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Fish Veracruz (Pescado Veracruzana)

Pescado a la Veracruzana literally means fish in the style of Veracruz. Fish Veracruz is light, colorful and simple Mexican dish with tomatoes, capers and olives.
Course Entree
Cuisine Mexican
Level Beginner
Main Ingredient Fish
Diet Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar, Low-Carb, Low-Fat, Pescatarian


  • 4 fillets white-meat fish (snapper, cod, or halibut)
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 4 large cloves garlic minced
  • 3 medium tomatoes diced
  • 1 Serrano chili minced
  • 1/2 cup pitted green olives slice in half
  • 1/3 cups capers in brine drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon marjoram
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro minced
  • 1 lime sliced into wedges


  1. For the Veracruz sauce, fry the onions and garlic in a couple tablespoons of olive oil until soft and translucent. Add the tomatoes, chili, olives, capers, oregano, marjoram and bay leaf. Cook over medium high heat for about 20 minutes to reduce the amount of liquid and concentrate the flavours. Taste it and add salt as needed (about 1/2 tsp of kosher salt should do it).
  2. To get the fish crisp and brown on the outside, you need to get the surface very dry, use paper towels and try to get as much moisture off the surface as possible. Start heating a cast iron pan over medium high heat.
  3. When the pan is very hot, lightly salt and pepper both sides of the fish. Add a splash of oil to the pan and swirl to coat. Put the fish into the pan and do not touch until it starts turning brown around the edges and no longer sticks to the pan. Gently flip and brown the other side. If you're cooking thicker cuts of fish, the center should read 125 degrees F on an instant read thermometer.
  4. When it's cooked, plate the fish. Stir the minced cilantro into the sauce. Cover the the fish with the Veracruz sauce and garnish with some spare cilantro leaves and a wedge of lime.