Delicious California Sheephead Ceviche Recipe

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Here’s a ceviche recipe using local California Sheephead. Some people consider it the “poor man’s lobster.”

I consider it best served raw. It’s a soft white mean so if you’re not careful it can become mushy. However, making it into a ceviche seems to bring out all its nice qualities.

Sheephead Ceviche Recipe

California Sheephead Ceviche Ingredients

  • 1+ pound California Sheephead (bled after being caught)
  • 3-4 soft limes
  • red or white onion
  • cilantro
  • 2 avocados
  • salt and pepper
  • Optional: garlic, spices

How to Make Sheephead Ceviche

  1. Fillet your sheephead and remove any blood meat and bones
  2. Cut the fillets into one-inch cubes
  3. Place clean meat cubes into a large mixing bowl
  4. Cut limes into halves and use a spoon to remove the liquid. Put liquid in a bowl
  5. Dice onions and garlic and add them to the bowl
  6. Cut avocados in half, remove the seed, and add small cubes into the bowl
  7. Add diced cilantro
  8. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add any other spices you’d like
  9. Put the bowl in the fridge for at least an hour. You can go longer which tends to make the ceviche taste better

What Fish is Safe for Ceviche?

My top three favorite fish for ceviche are:

  1. Yellowtail
  2. Triggerfish
  3. California Sheephead

There are lots of fish options for ceviche. Make sure you keep your cleaning area clean using soap and water at a minimum. Some chefs are more concerned about kitchen bacteria contaminating their cutting surfaces and knives so use a dilution of bleach and water if you’re concerned about cleanliness.

How Fresh Should Fish Be for Ceviche?

Most people say fresher is better. I like to keep my fish on ice for a few days to allow the rigor mortis to break down. If I have the option, I also like to dry age the fish for a few days depending on the size of the fish to remove some of the moisture, concentrate the flavor, and improve the texture.

Does Lime Juice Cook Fish Ceviche?

Lime juice does not cook the fish in ceviche. It does change the color of the outer meat and the texture, however, it doesn’t kill potentially dangerous bacteria and critters like heat would from a stove or open flame.

Jon Stenstrom
Founder & Angler
Jon Stenstrom is a fishing enthusiast. He has over 25 years of fishing experience, and 6 years of spearfishing experience, and is currently learning how to boat. Jon has his Open Water PADI Certification and FII Freediver Level 1 Certification. Jon has traveled the world to fish and dive, most notably in the Great Barrier Reef, Baja Mexico, Thailand, and Malaysia. More Articles
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