Ceviche, while delicious, is made from raw fish, and this means that you need to be extra careful when it comes to storage and be sure to eat ceviche before it goes bad.
While the acidic juices help to cook the raw fish somewhat, it still needs to be stored properly to ensure that it is safe to eat.
How long does ceviche last? Ceviche should not be left out for more than 2 hours. You are able to extend the life of ceviche by putting it in the fridge, and once stored away, it should be eaten within 2 days.
To make sure that you only ever eat fresh ceviche, keep reading to find out how long it lasts, and more important storage information!
What Is Ceviche?
Ceviche is a dish made with raw fish, citrus juices, fresh fruit, and sometimes vegetables. The raw fish in ceviche is cooked without heat, as the acid in the citrus juices cook the fish through a process called chemical denaturing.
This process turns the fish from a pink, translucent color to an opaque white. The lime or lemon juice mixture cooks the fish while still ensuring it is moist, juicy, and wonderfully flavorful.
Ceviche has a beautifully light, clean, spicy, and acidic taste. The portions are usually on the smaller size, but it is packed with nutritional content, and the richness is best enjoyed in a smaller portion.
It is important to note that while the citrus juices cook the fish, they do not kill bacteria or parasites, so you should only use the highest quality fish when making ceviche, or pre-frozen fish.
How To Best Store Ceviche
Ceviche is a dish best served fresh, with the fish being left to sit in the juices for just the right amount of time, and the longer you leave the fish in the citrus juices, the longer it will cook for.
Due to this, ceviche should really be eaten within 30 minutes of being made for the best freshness, but it is fine to eat it within 2 hours.
If you need to store the ceviche, you should pour out as much of the juice as possible, and place the ceviche in an airtight container and store it in the fridge.
When you are wanting to eat the ceviche, you can pour some citrus juice over it to freshen it up.
Make sure that the container you are using to store the ceviche is airtight, so no moisture or bacteria can come into contact with the ceviche. Alternatively, you can wrap a bowl or container tightly with some plastic wrap for added protection.
How Long Does Ceviche Last At Room Temperature?
Being raw fish, ceviche should not be left for long at room temperature. While the ceviche needs around 30 mins for the fish to cook, it should not sit at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
The fish will continue to cook in the marinade as it is left out, but after 2 hours, the fish will begin to change in texture and will not be as appetizing. Leaving it out for this long at room temperature and longer also increases the chance of bacteria growth.
The citrus juices cook the fish but do not kill bacteria and parasites, so these could continue to multiply if it is left at room temperature for longer than 2 hours.
The sooner you eat the ceviche, or get it into the fridge, the lower your chance of contracting a foodborne illness!
How Long Does Ceviche Last In The Fridge?
It is much better to store ceviche in the fridge than to store it out at room temperature.
As the fish is cooked in the acidic mixture and is not left completely raw, it is fine to leave ceviche in the fridge for up to 2 days, but only if it is stored properly.
It is best to remove as much of the liquid from the ceviche as possible when storing it in the fridge, to prevent the fish from sitting in it for too long and from breaking down and becoming mushy or slimy.
The acid in the citrus juice breaks down the protein in the fish, which is why it should not be left for too long.
When storing ceviche in the fridge, it needs to be kept in an airtight container, or a container wrapped tightly in plastic wrap to prevent any moisture, air, or bacteria from coming into contact with the ceviche, which could cause it to go bad quicker.
While ceviche should be enjoyed fresh, it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, but it does need to be eaten before this.
Signs That Ceviche Has Gone Bad
It is important to know the signs to look for to tell whether or not ceviche has gone bad, so if you have left it out at room temperature, or kept it in the fridge, you can be sure to avoid eating any that might not be okay to eat anymore.
One of the first signs that ceviche has gone bad is the fish becomes very mushy. The citrus acid continues to break down the protein in the fish the longer it sits in the juices, and this could lead to the fish becoming soft over time. If you notice this, throw the ceviche away.
Another tell-tale sign that ceviche has gone bad is if you notice a strong fish smell, or an unusual smell coming from the ceviche. Discard it straight away. The lemon or lime juice can only mask the smell so much, so it should be fairly obvious.
If you, unfortunately, take a bite of the ceviche before checking to see if it has gone off and notice an acidic taste that goes beyond what the lemon or lime juice should create, with some rancid notes, then stop eating and discard the ceviche.
As it is made with raw fish, the bacteria and parasites (if present) will not be killed by citrus juice, and these can multiply quickly if left in the right environments.
Can You Freeze Ceviche?
It really goes against the point of ceviche to freeze it, but if you really have to, remove all of the juices from the ceviche, place it in a plastic freezer bag, squeeze out as much air as possible, and seal the plastic bag before freezing.
The ceviche would still be edible after being frozen, but the texture and taste will not be the same. You could leave the ceviche in the fridge to thaw and add more citrus juice to give it more flavor and let the fish marinate some more.
It is a good idea to freeze any fish you might be wanting to use for ceviche before adding in all the other ingredients.
This is especially important for fish that is not super fresh or high quality, as the freezing process could help to lessen the number of bacteria and parasites.
Ceviche should be eaten fresh after the fish has been left to sit in the citrus juices for about half an hour. After this, ceviche should not be left out for more than 2 hours at room temperature or left in the refrigerator for more than 2 days.
The longer the fish is left in the citrus juices, the more the texture will change, to a point where it is actually unappetizing.
If you are wanting the best texture, freshness, and flavor from ceviche, it is definitely recommended to eat it as fresh as possible, to appreciate the amazing dish that it is, and allow all the fresh ingredients to shine!
How Long Should Ceviche Sit?
How long ceviche should sit depends on how you like to eat it. For medium ceviche, it can be left to sit in the citrus juices for between 15-25 minutes. For medium-well, the ceviche can be left to sit for 30 minutes or longer.
If you are going to let it sit for longer than 30 minutes, you should put it in the fridge to finish marinating to avoid spoilage and bacteria.
What Can You Do With Leftover Ceviche?
Use leftover ceviche to make tortillas or tacos, or top the leftover ceviche onto a fresh green salad. The fresh fish and fruit or vegetables go well with a few dishes, so there is no reason any should go to waste!
Does Shrimp Turn Pink In Ceviche?
Shrimp can be used to make ceviche, and when left to sit in the acidic juices, shrimp will turn a pink color, and turn to firmer texture, just as you would expect to happen if the shrimp was left to cook over heat.
You can also use cooked shrimp if you are looking for a quick ceviche.
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