Classic Shrimp Aguachile With Lime, Cucumber, and Red Onion Recipe

Photographs: Vicky Wasik

If you love ceviche, then Mexico's aguachile is for you. Traditionally made with raw shrimp, lime juice, chilies, cucumber, and onion, it's served immediately while still totally raw, unlike most other ceviche recipes. This recipe is about as close to the Sinaloa classic as you can get, and it's unbelievably delicious given its simplicity.

Note: Look for shrimp that are fresh and have never been frozen, and tell the fishmonger you are planning to eat them raw. If you can't find shrimp that are fresh enough, you can substitute gently cooked shrimp (in which case omit the salt-curing step), or another type of seafood such as raw sea scallops or sashimi-grade fish. If you buy head-on shrimp, use the heads for another purpose, such as making seafood broth, or deep-fried as a snack.

Recipe Facts

Active: 20 mins
Total: 80 mins
Serves: 4 to 6 servings

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  • 1 pound sashimi-grade head-on shrimp or 12 medium shrimp, shells and heads removed and reserved for another use (see notes)

  • Sea or kosher salt

  • 2 serrano chiles, stemmed and cut into 1/4-inch pieces

  • 2 tablespoons water

  • 4 tablespoons fresh juice from 4 limes

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion

  • 2 tablespoons diced seeded cucumber

  • Tostadas and sliced avocado, for serving


  1. Split shrimp in half lengthwise and discard any veins. Transfer to a plate, sprinkle all over with salt, cover with plastic, and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 2 hours.

  2. Meanwhile, in a mortar and pestle, combine chilies with a pinch of salt and pulverize thoroughly, then add water and continue to work until chilies are reduced to tiny bits. Alternatively, blend chilies with water in a blender or with an immersion blender until thoroughly blended. Add lime juice and season with salt and pepper.

  3. In a mixing bowl, toss shrimp with chili-lime marinade, onion, and cucumber. Season once more with salt and pepper and serve right away with tostadas and avocado.

Special equipment

Blender, immersion blender, or mortar and pestle

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
72 Calories
5g Fat
6g Carbs
3g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 72
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 6%
Saturated Fat 1g 3%
Cholesterol 23mg 8%
Sodium 246mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 2g 9%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 10mg 50%
Calcium 23mg 2%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 217mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)