Mini Mealtime Monday: Red Snapper Veracruz-Style

This week’s recipe is a signature fish dish from Veracruz, Mexico. It combines native ingredients, like flaky fish from the coast, and savory Spanish ingredients like olives and capers. I’ve eaten the Trader Joe’s version (frozen, thawed, and baked) on several occasions, but this home-cooked recipe blows it out of the water. It comes together quickly for something with such an intricate mix of flavors, and makes a delicious and doable main course for any day you’re craving something fancy.

The traditional preparation involves a whole red snapper which is marinated before baking. This version, from one of chef Nita Mehta’s fun and informative cookbooks, uses fillets. You can substitute other types of rockfish or white fish if there’s no snapper available at your supermarket. There are many versions of this dish. Many include jalapenos, some have raisins, and this one includes cream for a little added richness. The best way to serve Veracruz-style red snapper is with rice and some traditional roasted potatoes. Have fun experimenting with it!

Red Snapper Veracruz-Style

From Nita Mehta’s Mexican Cooking


Property of Melanie Bell

500 g/1 lb red snapper or other white fish fillets

2 T olive oil

2 onions, chopped

2 t garlic paste

400 g/12 oz tomatoes

10 green olives, pitted and chopped

2 T capers

3 bay leaves

¾ t peppercorns

1 t salt

½ cup cream

Melanie Bell

Melanie Bell

Melanie Bell grew up on Prince Edward Island, Canada and lives in San Francisco. Her work has appeared in xoJane, Jaggery, Art Animal, The Island Review, The Fiddlehead, CV2, and various other publications. She teaches about Enneagram personality types at Berghoef Bell

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