stale or poorly made chips.

Additional information for properly serving ceviche

How many calories per serving?

Counting calories is important to stay healthy and correctly plan a menu.

The number of calories in ceviche can vary depending on the specific ingredients used. On average, a serving of ceviche (about 4-6 ounces) contains around 100-150 calories. A single ceviche may contain around 200-300 calories, depending on the size.

How to buy the best ceviche

A crucial factor in ceviche etiquette is serving your guests the best product possible.

Season and availability 

Ceviche is generally available all year round, but the availability of fresh seafood and produce used in ceviche may vary depending on the season. Generally, the best time to buy ceviche is during the summer months when seafood is at its freshest.

Choose the best

The most common ways to find ceviche in commerce are fresh from seafood markets or restaurants, pre-made and packaged at grocery stores, and canned or frozen.

Usually, the most popular varieties of ceviche in commerce include shrimp, fish, and mixed seafood ceviche. The most prized varieties are often made with high-quality, fresh seafood and unique flavor combinations.

To buy the best ceviche, look for fresh, high-quality seafood and ingredients. The seafood should smell fresh and should not be slimy or have a strong odor. The texture of the seafood should be firm, and the ingredients should be brightly colored and fresh-looking.

Alternatives to ceviche

Some common alternatives to ceviche include sushi, poke bowls, and seafood salads. Other dishes that feature seafood as a main ingredient, such as fish tacos or grilled shrimp skewers, can also be a good alternative.


  • Species substitution and mislabeling of ceviche, poke, and sushi dishes sold in Orange County, California: