Mexican Abalone Ceviche

Presented by Urs Heggli, Managing Director South China Sea Farm

A Baja California classic


I like to share with you the recipe of a dish that I got to know and like during one of my purchasing trips to the abalone fishing camps in Baja California in Mexico. Ceviche is a staple all over Mexico. It is usually prepared with raw tilapia fish or scallops that are marinated in lime juice. In Baja California, the very long, arm-like peninsula on the Pacific Coast, they do it with abalone. It is a cold and very colorful dish perfectly suited as a starter for a BBQ party with family or friends on a nice summer evening. Serve it together with a well-chilled dry white wine… or shots of Mexican Tequila if you are daring, it will get the party going for sure!

The ingredients are approximate; the star ingredient is of course Mexican abalone. Use the other ingredients as you like.

Mexican abalone are regarded as the best but they are very expensive. Abalone from South Africa are cheaper and also good. Not recommended for this purpose are abalone from New Zealand or China.

All canned abalone are already cooked. California Mexico and TellMama brand abalone do not need any additional hour long steaming. Just open the can, cut and enjoy it!

Below ingredients make about 20 one-bite Chinese spoon portions or 8 normal starter portions:


  • 1 can Californian Mexico abalone
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 medium sized cucumber
  • 1/2 pomelo
  • 1/2 green bell pepper
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 onion


  • 1/4 can brine from the abalone can
  • 1/8 cup fresh cilantro or dill
  • 2 limes
  • 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • sea salt


1/2 cup fresh parsley or sprigs of thyme.


Dice all ingredients into about 1cm big cubes. Juice the limes.


  • Actually there is no cooking involved just mixing and decorations:
  • Put all ingredients into a big bowl.
  • Add the seasonings according to taste.
  • Mix gently.


Serve chilled in Chinese spoons, cocktail glasses or bowls. Decorate with sprigs of thyme or parsley.

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