Ceviche V.S. Aguachile: What’s the Difference?

What is the difference between Ceviche and Aguachile, and can you even find them in Utah? They are both raw seafood dishes mixed with acid to flavor the fish, but the similarities end there. La Cevicheria owner Miguel Ortega walked us through the difference. 


•Generally contains more ingredients, including vegetables. 

•The seafood is commonly chopped or cubed into smaller pieces.

•It is marinated for longer—generally 20 minutes or more before serving.

•Contrary to popular belief, the acid (generally lime juice) doesn’t “cook” the fish, but rather the citric acid present in the juices alters the fish’s chemical properties through a process known as denaturation.


• The translation of “chile water” is the big clue—shrimp doused in a chilled chile broth, usually chiltepin. 

• Instead of the shrimp being chopped up fine, the shrimp are butterflied and served whole with minimal ingredients like salt, lime, onion and maybe avocado.

• It doesn’t have the same marinating time as ceviche.

Try Both at La Cevicheria

Restauranteur Manuel Ortega spent time finding the perfect urban location and opened La Cevicheria earlier this year in Downtown Salt Lake City, in the space formerly occupied by the small chain Cancun Cafe. He made major renovations and now the building is impossible to miss, with giant blue octopus tentacles splayed on its exterior. The inside is a festive mix of Mexican playa vacation meets an insta-worthy Malibu Barbie home with fish scales. You’ll want to pull out your phone and take a vacay pic (without leaving town).  

The menu is filled to the brim with 11 unique varieties of ceviche, and a few aquachile options as well. Read our full review of La Cevicheria here!

See more stories like this and all of our food and drink coverage. And while you’re here, why not subscribe and get six annual issues of Salt Lake magazine’s curated guide to the best of life in Utah. 

Lydia Martinez
Lydia Martinezhttp://www.saltlakemgazine.com
Lydia Martinez is a freelance food, travel, and culture writer. She has written for Salt Lake Magazine, Suitcase Foodist, and Utah Stories. She is a reluctantly stationary nomad who mostly travels to eat great food. She is a sucker for anything made with lots of butter and has been known to stay in bed until someone brings her coffee. Do you have food news? Send tips to lydia@saltlakemagazine.com

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