Spicy Panamanian Ceviche Recipe

If you love seafood, you’ll want to try Panamanian ceviche! This dish is made with fresh fish or shellfish marinated in citrus juice and spices. The citric acid in the lime juice adds flavor to the fish, resulting in a refreshing and flavorful dish. 

Panamanian Ceviche served in a serving dish

Panamanian ceviche is made by adding a piece of raw fish to the fresh lime juice. Stir in fresh citrus juice, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, hot chilies, avocado, salt, and pepper. Then serve it up that same day for the best flavor with some salsa.

For the ceviche, use the firmest white fish available in the freshest salted water, such as red snapper, halibut, sea bass, grouper, or flounder. These types of fish will include striped bass, grouper, flounder, and tilapia or shrimp.    

Let us dive into the recipe for this seafood. While going through the recipe, you will come across the equipment you need and the ingredients required to make Panamanian Ceviche. With these few simple tools, you can easily make Panamanian ceviche home. Just follow the recipe below and enjoy!

What Equipment Will You Need To Make Panamanian Ceviche?

  • Sharp Knife – A knife to chop tomatoes, shrimp, avocados, and onions into small cubes. 
  • Cutting Board – Cutting board to chop the tomatoes, shrimp, garlic, and avocados. 
  • Mixing Bowls – Two separate bowls to mix the ingredients for making ceviche. 
  • Spatula – You will need a flat-surfaced spatula to mix all the ingredients well to maintain consistency. 
  • Serving Dish – You will need a dish to serve the Panamanian ceviche.
  • Saucepan – A saucepan to cook shrimp for its color and taste.

How Much Time Will You Need To Make Panamanian Ceviche?

Preparation Time Cooking Time Total Time
2 Hours 15 Minutes 5 Minutes 2 Hours 20 Minutes

What Ingredients Will You Need To Make Panamanian Ceviche?

  • Fish – Use a whitefish good for ceviche, like sea bass, halibut, or snapper. 
  • Lime Juice – You’ll also need fresh lime juice to marinate the fish. 
  • Onion – Adding an onion factor adds a nice acidic bite and complements the lime.
  • Tomatoes – The tomatoes, especially romas, will add a fresh flavor.
  • Cilantro – Cilantro and lime zest will add a fresh herbal note.
  • Jalapeño Pepper – Jalapeño peppers will give a taste of serrano pepper with less heat. It will provide ceviche, a bright and green vegetable with a slight heat level taste. 
  • White Vinegar – You will need white vinegar for marinating the fish.
  • Garlic Powder – You can use garlic powder to season the dish for a sweet flavor. 
  • Salt – To get flavor into the fish, salt it first and let it sit for a few minutes. Depending on the desired flavor profile, you can also add salty components like fish sauce or smoked salt.
Panamanian Ceviche

Steps To Make Panamanian Ceviche

1. Cook The Shrimp

Clean the shrimp first and drain the water through a sieve. Cut the drained shrimp into equal bite-size pieces.

Place diced shrimp in a saucepan, cover with water and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until it turns pink. Drain and put it into a bowl with lemon juice. Leave covered for 1 hour, stirring two or three times.

2. For The Ceviche

Chop red onion, tomatoes, garlic, red bell peppers, and avocados into bite-sized chunks. 

In a medium bowl, combine all the chopped veggies, 1/4 cup of vinegar, one teaspoon of garlic powder, one teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper, 1/2 cup lime juice, and 1/2 cup lemon juice, and toss together gently for a better taste. 

Mix the mixture well. Pour over the cooked shrimp, and stir the mixture with a spatula—drizzle salt and pepper to taste. Cover the ceviche and refrigerate for one to two hours, stirring gently from time to time.

Season cilantro and toss together before serving. Taste the fish and adjust the seasonings as per your taste. Serve chilled with tortilla chips or crackers.

Nutritional Information

Calories 291 kcal
Total Fat 4.6 g
Saturated Fat 0.9 g
Trans Fat 0
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.7 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.6 g
Cholesterol 345 mg
Sodium 638 mg
Potassium 835 mg
Carbohydrates 15.8 g
Fiber 2.4 g
Sugar 6.4 g
Proteins 48 g

How Will Panamanian Ceviche Look And Taste Like?

The flavors of Panamanian Ceviche, an appetizer, goes from acidic to refreshing but is always attractive to the palate.

The satisfying crunch of celery lends a unique twist to Panama’s favorite ceviche, most commonly prepared with sea bass, shrimp, or both.

Ceviche is darker in color because of the black conch shells, bursting with flavors, including lime juice, onion, salt, pepper, tomatoes, and hot sauce.   

Recipe Card

Spicy Panamanian Ceviche served with slices of 🥑


Panamanian Ceviche Recipe

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Panamanian ceviche is a traditional Latin American dish made from fresh, raw fish marinated in citrus juices, typically lemon or lime, and seasoned with chili.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Keyword Panamanian ceviche, Panamanian ceviche recipe
Prep Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 291kcal


  • 1 Chopping Board
  • 2 Mixing Bowls
  • 1 Spatula
  • 1 Serving Dish
  • 1 Saucepan


  • 500 grams Fresh Fish (diced into 1" cubes)
  • 1 Tomato (diced)
  • ½ Onion (diced)
  • ¼ cup Red Bell Pepper (diced)
  • ½ cup Avocado (diced)
  • ½ cup Fresh Cilantro Leaves (chopped)
  • ½ cup Fresh Lime Juice
  • ½ cup Fresh Lemon Juice
  • ¼ cup White Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • ½ teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Salt


  • Clean the shrimp and cook it in a saucepan containing water for 2-3 minutes until it turns pink.
  • In a large bowl, combine diced tomato, onion, red bell pepper, avocado, lime juice, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper.
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 12 hours.
  • Stir in the cilantro leaves before serving. Serve chilled with crackers or tortilla chips.


Calories: 291kcal | Carbohydrates: 15.8g | Protein: 48g | Fat: 4.6g | Saturated Fat: 0.9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.6g | Cholesterol: 345mg | Sodium: 638mg | Potassium: 835mg | Fiber: 2.4g | Sugar: 6.4g


You might typically associate the dish with Peruvian food, but you will find that the Panamanian ceviche is quite different, a simpler version of that Peruvian favorite. It is a refreshing appetizer made with sliced red onions, lime juice, and seafood of your choice.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How to prepare Panamanian Ceviche?

It depends on personal preference. Some people like to marinate the seafood in the lime juice for several hours before adding the other ingredients, while others prefer to add all of the ingredients at once and let the dish sit for a few minutes before serving.

Is it safe to eat raw fish in ceviche?

You may have heard somewhere that ceviche’s lime or lemon juice “cooks” the fish and makes it safe. It is not true. You can eat the fish uncooked. However, raw fish can lead to food poisoning, and pregnant women are vulnerable to sickness.

Does lime juice cook shrimp?

The citric acid breaks down the proteins in the fish and cooks the meat for consumption, turning the flesh an opaque pink and destroying harmful bacteria.

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