Aguachile Vs Ceviche: How To Tell The Differences? is reader-supported. When you buy through the links on our site, we may earn a small commission. Read more

Ceviches and Aguachiles should be on your preferable list if you enjoy Latin cuisine. Some individuals, however, continue to mix up these foods. So, how to tell the differences between Aguachile vs Ceviche?

These dishes are comparable in many ways. They’re marinated fish meals. But, the difference between Aguachiles vs Ceviche is in the cooking time and the components in the marinade.


  • Origin: Mexico’s Pacific Coast.
  • Ingredients: water and chili.
  • Cooking recipes: serve right away.


  • Origin: Central America and Mexico.
  • Ingredients: fresh fish and lime juice.
  • Cooking recipes: 20 minutes.

We will provide some bonus tips for cooking. Continue reading to find out more!

Aguachile Vs Ceviche: Quick Overview

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Aguachile and Ceviche have been a staple of Latino cuisine even before being given names.

The two have evolved into widespread meals found in street food vendors and high-end restaurants.

Aguachile: What Is It?

Aguachile stands for “chili water” in Spanish. This meal should be on the culinary must-try list for those who enjoy spicy flavors.

You can also find this dish in Mexico, with origins from Sinaloa. Moreover, there are many different varieties of peppers in the recipe.

One among the critical components of this meal is Chiltepines, which is a Sinaloa native. Also, chilies like jalapeno and serrano are popular.

Since preferences vary, you may alter the primary ingredients of Aguachile. To add more fruity tastes and colors to the Aguachile sauce, some folks add watermelon, mango, and even alcohol.

Ceviche: What Is It?

It is a raw fish seasoned in lime juice before being cooked. This cuisine is popular throughout Latin America’s coastlines and some Caribbean countries.

Conch, lobster, shrimp, squid, octopus, and snapper are some of the most common seafood options, depending on where you go.

Central, Southern Latin America, and Ceviches often include other ingredients like corn or potato. Tomatoes, cilantro, and onions are additional common ingredients. 

Several Mexican food stalls even include avocados in the Ceviches. Others mix chilies into the Ceviche or consume them separately.

In-Depth Comparison Of Aguachile Vs Ceviche 

Although people sometimes use the two interchangeably, this article will show you: ‘what is the difference between Aguachile and Ceviche?.’


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Although both recipes have their origin from South America, Ceviche is primarily Peruvian cuisine. Meanwhile, Aguchile is associated with cities along Mexico’s Pacific Coast in the northwest.

The Aguachile originates from the shore of Sinaloa, one of Mexico’s states. Long before the Spanish invasion, people utilized salt to make the Sinaloa indigenes’ sun-dried pork, such as deer and wild boar.

Then, they would heat water with a significant amount of chili peppers and cook the jerky meat. This traditional method of preparation became known as Aguachile, or chili water. It is safe to say that the meal got its name from the key components.

Meanwhile, Ceviche is commonly associated with Mexico and Central America. However, there are various hypotheses as to where it originates.

As the research points out, Ceviche was not popular for many centuries because it was deemed “underclass” cuisine until there was a change.

When the Sino-Japanese war erupted, many Japanese migrants flocked to Peru to try their hand at farming. 

Because seafood is such a vital part of the Japanese dish, it is no surprise that Peruvian food began to take on Asian influences.


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This dish is ready to serve right away 

The Aguachile is made by first boiling chili peppers in water, then adding other veggies, including tomato, lime juice, onions, cilantro, and more. It contains chili and water. Ceviche is a traditional Peruvian meal (appetizer).

By using fresh fish cured in lime juices and seasoned with chili, onions, salt, coriander, and aji, people soak it in lime juice before being added to the Ceviche.

Cooking Recipes

Unsurprisingly, the thought of “cooking” fish using lemon juice can blow your head. Yes, you may prepare this meal without the use of heat.

Denaturation is a chemical reaction that occurs when heat and citric acid interact. Hydrogen bonds in proteins change their initial state during denaturation, allowing them to interact with other substances.

While not raw, denaturing proteins does not kill germs as heat does. Therefore, if you consume Ceviche with fresh seafood, you may face the danger of being ill.

Another significant difference between Ceviche and Aguachile recipes is the time to season the food. The food is put into the Ceviche then left to season for 20 minutes.

For Aguachile, you can serve the fish right after combining the ingredients. Therefore, the preparation of Aguachile is shorter.

Bonus Tips For Making Ceviche And Aguachile

  • Always wash hands and use gloves afterward. After working with peppers, wash any prep tools with soap and warm water.
  • The most effective technique to chill your tongue is to drink milk or any other dairy product. Hard alcohol is another excellent option. Use toast to absorb the heat and oil if you do not have any other choices.
  • You should keep peppers away from moisture, light, and heat. Instead, keep them somewhere dark and cool.
  • Many people serve Aguachile like a Mexican appetizer. It also comes in various tastes, such as a version with chipotles, soy sauce, and adobo sauce.


Here are some frequently asked questions we have collected while researching this field. We hope they benefit you and save you much time searching on Google.

Is Ceviche Vs Aguachile The Same?

These dishes are similar in many aspects, but differences include marinating duration and ingredients.

Aguachiles are thrown in ‘chile water’ and eaten right away, whereas people marinate Ceviche in lime for 20 minutes or even hours.

Is The Shrimp Raw In Aguachile?

People often use raw shrimp to make this dish, although people may cure white-fleshed fish in a moderate acid bath, similar to Peruvian ceviche.

What Does Aguachile Mean In Spanish?

Aguachile (Spanish for “chile water”) is a Mexican dish in which shrimp soaked in a fluid seasoned with lime juice, chili peppers, salt, cilantro, onion slices, and cucumber slices. People often use cucumber and other raw veggies.

How Do You Eat Aguachile?

While Ceviche takes 15 minutes to half an hour to marinade, people can serve it right after throwing the shrimp within citrus and is meant to be eaten raw like sashimi.

Is Ceviche Supposed To Be Gray?

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A traditional Peruvian meal 

The shrimp first become pink around the edges, turn translucent, and finally seem cooked. Its texture will also alter. 

Take a portion of shrimp and chop it in half if you are unsure. It still has a long way to go if the interior is still gray.


We’ve given you some pointers on how to tell the difference between Aguachile vs Ceviche. It’s not difficult to prepare for them.

Furthermore, they may be both pleasant and nutritious. As a result, taking the time to experiment with these dishes is worthwhile.

This information should prove to be beneficial to you. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you require any information. 

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