Photo by Sonia Mendez Garcia

Yucatan-Style Baked Fish

Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 2 1/2 hours
Servings: 4 servings
The secret to this irresistible Yucatan-style baked fish is the tasty marinade. Enjoy the Real Magic of the holiday season with friends, family, and refreshing Coca-Cola.

One example of the flavor of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico is cochinita pibil, which consists of marinated pork in a mixture of achiote, sour orange, habanero peppers, and spices, then wrapping it in banana leaves and simmering it until tender. 

But Yucatecans are not only known for their pork, but also for their fresh fish, which is also marinated, wrapped, and grilled on a wood-fired grill.

The most common method is to grill the whole fish and not the fillets. For this recipe, we share with Coca-Cola a homemade version of Yucatan baked fish. A little preparation, a short marinating time, and a short time in the oven are all it takes to enjoy some of the flavors popular in the Yucatan.


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  1. In the blender, combine all of the ingredients for the marinade. Blend on high until smooth, taste for salt and set aside. Lightly season the fish with salt and pepper on both sides and place in a large baking dish. Pour marinade over to coat evenly, cover and chill for at least 2 hours.
  2. In a glass bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the pickled onions. Push onions gently down into the lime/oil mixture. Cover and set aside at room temperature. Toss to mix after an hour.
  3. Preheat a large stove top grill pan or griddle to medium heat for 5 minutes. When hot, drizzle with olive oil, add as many of the vegetables onto pan as will fit, minus the tomatoes. You want them to have direct contact with the hot surface. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook for a five minutes per side or until they just start to caramelize. Remove from heat. Add the tomatoes to hot pan and cook for just 20 to 30 seconds per side. Remove from heat.
  4. When fish has marinated, remove from refrigerator at least 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 400ºF. In a large baking pan, add all of the tomatoes to cover the bottom of pan. Divide the grilled vegetables in half. Spread first half evenly over tomatoes. Add marinated fish on the next layer. Spoon out some of the leftover marinade over the top. Add the remaining vegetables, juice of 1 lime, a drizzle of olive oil, pinch of salt and pepper. If there is any marinade left, drizzle a little more over the top layer. Cover with foil paper. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes.
  5. Uncover and bake for another 6 to 8 minutes. Remove form oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with your favorite rice, avocado and cilantro for garnish.

Chef Notes

If you are in a hurry, you could add the vegetables raw, but cooking them ahead of time gives them much more flavor. The pickled red onions can be prepared the day before for a longer marinade time. Not only for this recipe, but they are delicious on any fish recipe.

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