Yucatan-Style Grilled Fish / Tikin Nik

Serves: 4
Total Calories: 95


4 mahimahi fillets (each 6 to 8 ounces)
1 teaspoon annatto seeds
1/2 teaspoon peppercorn, black
2 allspice berries
2 cloves, whole
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
2 tablespoons orange juice, fresh and sour, or 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh regular orange juice plus 1/2 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons white vinegar, distilled
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup water, or more as needed
2 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil or melted unsalted butter, for brushing
1 onion, white, small, cut into 1/4-inch wedges
1 tomato, fresh, ripe, cut into 1/4-inch wedges
4 sprigs epazote (optional)
lettuce, shredded
cucumber, lime and tomato sliced
parsley, fresh Italian (flat-leaf) springs
"Dog's Nose" salsa (see recipe under Sidekicks")


1. Rinse the mahimahi fillets under cold running water, then drain and blot dry with paper towels. Place the fillets in a nonreactive baking dish just large enough to hold them flat in a single layer. Set aside while you prepare the recado.

2. Combine the annatto seeds, peppercorns, allspice, cloves, and cinnamon in a spice mill or clean coffee mill and grind to a fine powder. Transfer the powder to a small bowl and add the sour orange juice, regular orange juice, vinegar, garlic, bay leaf, and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir until the salt is dissolved and the mixture is well blended, then taste and add enough water to take out the sharpness. Pour the recado over the fish in the baking dish, turning the fillets to coat. Cover and let marinate, in the refrigerator, for 30 minutes.

3. Preheat the grill to high.

4. When ready to cook, preheat a fish or vegetable grate (if using) for 5 minutes. Drain the fillets and blot dry with paper towels. Brush both sides of the fillets with oil and season with salt and pepper. Generously oil the fish or vegetable grate or grill grate, then arrange the fillets on it. Grill 3 to 4 minutes. Using a long spatula, carefully turn the fillets, inverting each one onto a banana leaf rectangle (see Note). Arrange the onion and tomato wedges and the epazote (if using) on top of the fillets and grill until the fish breaks into firm flakes when pressed with a finger, 3 to 4 minutes more.

5. Using the spatula, carefully transfer the fillets to a serving platter. Surround the fish with the lettuce and the cucumber, tomato, and lime slices, and top with parsley sprigs. Serve immediately, accompanied by the salsa.

Serves 4

Note: You can omit the banana leaf, if you like, and just turn the fillets over onto the fish grate, but the fish won’t be quite as moist.

Nutritional Facts:

Serves: 4
Total Calories: 95
Calories from Fat: 60

This Yucatan-Style Grilled Fish / Tikin Nik recipe is from the The Barbecue Bible Cookbook. Download this Cookbook today.

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Yucatan-Style Grilled Fish / Tikin Nik

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