Actor and chef David Burtka shows how seasoned lime juice and timing are the tips needed to make this easy ceviche from his cookbook Life Is A Party.

"There are no rules in this dish," David says. "The only given is that it's healthy, clean, and refreshing. If you want to add red peppers instead of the jalapeños, go for it!"

David likes to serve this with his Homemade Tortilla Chips.

Adapted from Life Is A Party by David Burtka. Copyright © 2019 by David Burtka. Used with permission by Grand Central Publishing. All rights reserved.


  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced (about 1 ¼ cups)
  • 1 cup fresh lime juice, from 6 to 8 limes
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded (if you want less heat) and minced
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound skinless red snapper fillets, cut into ⅓-inch dice
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus whole leaves for garnish
  • 1 pound medium raw shrimp (16-20 count), peeled and deveined
  • 1 English cucumber, skin peeled into stripes, seeded and finely diced (about 2 cups)
  • 4 small Roma (plum) tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Homemade Tortilla Chips, for serving


Serves: 6 to 8


In a large bowl, stir together the red onion, lime juice, jalapeño, garlic, and 1 teaspoon salt. Add the snapper and cilantro and stir gently to combine. Cover and refrigerate until the fish is opaque and just “cooked” through, at least 4 hours but no more than 6 hours (in ceviche, the citric acid in the lime juice breaks down, or denatures, the fish in a way similar to cooking with heat).

Meanwhile, bring a small saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper. Stir the shrimp into the boiling water, turn off the heat, cover, and let stand for 2 minutes. Drain the shrimp, then place them in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and freeze until the shrimp are cool to the touch, about 10 minutes (this stops them from overcooking). Cut the cooled shrimp into ⅓-inch pieces and transfer to a small bowl; cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

When ready to serve, gently stir the shrimp, cucumber, tomatoes, and olive oil into the snapper mixture. Taste and season with additional salt. Transfer to a large serving bowl and garnish with cilantro leaves. Serve immediately with tortilla chips.