Monday, January 9, 2012

Bringing Mexico Home: Pescado Zarandeado


Pescado Zarandeado is a signature Mexican dish that varies depending on the chef creating it. It can involve marinating a whole fish in a combination of lemon juice, garlic, soy sauce and lime. The choice of fish is often Pargo, which has sufficient fat content to prevent it from drying out during the grilling process. However, other types of fish such as Snook or Red Snapper can also be used. Then, the fish is butterflied and grilled over an open fire.

Pescado Zarandeado is thought to have originated on the isle of Mexcaltitan in the state of Nayarit. Today, Diego's in Mazatlan has mastered this national dish without losing sight of its basic roots. His version was a mayonnaise-based sauce with garlic, oregano, soy sauce, herbs and cilantro, which was different from the recipe I tried here.


Chef Diego Becerra, barefoot on the sand, made us Pescado Zarandeado grilled on the beach outside his restaurant. The smoky aroma of fish as it was slowly being grilled was tantalizing while the sound of the waves and the children playing on the beach made it memorable. Traditionally, mangrove wood was used to smoke this dish, however, now mesquite is used so that the mangrove forests are protected.

The Pescado Zarandeado was served on a large platter with all the sides filling the table. Everyone dug in to fill their tortilla with the fish, refried beans, salsa, onions, rice, a squeeze of lime and all sorts of other fillings. It was moist, tender, and delicious.


Recipe for Pescado Zarandeado

from link

Serves 6


For the marinade:
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup lime juice
6 cloves garlic, minced

For the fish:
1 3-pound fillet Snook, Dorado, Bonita, Red Snapper, Pargo or other white-fleshed fish suitable for grilling
6 tomatoes, deseeded and quartered
2 green bell peppers, cut into thick strips
2 red bell peppers, cut into thick strips
1 purple onion, cut into thick slices
6 jalepeƱos, sliced

Whisk the marinade ingredients. Let steep to blend flavors for about 15-30 minutes. pour over fish and let the fish marinate for 30 minutes.

If you don't have a grill or fish cage (or if it's winter!), you can put the fish in foil with the vegetables.

Grill (or bake the fish in the oven at 375° until the meat flakes). The time it takes depends on how large the fish is. My small Red Snapper took 20-30 minutes in the oven.

Serve with salsa, guacamole, refried beans, rice, limes and tortillas.


I would like to thank www.gomazatlan.com for inviting me to the 2011 Gran Fiesta Amigos. All stories, opinions and passion for all things Mexico shared on my blog are completely my own.

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    8 comments:

    Malak said...

    How delicious the PZ looks! Love your picture story! Mazatlan looks incredible!!

    Holly Bruns said...

    Mmmmmm. My mom is there right now, I sent her your blog post to go and try the fish. Looks so good.

    EB of SpiceDish said...

    Simple. Delicious. Gorgeous.

    hotpinkmanolos.com said...

    Oh my goodness... That fish looks absolutely amazing on the grill!!!

    Holly Bruns said...

    Hi Shari! My mom went to Diego's last night and said the fish was amazing. She showed him your blog post pictures and he bent over backwards to make her meal enjoyable. It sounds like he was really touched. Thanks for the tip!

    Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

    Holly, that is so great that your mom went there and showed Chef Diego the post. Very cool! :)

    Home Skillet Cooking said...

    Just found this blog...and wow, does that fish look amazing! will definitely be attempting this sometime!

    Randy Beckey said...

    The snowmen milkshakes look delicious and are cute to boot. Very cool Thanks