Squid Ceviche

4 from 8 votes
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squid ceviche in bowl
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

This is the first squid recipe on this website, not because I don’t like calamari, but because I’d not caught them myself until now.

How did I catch my little squiddies? Not with a jig on a dock in the Pacific Northwest — I still need to do that someday — but in a recreational shrimp net in Mobile Bay, Alabama.

I had no idea you could still do this, but my friend Joe Baya from the magazine Great Days Outdoors showed me around his turf recently, and one of the things he was most eager to show me was recreational shrimpin’; even though I don’t normally drop my “g’s” on gerunds, I can’t bring myself to say “shrimpin-g.” Just seems wrong somehow.

Look for a full account of our trip soon, but suffice to say that among the many shrimp we caught, there were quite a few little squid. I am not totally sure of the species, but if I had to guess it would be Lolliguncula brevis, the brief squid. Anyway, this is what they look like:

Fresh squid ready for turning into ceviche
Photo by Hank Shaw

I wasn’t initially sure how I’d cook them, as there are so many ways. But I took them back to California with me, and since it’s been hot here, I chose ceviche. Yep. Squid ceviche, or as it’s called in Mexico, ceviche de calamar. Far more popular there than here, it’s raw squid “cooked” by citrus juice. (For discussions of ceviche safety, read this article)

You can find frozen squid in most supermarkets, and if you have an exceptional fish market near you, you can sometimes find them fresh. If they are fresh (or, likely, thawed) look at the eyes: They need to look clean and clear, not like they have cataracts; this is a sign of age. The calamari should be wet and happy looking, not dried out. And there should be just an oceanic aroma, not a bait stink.

As for the ceviche itself, you’ll need lots of citrus. Lime juice is traditional, but I like a mix. Some fresh hot chiles is a good idea, and red onion is essential. Cilantro goes in when you serve.

Calamari as ceviche is fun and different. Slightly slippery, a bit crunchy almost. It really goes well with diced sweet peppers, which is an ingredient I don’t normally put in my ceviche. Served on crackers or tortilla chips, it’s a great summer appetizer or light supper.

squid ceviche in bowl
4 from 8 votes

Ceviche de Calamar, Squid Ceviche

Any kind of squid you can find will work here, and of course you can substitute many kinds of fish, too. Just be sure to flash freeze your fish first, as some species can carry parasites that can make you sick if you eat them raw. 
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 4 people
Author: Hank Shaw
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes


  • 1 pound squid, cleaned and diced
  • 5 limes, zested and juiced
  • 1 grapefruit, juiced
  • 1 orange, juiced
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 1 small red onion, sliced thin
  • 2 sweet red peppers, diced
  • 1 or 2 hot chiles, such as habanero or serrano, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro


  • Mix all the ingredients together except the cilantro and refrigerate at least 1 hour, and up to overnight. When you're ready to serve, mix in the cilantro and serve cold with tortilla chips. 


Calories: 220kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 264mg | Sodium: 57mg | Potassium: 774mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 2891IU | Vitamin C: 185mg | Calcium: 116mg | Iron: 2mg

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

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About Hank Shaw

Hey there. Welcome to Hunter Angler Gardener Cook, the internet’s largest source of recipes and know-how for wild foods. I am a chef, author, and yes, hunter, angler, gardener, forager and cook. Follow me on Instagram and on Facebook.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Unlike most other types of seafood used in ceviche, squid should not be left in the marinade any longer than two hours, let alone overnight, as it will overcook and become tough as a rubber ball. The cilantro is perfectly acceptable to put directly in the marinade. Its flavor will infuse the marinade and penetrate the other ingredients. But that’s up to you. Dicing the squid is an odd choice. You’d slice it into rings and/or strips. I’ve never heard of anyone dicing squid in my life, for any purpose, because it would take a lot away from the texture and presentation.

    1. Jay, I agree with you. When I make mine, I add the acid right before I serve it. It only needs about 15-20 minutes and works best if you marinade the squid, well seasoned, with no acid, in an oil of your choice with any aromatics. I like garlic, scallions, bay leaves, green onions. Add your tomatoes, chiles, etc. at the time you add the acid to the squid. Perfectly tender every time and there’s never any leftover. Making some right now.

  2. Hey Hank,
    My name is Henry though I’ve been called Hank a lot in my life. I was trying to look up a recipe for squid ceviche and somehow found your site. Cool. When I was in college in Minnesota at St. John’s class of ‘76 I was an English and Philosphy major with a History minor so I wanted to be called Henry, nothing against Hank, but the former has more literary cred haha. But it didn’t take very long for those Minnesotans to start calling me Hank. I joked it was like a flock a geese going overhead. Hank, Hank, Hank! Hahahaha. I look forward to your correspondence. Have a very Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous New Year my friend. Henry Russ.

  3. Hank great ceviche recipe I will have to try it. Good to see some squid recipes on here. Know I have mentioned this before and also know your love of all things sausage, so here is one for you. Try making Calamari Sausages. I have done this a few time now for parties and are a hit. I use the squid body as a casing, pipe in the sausage mix (you imagination here) toothpick the de-beaked head to plug the end, squeeze of lemon, little olive oil, & dash of paprika on top and then to the grill where your squids will come to life with the sizzle of the BBQ plumping up just like a sausage and squirting all over, instead of ink of course, it is the sausage juices. Yummmy!

  4. Joshua: Sure, you can use those IF you freeze the fish first. Freshwater fish can carry larval tapeworms, and that’s no bueno. Read that link on making ceviche safely for more details.

  5. Cool addition to your site Hank. There are not many opportunities to procure squid in Montana. Perhaps trout or perch?