Fish Fillets baked Fisherman Style Tikinxic

Let’s try something from one of my recent inspiration pieces: 1000 Mexican Recipes.

asterix (*) indicates where I substituted an ingredient, mainly because it is not available in Australia.

Fish Fillets baked Fisherman Style Tikinxic
2 tablespoons Yucatan Red Seasoning Paste or purchased achiote paste*
4 pieces of 6 to 7 ounce (170-200g) firm fish fillets, approximately 3/4 inch (20mm) thick*
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
4 pieces of (12 inch or 30cm) banana leaf squares
2 medium tomatoes, sliced
1 medium red or white onion, thinly sliced
4 yellow guero chilles, seeded and thinly sliced
12 pitted green olives, sliced*
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

I didn’t have the Yucatan paste, so I used chipotle chillies in adobo sauce. I only had blacka kalamata olives, so in they went. Fish-wise I used ling fillets, however the recipe recommends that you can use red snaper, grouper or mahimahi.

1. Preheat oven to 375 deg F (180 deg C). Put fish fillets on a plate, and rub all over with the paste.
2. Mix together the juices, oregano, cumin and salt, and drizzle over the fish
3. Lay a piece of foil on a flat surface and lay 1 banana leaf on top of the foil. Put a fish fillet in the centre of the banana leaf, and layer with tomato, onion, olives and chillies. Dot with butter.
4. Fold the banana leaf to enclose the fish in a package. Then fold the foil around both sides of the banana package to seal tightly so no steam escapes. Place folded side up on a baking sheet. Repeat with a second foil and then remaining banana leaf and fish.
5. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the fish turns opaque but is still moist inside and just barely flakes when tested with a fork. To serve, open the packages and transfer the fish fillet to each serving plate.

This can also be served on the plate inside its banana leaf package, but warning: it can get messy! There is a lot of delicious juice that you can use with your carb of choice – like quinoa, cous cous or brown rice.

This is what the fish looked like before baking:

Fish Fillets baked Fisherman Style

Waiting, waiting, waiting, whilst the delicious aroma of chipotle chillies and fish fills my kitchen.

Ta da!

Fish Fillets baked Fisherman Style

Noms. The baking process took away some of the saltiness of the olives. It’s a fine line between a layered raw onion and overcooked fish. Gotta make sure that the onion is sliced really thinly.

Next time?

I really like this method of cooking fish in the banana leaves. This also works well when panfrying. I’m not sure how much of the “banana leaf” flavour I could pick up in the finished product, everything else was so delicious. I am happy that I can compost the cooked banana leaves afterwards. Instead of using foil + leaf, once I’ve found a more regular supply of leaves (the local Philippino shop), I used this method to double layer the leaves instead of using foil.


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