Frontera Grill’s Now-Classic Ceviche

Ceviche Fronterizo
I never tire of this ceviche: the lilt of fresh-fresh fish infused with straight-ahead flavors of Mexican street food (lime, chiles, onion, cilantro) and finished to a consistency that’s perfect for piling on tortilla chips or tostadas. That’s my favorite way to eat ceviche, the sweet, toasty corn flavor of the crisp-fried corn tortilla being the perfect counterpoint to soft-textured brilliance of good ceviche. We’ve had this ceviche on the menu at Frontera Grill for over two decades. Recipe from Season 7, Mexico—One Plate at a Time
Servings: 6to 8 as a starter


  • 1pound “sashimi-quality” skinless meaty ocean fish fillet (halibut, snapper and bass are great choices), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • About 1 1/2cups fresh lime juice
  • 1small white onion, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
  • Hot green chiles to taste (roughly 2 or 3 serranos or 1 large jalapeño), stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 1/4cup green olives, preferably manzanillos
  • 1large (about 10-ounces)ripe tomato, cored, seeded (if you wish) and cut into 1/4-inch pieces OR 1/4 cup (lightly packed, about 1 ounce) soft sundried tomatoes, chopped into 1/8-inch pieces
  • 1/4smalljicama, peeled and chopped into 1/4-inch pieces (optional, but suggested if using sundried tomatoes)
  • 1/4cup (loosely packed) chopped fresh cilantro (thick bottom stems cut off)
  • 2tablespoons olive oil, preferably extra-virgin
  • Salt
  • 1teaspoon sugar
  • About 16ounces of sturdy tortilla chips or 3- to 4-inch tostadas (preferably chips or tostadas from a local tortillería), for serving


  1. “Cook” the fish in the lime juice. In a large stainless steel or glass bowl, combine the fish, lime juice and onion. The fish should float freely in the juice; if not, add a little more. Cover and refrigerate until the fish is as “done” as you like: An hour or so for medium-rare, 3 to 4 hours for “cooked” all the way through. Tip off the lime juice—sad to say that it’s fishy tasting at this point and can’t be easily used for any other preparation.
  2. Flavor the ceviche. In a mini food processor, process the green chile and olives until finely chopped (or finely chopped by hand). Add to the fish along with the tomato, optional jícama, cilantro and olive oil. Stir well, then season with salt (usually about a scant teaspoon) and sugar. Refrigerate until ready to serve—preferably no longer than an hour or two.

    Working Ahead:
      The fish can be marinated in lime and completely drained (even if you’re going to add back some of the juice) early in the day you’re going to serve; cover tightly and refrigerate.  All the vegetables and the cilantro can be prepped, mixed, covered and refrigerated early in the day, too.  Mix and season the ceviche within two hours of serving; keep it refrigerated until the last moment.


  1. I eat a lot of fish and this is the best ceviche recipe I have found. The white sea bass was not as good in it as the yellow tail. I will try it with pacific halibut if I catch a smaller one.
    . Thank you.

  2. I made this for a July 4th luncheon, using super fresh Mexican halibut and it garnered a lot of compliments. Used a combo of fresh lime and lemon juice for the curing and folded in chopped avocado right before serving (in California we use avocado in as many dishes as possible!). Rick’s is the reigning classic recipe for ceviche; super fresh and clean flavors. So many of the newer ceviche recipes have shrimp and sweet notes like mango. Love this!

  3. In Mexico, the go-to fishes for ceviche in my area are sierra mackerel (a member of the jack family) and cochito (triggerfish). Good sized halibut and snapper (huachinango) are too valuable to use in ceviche. Generally, lesser fish that have some oil content make the best ceviche.

    This is a great recipe……but I still like a little cumin in my ceviche, as well as cubes of avocado. The avo should be the last thing you add and toss the mixture gently to maintain the shape of the avo cubes.

    One other thing; if you were to use 2-3 normal sized serrano chiles in this quantity of ingredients, including the seeds as this recipe recommends, it will be too hot for many people. Serranos are much hotter than jalapenos. I like the flavor of jalapenos much better than serranos.

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