Costa Rican food writer Melissa Guzman shares her traditional ceviche recipe, explaining the simplicity and freshness of Costa Rican ceviche. Ceviche is a dish made with raw fish and seafood marinated in citrus juice, usually lime or lemon. The acid in the citrus juice “cooks” the fish, giving it a firm texture. In Costa Rica, ceviche is typically made with fish, lime juice, salt, black pepper, onions, cilantro, and minced peppers. It is often served in a cocktail glass with lettuce and crackers or chips on the side.

Key Takeaways:

  • Costa Rica ceviche is made with raw fish and seafood marinated in citrus juice.
  • The acid in the citrus juice “cooks” the fish, giving it a firm texture.
  • Costa Rican ceviche is typically made with fish, lime juice, onions, cilantro, and peppers.
  • Ceviche is often served in a cocktail glass with lettuce and crackers or chips on the side.
  • The dish showcases the simplicity and freshness of Costa Rican cuisine.

The Perfect Fish for Costa Rica Ceviche

When it comes to making authentic Costa Rica ceviche, choosing the right fish is crucial. Costa Rica boasts an abundance of fresh seafood, and the locals have perfected the art of selecting the perfect fish for their beloved ceviche dish. Let’s explore some of the most popular fish options that lend themselves beautifully to this zesty and refreshing culinary creation.


One of the top choices for Costa Rica ceviche is corvina. This wild-caught fish features firm, white meat that holds up well to the acidity of the citrus marinade. Its mild flavor allows the other ingredients to shine, creating a harmonious blend of flavors and textures.


Tilapia is another common fish used in Costa Rican ceviche. With its light and sweet flavor, tilapia adds a delicate touch to the dish. Its semi-firm texture provides a pleasant bite, making it a popular choice for those who prefer a milder taste.


For those who enjoy a more robust flavor, mahi-mahi is an excellent option. Known for its firm, dark meat and pleasant taste, mahi-mahi brings a delightful richness to the ceviche. Its meaty texture holds up well to the tangy citrus marinade, creating a satisfying and flavorful combination.


For the adventurous seafood lovers, marlin is a fantastic choice. With its firmness and shape-holding properties, marlin is easy to work with when preparing ceviche. Its bold flavor and meaty texture provide a unique twist to the traditional dish, making it a personal favorite of many in Costa Rica.

fish for ceviche

These fish options, including corvina, tilapia, mahi-mahi, and marlin, offer a range of flavors and textures to elevate your Costa Rica ceviche experience. Whether you prefer a mild and delicate taste or a bold and robust flavor, there’s a fish that’s perfect for your palate. So, next time you’re craving the fresh taste of Costa Rica ceviche, consider these options as you embark on a culinary journey filled with vibrant flavors and delightful seafood.

How to Make Costa Rica Ceviche

Costa Rican ceviche is a delicious and refreshing seafood dish that can be easily made at home. Follow this simple recipe to experience the vibrant flavors of Costa Rica:

Gather the Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of fresh fish (corvina or tilapia)
  • 1 cup of lime juice
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper, finely chopped
  • A handful of fresh cilantro, minced
  • Salt and ground pepper to taste

Prepare the Fish:

  1. Start by cutting the fish into small 1/2-inch squares.
  2. In a glass bowl, combine the fish with the lime juice, making sure all the fish is fully covered.
  3. Cover and refrigerate the fish for about 1 hour. The acid in the lime juice will “cook” the fish, giving it a firm texture.

Add the Flavors:

  1. After marinating, remove the fish from the fridge and drain any excess liquid.
  2. Add the finely chopped onion, red pepper, minced cilantro, salt, and ground pepper to the fish.
  3. Mix well to combine all the flavors.

Serve and Enjoy:

Costa Rican ceviche is traditionally served in a cocktail glass with lettuce and crackers or chips on the side. However, feel free to get creative with your presentation. Garnish with some extra cilantro and a squeeze of lime for an added burst of flavor. Share this vibrant and refreshing dish with friends and family and transport yourself to the sunny beaches of Costa Rica!

Costa Rica Ceviche

The Origins and Popularity of Caldosa in Costa Rica

Caldosa is a culinary creation that has become a national phenomenon in Costa Rica. This unique dish consists of Picaritas, barbecue-flavored corn chips, topped with local ceviche. The taste explosion of crispy chips combined with the refreshing flavors of ceviche has captured the hearts and palates of both locals and tourists.

The origins of caldosa can be traced back to Fory Fay, a traditional bar and restaurant in Costa Rica that specializes in seafood and ceviche. Legend has it that a curious schoolboy approached the owner of Fory Fay and asked him to pour the juice from his ceviche over his bag of Picaritas. The owner obliged, and the combination of tangy ceviche juice and crunchy chips became an instant hit. The dish was named caldosa and quickly gained popularity, spreading from the humble streets of Costa Rica to fine dining establishments.

“Caldosa is the perfect example of how simple ingredients can create a sensation,” says Juan Rodriguez, a local food critic. “The contrast between the smoky barbecue flavor of the chips and the zesty freshness of the ceviche is simply irresistible.”

Today, caldosa can be found all across Costa Rica. From beachside vendors serving it in plastic cups to upscale restaurants presenting it as an appetizer, this dish has become an integral part of the country’s culinary landscape. Whether you’re strolling along the sandy shores or exploring the vibrant streets of San Jose, you’re likely to encounter the tantalizing aroma and colorful presentation of caldosa.

The Origins and Popularity of Caldosa in Costa Rica

Location Price Rating
Beachside Vendors $2 4.5/5
Local Eateries $5 4/5
Fine Dining Restaurants $10 5/5

As the popularity of caldosa continues to grow, variations of the dish have emerged, with some chefs adding their own unique twists. From additional toppings like avocado and mango to experimenting with different types of ceviche, there’s no shortage of creativity when it comes to caldosa. However, the essence of the dish remains the same – the harmonious blend of flavors that embodies the spirit of Costa Rican cuisine.

So, if you find yourself in Costa Rica, be sure to indulge in the national phenomenon that is caldosa. Experience the magic of combining crunchy chips with tangy ceviche and savor the explosion of flavors that will leave you craving more.

Caldosa in Costa Rica

The Secret Ingredient in Costa Rican Ceviche

Costa Rican ceviche is a tantalizing seafood dish that combines fresh ingredients and vibrant flavors. While the traditional recipe calls for the use of ginger ale, there is an alternative approach for those who prefer to avoid sweetened beverages or preservatives. Instead of ginger ale, fresh chopped ginger can be used to infuse the ceviche with a delightful hint of ginger flavor.

By substituting ginger ale with fresh ginger, the alternative recipe offers a healthier and more natural option. The ginger adds a subtle warmth and complexity to the dish, complementing the tanginess of the lime juice and the aromatic notes of the cilantro. For those who desire a touch of sweetness, a small amount of honey can be included.

“The use of ginger ale in Costa Rican ceviche is a traditional practice that enhances the overall taste and experience,” explains Melissa Guzman, a Costa Rican food writer.

“However, the alternative recipe with fresh ginger provides a unique twist and allows individuals to enjoy the flavors of ceviche without any added sweeteners.”

Costa Rican Ceviche

Whether you choose to stick to the traditional recipe with ginger ale or explore the alternative version with fresh ginger, Costa Rican ceviche promises a burst of freshness and bold flavors. The secret ingredient adds depth to the dish, elevating it to new levels of deliciousness.

Ginger Ale Alternative Recipe
Provides sweetness and a hint of ginger flavor Substitutes ginger ale with fresh chopped ginger
Contains added sugars and preservatives Offers a healthier and more natural option
Traditional approach Unique twist on the classic ceviche recipe


Costa Rica ceviche is a delectable seafood dish that captivates the taste buds with its fresh and vibrant flavors. This easy recipe allows anyone to indulge in the authentic taste of Costa Rica at home.

The combination of raw fish marinated in citrus juice, typically lime or lemon, creates a firm texture and enhances the natural flavors of the fish. The addition of onions, cilantro, and minced peppers provide a delightful blend of aromas and a touch of spiciness.

Whether you choose to use traditional ingredients or experiment with alternative recipes, the essence of Costa Rica ceviche lies in its simplicity and the use of high-quality, fresh ingredients. The dish perfectly embodies the coastal cuisine of Costa Rica, transporting you to the breathtaking beaches and exciting food culture of the country.

So, why not bring a taste of Costa Rica into your home? Prepare Costa Rica ceviche and savor the refreshing flavors that have made this dish a cherished part of Costa Rican cuisine. Discover the magic of this traditional seafood delight and embark on a culinary journey to the heart of Costa Rica.


What fish is commonly used for Costa Rica ceviche?

Corvina, Tilapia, Mahi-mahi, and Marlin are commonly used for making ceviche in Costa Rica.

How do you make Costa Rica ceviche?

To make Costa Rica ceviche, start by chopping the fish into 1/2-inch squares. Combine the fish with lime juice, finely chopped onion, red pepper, minced cilantro, salt, and ground pepper. Let it marinate in the fridge for one hour.

What is Caldosa in Costa Rica?

Caldosa is a dish that consists of Picaritas (barbecue-flavored corn chips) topped with local ceviche. It originated at Fory Fay, a traditional bar and restaurant specializing in seafood and ceviche.

What is the secret ingredient in Costa Rican ceviche?

The secret ingredient in Costa Rican ceviche is ginger ale, traditionally used for sweetness and a hint of ginger flavor. An alternative recipe suggests using fresh chopped ginger and a small amount of honey instead.

How can I enjoy the fresh taste of Costa Rica ceviche?

You can enjoy the fresh taste of Costa Rica ceviche by following the easy recipe provided or by visiting Costa Rican restaurants that serve this traditional seafood dish.

Source Links

Add Your Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.