Pescado Zarandeado

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Pescado Zarandeado

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Ingredients

1 five-pound red snapper (Pargo) or 2 smaller, cleaned. I sometimes remove the head, not always.
6 Guajillo Chiles de-seeded and deveined
1/2 white onion
2 garlic cloves
1 Tablespoon fresh Mexican oregano firmly packed
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/2 – 3/4 cup Water
1 Tablespoon canola oil
4 Tablespoons Butter melted
Salt to season the fish
  • Medium

Ingredients

Directions

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Pescado Zarandeado is a fish dish, typically Snapper, that is heavily marinated in chile and spices, and then slowly smoked in a special grill called a “mesquite” while being continually basted with the marinade. It is often sold plain as a street-food or in nicer restaurants with rice and/or beans, or sometimes on a salad with a simple lime dressing.

How to Make Pescado Zarandeado:

  1. Devein and de-seed theguajillo chiles and submerge them in a large pot of boiling water. 
  2. Turn off the heat and let the chiles soak for 20 minutes until they are thoroughly re-hydrated.  Then drain the chiles and discard the water.
  3. In a blender, add the drained chiles, garlic, onion, oregano, salt and enough water (1/2 -3/4 cup) to blend well into a smooth purée.
  4. Heat the oil in a deep saucepan, over medium heat, then add the chile purée and cook until the color deepens and the chile coats the back of a spoon, about 6 minutes.
  5. Clean the red snapper and butterfly it.
  6. Salt both sides and then coat with the chile paste. Set aside in the refrigerator.
  7. Prepare the mesquite fire until it turns to charcoal and burns red.  The heat level should be medium.
  8. If you hold your hand (be very careful) four inches above the coals, you will be able to keep it there for only four seconds.
  9. Use a grilling basket to hold the fish and place it, skin down on the fire.
  10. Cook for about 3 minutes, then turn it over and baste with the remaining chile.
  11. Cook for another 3 minutes, turn and baste again.
  12. The chile, as it roasts on the fire, will become a shimmering deep, dark red and a bit crisped.
  13. When the fish is cooked, brush with butter and carefully peel it away from the grilling basket.
  14. Serve immediately with thinly sliced iceberg lettuce, tomato and avocado that has been sprinkled generously with an emulsion made of olive oil, Mexican lime juice, vinegar and salt.

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