Steamed Zarandeado-Style Fish with Salsa Verde

Paola Briseño González
Paola Briseño González
July 18, 2023
Pescado Zarandeado is the celebratory dish of the West Coast regions of Mexico. Translated as "shaken fish," it’s typically a whole fish such as red snapper or sea bass, butterflied and slowly cooked over coals. A thick citrus and chile sauce along with butter, oil, or mayonnaise is brushed on at the last stage of cooking to season the fish. This recipe is inspired by the regional style of Pescado Zarandeado in Tecuala, Nayarit, in which a cooked salsa verde is poured all over the cooked fish for a bright and fresh take on the dish. The steam in the Anova Precision Oven gently cooks a juicy fish, and the probe ensures it won’t overcook. Once the fish has reached its target temperature, pull it out of the oven to brush the melted butter and a drizzle of the salsa verde to absorb into the fish. Switch the oven to a dry high heat to broil the fish briefly. The fish is then adorned with onion and cucumber rounds, a traditional look for Zarandeado that just might transport you to the beach. Note: Ask the fishmonger to remove the guts from the whole fish, scale it, leave the skin on, remove its head, butterfly it, and remove the bones inside.
Serves
4
Prep Time
00:25
Cook Time
00:10
Steamed Zarandeado-Style Fish with Salsa Verde
5 (1)
289
Ingredients
For the Zarandeado-Style Fish
2.5 lb
whole red snapper, sea bass, or rockfish, skin-on, head off, butterflied and bones removed
Kosher salt
1 Tbsp
unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup
cilantro leaves, minced
6
thinly-sliced rounds red onion (about ½ onion)
6
thinly sliced rounds English or Persian cucumber (about ½ cucumber)
2
limes, sliced into wedges, refried beans, and tortillas for serving
For the Salsa Verde
1 lb
tomatillos, husks removed and rinsed
½
small yellow onion, roughly chopped
2
garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1
serrano chile, sliced in half lengthwise, stem and seeds removed
1.75 cups
low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth (or water)
1 cup
cilantro, stems and leaves
Steps

1. Season the Fish

Pat the fish dry on the outside and the inside with paper towels. Place it on a baking sheet skin-side down and season all over with ¾ teaspoon of salt. For ease of moving the cooked fish, you can place a sheet of parchment paper on the baking sheet, just make sure none of the parchment hangs over the side. You may also cook the fish directly on the pan.
Season the Fish

2. Make the Salsa Verde

Combine tomatillos, onion, garlic, serrano, and broth (or water) in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring it to a simmer and cook, partially covered, until the tomatillos are dull green and cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes. Carefully transfer the mixture along with the broth into a blender; puree until smooth. Add cilantro and 1 ½ teaspoons of salt to the blender and pulse until smooth. Transfer salsa to a medium saucepan and cook over medium-low, skimming off any foam that rises to the top, 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
Make the Salsa Verde

3. Preheat the Oven

Rack
Position a rack on 2 and another rack on 5.
Sous Vide Mode: Off
Steam: 100%
Temp: 220°F
Heat: Rear

4. Cook the Fish

Rack
Put the fish on rack 2 and insert the probe in the thickest part of the fish. Cook until the fish reaches a target temperature of 115 degrees, about 6 minutes (or a few more minutes if your fish is thicker or larger). Pull the fish out of the oven to adjust to the next stage.
Sous Vide Mode: Off
Steam: 100%
Temp: 220°F
Heat: Rear
115°F Probe Target

5. Preheat Oven for Broiling and Brush Fish With Butter and Salsa Verde

Rack
While the oven comes to temperature, let the fish rest for a few minutes to absorb its juices. Brush the melted butter on the fish, and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of salsa verde. Season with more salt, about ¼ teaspoon.
Preheat Oven for Broiling and Brush Fish With Butter and Salsa Verde
Sous Vide Mode: Off
Steam: Off
Temp: 475°F
Heat: Top

6. Broil the Fish

Rack
Place the fish on rack 5 and broil until lightly golden brown around the edges and in spots, about 4 minutes.
Sous Vide Mode: Off
Steam: Off
Temp: 475°F
Heat: Top
00:04 Timer

7. Serve

Using a large spatula, carefully transfer the fish onto a medium serving platter, or just serve directly from the baking sheet. Pour half of the salsa verde all over the fish, and put the remaining salsa in a small bowl for serving at the table. Garnish the fish with cilantro and scatter the onion rounds on the fish. Place a cucumber slice inside each of the onion rings. Serve the fish along with lime wedges, a bowl of warm refried beans, and warm tortillas.
Serve
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