Grilled Fish Skewers (Pescado Embarazado) Recipes


  • 1¾ cups freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1¼ cups canned tomato purée
  • ½ cup achiote paste
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped (2 Tbsp.)
  • 2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1½ tsp. finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1½ tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1½ tsp. finely chopped fresh thyme

Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Four 1-lb. whole mackerel or branzino, gutted and cleaned (or substitute 2½ lb. dogfish or mahi mahi fillets, cut into 2-inch cubes)
  • Canola oil, for the grill
  • Salsa Huichol and lime wedges, for serving


  1. Make the marinade: In a blender, add the orange juice, tomato purée, achiote paste, garlic, cumin, parsley, rosemary, and thyme. Blend until completely smooth, then transfer to a small pot.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium-high, then lower the heat to maintain a strong simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching, until the marinade is slightly thickened and the garlic no longer tastes raw, 15–20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then transfer to a heatproof bowl and let cool to room temperature. Use immediately, or refrigerate, covered, for up to 1 week.
  3. If using whole fish, use a sharp knife to score the fish crosswise on each side, being careful not to cut through to the bone. Rub 1½ cups of the marinade all over the outside of the fish and inside the slits. (If using cubes, toss the fish with 1½ cups of the marinade in a large bowl.) Let marinate at room temperature while you preheat the grill, at least 15 and up to 40 minutes.
  4. Preheat a grill over medium-high heat, or a grill pan or griddle over high heat. When the grill is hot, liberally oil the grates. Thread the fish onto 4 metal or bamboo skewers. Grill, turning occasionally, until the fish is charred in places and cooked through, 14–16 minutes for whole fish, 5–6 minutes for cubed fish. Transfer to a platter and serve with lime wedges, Salsa Huichol, and the remaining marinade.

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