What to Serve with Ceviche: 13 Sides for an Oceanic Feast
Ceviche is one of those dishes that once you try, you can’t seem to forget. It’s the South American answer to Asian raw fish dishes like sushi.
Originally from Peru, but now widely assimilated in all South American countries, the Caribbean, and Mexico, ceviche is festive, always fresh, citrusy, and utterly addictive.
Ceviche, sometimes spelled cebiche, is very easy to make. All you need is fresh fish or seafood and high-quality ingredients from the farmer’s market.
Although still raw, seafood, whether it’s diced white fish or shellfish, is somewhat “cooked” in citrus juice. Lime is very popular, but lemon and sour orange are used too.
Sliced white onions are ubiquitous, and they’re marinated with the fish to tenderize and lose some of its pungency.
Cilantro adds color and aromatics to the dish, and green chili peppers are optional but recommended.
Marinate your mixture in the fridge for a few hours and let the citrus juice do its job. When all the components become beautifully integrated, your ceviche is ready to serve.
Ceviche might be enticing, but it’s not a stand-alone dish, you must serve it with something else.
What to eat with ceviche depends on your preferences, anything could be a tasty side dish for ceviche, but some side dishes just work like a charm.
Keep in mind:
Ceviche is better enjoyed at lunch, on a warm summer day, or for dining alfresco.
The refreshing nature of the dish screams for warm weather, so consider this dish the next time you plan a barbecue or a picnic. And don’t forget to order it during your next beach holidays.
Perhaps you’re wondering what to serve with ceviche for dinner, don’t worry, we’ve got a few special sides for that too.
Side Dishes for Ceviche: Make This Refreshing Dish Great Again
This is our list of side dishes for ceviche. Each one goes well with ceviche for different reasons, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to create your combinations.
1. Shrimp Broth, Warming Up
Ceviche is an homage to sea produce. It’s a way to make the most of even the tiniest bits of fish.
It celebrates freshness and spontaneity. This is why many side dishes for ceviche come from the sea too.
A steaming hot shrimp broth made with shrimp shells and heads, dried shrimp, chili peppers and veggies is a great ceviche companion.
We serve ceviche cold, so a contrasting hot broth brings balance to the meal.
It’s not uncommon to see shrimp broth served before a seafood meal in Mexican restaurants; for some patrons, it’s mandatory.
2. Tosadas, Resistant, Crunchy Tortillas
Ceviche is made with diced fish or seafood, small pieces of onions, tomatoes and avocado, which means you can’t eat it with a fork and knife — You use ceviche as a topping.
Your safest bet is to serve ceviche with soda crackers, but tostadas are a fantastic option too.
Fried or sun-dried, tostadas are very resistant to moisture and delightfully crunchy, they’re the best way to take ceviche from the bowl to your mouth.
3. Cucumber Salad, Freshness at it’s FInest
We’re thinking fresh sides for the chilled ceviche, so a crisp cucumber salad tossed in lime juice, sprinkled with salt, and powdered chili pepper is a fantastic addition to the table.
Slice the cucumbers (leave the skins!) and toss in everything from onions and chives to capers and olives. Either way, it’ll turn out delicious.
We’ll introduce you to some other salad ideas below, but with side dishes, sometimes simple is better.
Learn how to make a colorful cucumber salad in the Preppy Kitchen video here:
4. Mango Salad, a Colorful Bliss
If you had to describe ceviche in one word, what would it be? For us, it’s acidity, mouth-watering acidity, that is.
So, what you need to do is balance the lime juice with something sweet. Remember, sweet and sour is a great flavor combination.
A colorful mango salad, to which you can add lettuce, arugula, cherry tomatoes, and chopped walnuts, is, for us, what goes with ceviche in a perfect scenario.
5. Roasted chili peppers, Serve Under Your Own Risk
Whether you add chili peppers to your ceviche or not, it’s always fun to have a few heat elements on the table. That’s why we recommend serving a side of roasted, green chili peppers.
Not for the faint of heart, it’s fun to have something for the brave too.
Served your chili peppers with roasted scallions and add a smoky element to your menu.
Devein the chili peppers before roasting them to mild them up.
6. Jicama Slaw, The Other Slaw
If you haven’t tried jicama before, imagine a starchy, pearly white vegetable with subtle sweetness and a perfect snap.
Thinly cut ribbons become a garden-fresh slaw and an ideal side for ceviche.
Don’t stop at jicama, add julienne carrots, sprouts and other greens. Ceviche is delicious, yes, but it has an intense flavor better countered with a bright salad.
7. Rice Cakes, Light and Fluffy Two-Biters
Because ceviche is an entrée but also a toping in nature, what to serve with ceviche should be about offering your guests some structure to every bite.
A low fat, gluten-free rice cake will hold the ceviche and add a necessary texture to the otherwise watery main course.
Crunchy rice cakes will not only help you eat every last chunk of ceviche, they’ll be infused with the lovely juices.
8. Potato Chips, Rising to the Occasion
We don’t recommend potato chips often. Sure, potato chips are always welcomed as a snack, but they add little to the overall composition of a nice meal — That’s not the case with ceviche.
The starchy nature of chips and their salty personality liven the flavors of raw fish and merge with the acidic lime juice.
Today potato chips are not just snacks; they’re the perfect complement for dinner.
9. Lettuce leaves, It’s Taco Time!
Here’s the trick, place a platter with clean, bright-green lettuce leaves on the table and encourage your guests to make themselves ceviche lettuce tacos.
Acting as natural wraps, lettuce leaves will change the eating experience and dynamics around the table.
Ceviche’s versatility makes it remarkable, it’s sea-scented flavor lends itself to many opportunities when pairs with fish tacos for example.
As you see, you can top tostadas, rice cakes or lettuce leaves with ceviche with different results to fit your dinner experience.
10. Fresh Oysters, Pairing Fresh with Fresh
Raw fish goes well with other fresh raw things, like chucked oysters. Oysters bring another flavor dimension while staying within the global under-the-sea theme.
There are many types of oysters to choose from depending on where you live, and you can top them with a dash of lime juice or hot sauce; it’s up to you!
The idea is for you to create a seafood feast; to display the bounties of the sea, so be generous with plentiful platters of all kinds of oceanic treasures.
11. White Rice, A Comforting Classic
Ceviche is many things, but it’s not perfect. It lacks carbs, and no meal is complete without carbs. Rice is a nice side dish for ceviche that acts not only as a filler but a balancing element. Rice is heartwarming, too, and will add a little comfort to your exotic South American dinner.
Remember, rice is a white canvas, so add to it all kinds of vegetables and herbs, make it your own. A little cilantro, for example, will mirror your ceviche nicely.
12. Head-on Shrimp, A Hands On Side
Here’s the secret, as long as you make fish-based ceviche, and not shrimp ceviche, shrimp is a natural side dish.
You can serve shrimp in many ways, but the buttery and garlicky preparations don’t pair well with ceviche. Keep it simple. Boil medium-sized shrimp and serve them as is.
Let your guests peel them one by one as they dig out the sweet meat with their fingers — That’s the Caribbean way.
Serve shrimp with your favorite dip or halved limes and watch everyone enjoy the hands-on side dish.
13. Edamame, An Oriental Twist
There’s a reason the Japanese serve edamame (soybeans on the vine) with sushi; the meaty beans go great with raw fish. Use that in your favor and serve edamame with your ceviche; they’re a heavenly pair.
Serve your edamame with the customary soy sauce. The acidity in soy sauce will imitate ceviche’s lime marinade with precision.
If you haven’t made edamame before, watch this video from Sally Yu here
What to Serve with Ceviche: Types of Ceviche to Know and Love
Ceviche is a catch-all term for many preparations because every time you change the main protein, the dish becomes something else. Therefore, we say there are many types of ceviche, and each one has its merits.
Sometimes, what goes well with ceviche depends on the style of ceviche you’re making. These are the most common variations.
White Fish Ceviche
This is the most common type of ceviche. Make sure you buy never-frozen fish at your local fishmonger. Fluke, Flounder, Grouper and Mahi Mahi are tasty options.
Fish ceviche goes best with tostadas and rice cakes and are perfect with shrimp. This ceviche makes some mean lettuce tacos too.
When done right octopus is not chewy but fork tender. This hearty type of ceviche is not only colorful and exotic but delicious, especially when served with Asian-inspired sides like edamame.
There’s a good chance you’ll have to travel to the sunny Caribbean Islands to try this delicacy. The pink shelled conch is soft and salty, and meatier than any other sea snail, making it perfect for ceviche.
This is the ceviche you want to enjoy with a fresh cucumber salad and a scoop of white rice.
Go fancy with this high-end variation. You can “cook” the lobster meat in the lime juice too, or you can add it previously cooked.
This is the best ceviche for mango salad, jicama slaw, and you guessed it, potato chips.
Vegan Mushroom Ceviche
There are many vegetarian variations for ceviche, who knew? Mushrooms are popular alternatives to fish, but we love a good heart of palm ceviche. Pair it with vegetarian sides like salads or jicama slaw.
Pairing Drinks with Ceviche
Every time you serve ceviche, you make your dining room feel like in the Caribbean, it’s a festive dish. To make it even more memorable, serve it with the right drink.
This is all you need to know about what drink goes with ceviche.
Tropical Cocktails, Shake, Shake, Shake
Colorful, fruit-based cocktails are fun, but they seldom have a place at the table.
There’s good news:
Anything from Margaritas and Daiquiris to Pisco Sours and Hurricanes goes exceptionally well with the lemony dish.
Cold Lagers, Have a Cold One
This is the authentic ceviche pairing. Nothing can beat the freshness and cooling properties of a dead-cold lager beer.
Buy your favorite, and look at craft options too, and if you want to go authentic, go with a Mexican Lager like Corona.
Crisp White Wine, Thirst-Quenching and Fancy
The best wines for ceviche are the acidic and lemon-scented whites made with Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, and Alvarinho.
An Un-oaked Chardy will work well too and don’t forget the dry, mineral Rieslings. These wines will mimic ceviche’s acidity beautifully.
Sparkling Wine, Lets Celebrate!
Because why not! Actually, sparkling wines are the most acidic wines on earth, so they’re perfect for tangy dishes like ceviche.
The beautiful bubble streams will also add grandeur to your dinner party, elevating it to celebratory heights.
Aguas Frescas, Fresh and All-Natural
Fresh fruit-infused water sweetened with cane sugar. You can make your own by blending your favorite fruit, from mangoes to papaya, diluting it with water, and sweetening it to taste.
This is an excellent option for kids and weeknights when you don’t want to drink anything boozy.
We bet you’re as hungry as we are now, and you now know what to serve with ceviche, so go on and have a lovely tropical dinner with your loved ones.