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Pescado a la Veracruzana - Thunfisch mexikanisch

Pescado a la Veracruzana - Mexican tuna

February 23rd, 2021 | main dishes

In times when we cannot travel due to the corona pandemic, why not bring a holiday feeling on our plate at home! Last weekend we were on a short culinary trip in Mexico, more precisely in Veracruz on the east coast of Mexico. A wonderful tuna fish with a fiery, colorful sauce awaited us and it was as if we were listening to the sounds of marimba and mariachi in the humid, warm evening air… Viva México!

Pescado a la Veracruzana - Mexican tuna

With this recipe from Veracruz you can clearly feel the influences of the Spanish conquistadores of bygone times. “Pescado a la Veracruzana” is the sonorous name of the dish that you don’t necessarily have to prepare with tuna – other types of fish with firm, white meat are also suitable. By the way, prawns and squid are also simply delicious when prepared this way.

For me, Veracruz is a place that I will never forget. Twenty or thirty years ago we had long port stays of several days with container ships – still with the ship‘s own loading gear. So we were able to go ashore and enjoy the lively nightlife to the fullest. A large plaza, surrounded by arcades that housed the various bars and restaurants, attracted the crew and those who were not on watch every evening. You wandered from bar to bar, ate one (red-hot) snack here and another there. Two or three small mariachi and marimba bands played for a few pesos from the guests in front of the arcades in the plaza and also moved from one bar to the next. It was an impressive experience. Also in culinary terms. I had never eaten that spicy before…

Tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas, tamales – all wonderful little fingerfood. And then the fish and seafood and the famous chicken in mole sauce – a chocolate and chili sauce… But let’s turn to our Pescado a la Veracruzana:

Some say tuna is dry. That’s not true. The only thing that matters is first-class quality and the right preparation. It is important that the tuna fillet is cut into thick slices: it should be two centimeters. Then the fish is seared for about a minute on each side over high heat. My dearest captain and I like to call this type of preparation “kissed by the flame”. After searing the tuna should rest for another five to ten minutes – and the inside is nice and translucent to raw and very juicy. You should ask your fishmonger about the best quality – sashimi quality means the one that you can eat raw (delicious!).

As a side dish to Pescado a la Veracruzana, I would like to recommend roasted corn tortillas, guacamole and Mexican white rice. The Mexican way of preparing rice (recipe at the bottom) is absolutely recommendable, tastes much better than simply boiled rice. Try it out – it’s worth it!

Pescado a la Veracruzana - Mexican tuna with white rice

(4 servings)

2 onions, diced
3 TS clarified butter or olive oil
steam the onion in a high pan over medium heat for 5 - 10 minutes until translucent to golden yellow
3 large cloves of garlic, diced
add and sauté briefly (the garlic should not turn brown)
2 cans of chunky tomatoes (400 g each)
1 heaped ts dried oregano
1 heaped ts dried thyme
stir in
salt, black pepper from the mill
add salt and pepper and reduce to a thick consistency without the lid over a medium heat for approximately 20 - 25 minutes, stirring occasionally
400 ml chicken broth, preferably self-cooked, otherwise from a glass
add to the tomato sauce
1 bunch of flat-leaf parsley
pluck leaves, chop a part of them roughly, set aside, finely chop the stems and add to the tomatoes, stir and simmer for another 20-25 minutes over a mild heat, stirring repeatedly until you got a thick sauce
2 TS capers, chopped
3 TS pickled jalapeño chili rings, drained
2 TS raisins
150 g green olives stuffed with garlic
cut the olives into slices, add to the sauce with the capers, the jalapeños, the raisins and the chopped parsley leaves and keep them warm over the mildest heat
600 g tuna fillet in approx. 2 - 2.5 cm thick slices (ideally sashimi quality)
juice of ½ lime
drizzle the tuna with the lime juice and let it steep for about 5 minutes
3 TS clarified butter or olive oil
heat the lard and fry the tuna fillets over high heat for about 1 to 1.5 minutes on each side, the tuna should brown slightly, but still be translucent to raw inside
salt, black pepper from the mill
season the tuna and place on the sauce, leave to rest for 5 minutes
1 lime, quartered
sprinkle the tuna with parsley leaves and some jalapeño chili rings and serve garnished with lime wedges

White Mexican rice

(4 servings)

200 g long grain rice
cover with cold water in a bowl and let soak for 15 minutes, place in a colander, rinse with cold water, drain
1 onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, diced
2 TS clarified butter or olive oil
sauté the onions in a large pan with a high rim over a mild heat in the fat until translucent, add the rice and garlic and stir-fry until the rice is translucent (it shouldn't brown!)
400 ml hot chicken broth, preferably home-made, otherwise from a glass
pour in and lightly salt, bring to the boil while stirring
3 stalks of coriander green
1 fresh green jalapeño chili
place the coriander and chilli pepper on top of the rice, cover and cook over a mild heat for 20-25 minutes until the liquid is absorbed, then remove the rice from the stove and let it steep for another 10 minutes
before serving, remove the coriander and chilli pepper and, if necessary, fluff the rice with a fork

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