1 five-pound red snapper(Pargo) or 2 smaller, cleaned. I sometimes remove the head, not always.
6 Guajillo Chilesde-seeded and deveined
1/2 white onion
2 garlic cloves
1 Tablespoon fresh Mexican oreganofirmly packed
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/2 – 3/4 cup Water
1 Tablespoon canola oil
4 Tablespoons Buttermelted
Saltto season the fish
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:
- Devein and de-seed theguajillo chiles and submerge them in a large pot of boiling water.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Clean the red snapper and butterfly it.
- Salt both sides and then coat with the chile paste. Set aside in the refrigerator.
- Prepare the mesquite fire until it turns to charcoal and burns red. The heat level should be medium.
- 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.
- Use a grilling basket to hold the fish and place it, skin down on the fire.
- Cook for about 3 minutes, then turn it over and baste with the remaining chile.
- Cook for another 3 minutes, turn and baste again.
- The chile, as it roasts on the fire, will become a shimmering deep, dark red and a bit crisped.
- When the fish is cooked, brush with butter and carefully peel it away from the grilling basket.
- 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.