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The beautiful clean flavor of scallop ceviche is impossible to beat. Scallops are safe to eat raw as long as you make sure they are very fresh. The brightness of this dish is so appealing: the freshness, the simplicity. The lime (or other citrus) juice cooks the scallops making any present bacteria safe to eat. Once the scallops turn opaque, they are, in essence, cooked and not harmful but just plain delicious. But don’t just wait to order it in a restaurant — make it at home!

There are a lot of ceviches throughout South America and also in Central America and Mexico. Ceviche is thought to have originated in Peru or Ecuador (depends on who you ask, of course). It seems to have its roots in the ancient Inca civilizations of those regions. I absolutely love it — it’s just one of the cleanest and most refreshing and bright foods on the planet. Try it alongside other summery foods, like Watermelon Feta Salad or Grilled Mexican Street Corn. For the perfect meal, serve with a glass of Summer Fruit and Berry Sangria or a Cucumber Mint Gin and Tonic.

Scallop Ceviche in a green bowl.

Fresh, easy, and bright and sparkling. A colorful blend of citrusy marinated scallops with a touch of heat and a textural shot of vegetables.

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Ingredients

  • Scallops – Make sure the scallops you choose are actually bay scallops. Sadly there are quite a few seafood items that get marketed as scallops which are, in fact, scallop-shaped little bits of fish. Buy from a fish counter you know and trust.
  • Honey – Adds a touch of sweetness to balance the acidity of the dish.
  • Lime juice – The acidity in the lime juice is actually what “cooks” the scallops during marination. When cooking with limes, try rolling them with the palm of your hand to make it easier for the juice to be released.
  • Tomatoes – Adds a sweet, fresh element.
  • Poblano pepper – These peppers are very mild, so you get the delicious flavor of peppers without the spice.
  • Cilantro or parsley – Both herbs will work well here to add a pop of green to the ceviche.
  • Red onion – Has a punchy flavor that adds excitement to this dish.
  • Shallots – Add the same onion flavor with a little bit of sweetness. I love cooking with shallots because the flavor is not overwhelming.
  • Salt and pepper – To taste.
  • Chips or lettuce – Ceviche is great to eat straight with a fork or scooped up with tortilla or plantain chips. I also like wrapping a small amount in cup-shaped pieces of lettuce and eating them just like that.
Scallop ceviche in a yellow bowl.

How to Make Scallop Ceviche

  1. Make the marinade: In a large bowl, stir together the honey and lime juice.
  2. Combine: Add the scallops, along with the tomatoes, poblano pepper, cilantro or parsley, onion, shallots, and salt and pepper. Toss to combine.
  3. Marinate: Marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours and up to 24.
  4. Serve: Serve cold, in small bowls, with chips, or on lettuce.
Little bowls of scallop ceviche with fruit salsa in a serving bowl.

FAQs

How does ceviche get cooked?

While ceviche isn’t completely raw, it’s also not cooked. Sounds like I’m hedging here, but what happens is that the acid in the citrus juices used to marinate the fish or seafood actually “cook” the fish. Serious Eats has more details about how it actually works.

What is the best fish for ceviche?

The types of fish and seafood that can be used vary: much of it features firm, white fish such as sea bass or flounder (thick or thin, either works), but different types of seafood can also be used, like shrimp or scallops. If you wanted to use sea scallops instead of the bay, you could thinly slice them cross-wise and follow the recipe similarly, and that would be perfect. That preparation would look pretty snazzy fanned out on a plate.

How do you serve raw scallops?

If they are on the larger size, you may want to cut them in half horizontally so they cure — or cook — evenly. Something about small bits of ceviche is more appealing than larger chunks.

Woman holding colorful bowls of scallop ceviche.

Storage and Leftovers

If you happen to have some left, and you don’t think you’re going to eat it within the day, you can actually cook it. Tip the whole thing into a hot pan with a bit of olive oil heated in it, and give it a quick sauté. It needs mere minutes – those bay scallops cook fast). Serve it over some pasta as another iteration of your scallop creation.

What to Serve With Scallop Ceviche

Easy Homemade Guacamole

Shrimp Ceviche

Tropical Fruit Salsa

Woman scooping scallop ceviche from yellow bowl.

More Seafood Recipes

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Scallop Ceviche

4.50 from 4 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 2 hours
Total: 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 4 People
A colorful blend of marinated scallops with nice heat and color.

Ingredients 

  • 1 pound tiny bay scallops
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ½ cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 cup diced seeded tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons seeded and minced poblano pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
  • ½ cup minced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)
  • Tortilla or plantain chips (or scoop sized pieces of lettuce, such as bibb or butter to serve)

Instructions 

  • In a large bowl, stir together the honey and lime juice. Add the scallops, along with the tomatoes, poblano pepper, cilantro or parsley, onion, shallots, and salt and pepper. Toss and marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours and up to 24.
  • Serve cold, in small bowls, or with chips, or on lettuce.

Notes

The types of fish and seafood that can be used vary: Much of it features firm, white fish such as sea bass or flounder (thick or thin, either work), but different types of seafood can also be used, like shrimp or scallops, as in this recipe. If you wanted to use sea scallops instead of the bay, you could thinly slice them cross-wise and follow the recipe similarly, and that would be perfect. That preparation would look pretty snazzy, fanned out on a plate.

Nutrition

Calories: 137kcal, Carbohydrates: 19g, Protein: 15g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 27mg, Sodium: 449mg, Potassium: 402mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 11g, Vitamin A: 410IU, Vitamin C: 20mg, Calcium: 19mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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