Veracruz-Style Red Snapper

I prefer red snapper however any fish with a flaky, white color can be used. It’s worth noting that most Veracruz-style fish recipes call for pickled jalapenos however I think that there’s plenty acidity due to the tomatoes and lime and I prefer fresh peppers a bit more.


  •  2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ½ white onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • ⅓ cup pitted, sliced green olives (such as Castelvetrano)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 (7 ounce) red snapper fillets, cut in half
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon caper juice
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 2  limes, juiced
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano


How to prepare?

There are 6 steps involved in making this super delicious dish.

Step 1

Preheat oven at 425° F (220 degree C).

Step 2

In an oven over medium-high temperature. Add onion and stir and cook until onions start to turn translucent, between 6 and 7 minutes.

Step 3

Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, approximately 30 seconds. Add capers and juice of capers Stir to mix

Step 4

Stir in tomatoes, olives, jalapeno pepper, . Stir and cook until jalapeno pepper becomes soft and tomatoes begin to break down in about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and add oregano.

Step 5

Sprinkle one teaspoon olive oil in an oven dish small enough for baking. Sprinkle on 1 tablespoon tomato oil mixture. Add 1 snapper fillet and black pepper, salt, as well as cayenne pepper. Finish with filling, salt, and lime juice. Repeat with the remaining snapper fillet, seasoning as well as lime juice, in a different baking dish.

Step 6

Bake in the oven preheated until the fish is flaky but not translucent, between 15 and 20 minutes.


Veracruz is one of the most beautiful states in Mexico (as I mentioned here); it is full of magnificent sceneries and places full of adventure. For those looking to immerse themselves in a unique culinary experience, each region of Veracruz has its own gastronomy with something different to offer.

When you visit Veracruz, your feast will start in the north with some zacahuil and bocoles, continue to the fried fish and seafood soups from Tuxpan (right in the middle of the state, at the seaside), and after that to the mouth-watering “tamalitos de chanchamito” in Coatzacoalcos, finally ending with the tasty adobada meat from Minatitlan in the south.

This is just the tip of the iceberg of all that you can find in Veracruz. The enchiladas from the Huasteca region, the aromatic coffee from Cordoba, the elegant and exquisite mole xiqueño made in Xico, Veracruz – the list goes on and on…Veracruz is not just the name of the state, but also the name of the main port in the state. Known as the “Heroic Port of Veracruz”, it has so many things to offer to the visitor. Veracruz has beaches, mountains, and some of the most diverse climates. Some of the above photos are courtesy of The Government of The State of Veracruz,

Adding fresh cilantro and olives to bottled salsa and canned beans gives you fresh-from-the-garden taste without much chopping. Feel free to use your favorite canned beans for variety. The salsa is also great with grilled chicken. To chop cilantro quickly, wash and dry the entire bunch while it’s still bound together. Starting at the top of the bunch, chop only the amount of cilantro leaves you need. (Don’t worry about including the stems; they won’t affect the flavor.) This method also works for parsley.

Veracruz was the first place in Mexico that Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés set foot in 1521, and its port remains a melting pot of cultures as reflected in its food. This recipe of red snapper cooked with the Spanish ingredients of olives, olive oil and capers melds beautifully with the ingredients native to Mexico: tomato and chillies.

Blend the 2 whole garlic cloves and the white vinegar until fine. Reserve. Score the snapper with four deep cuts diagonally down each side of the fish. Place in a 20 cm x 40 cm non-reactive flameproof baking pan (a fish poacher will also work perfectly). Add enough water to the pan to reach a depth of 2 cm, then place over medium heat. Cover and cook, undisturbed, for 25 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the lid from the fish tray and check for doneness. Add the Mexican bay leaves and the thyme. Meanwhile, heat a 30 cm deep saucepan over medium. Add the olive oil and onion and cook gently, without colouring, for 5 minutes or until softened. Add the extra garlic and continue cooking, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Add the jalapeño strips and continue cooking for a further 5 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic vinegar. Stir through, then add the diced tomato and season the mixture with salt. Continue cooking for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour the tomato mixture over the fish, then add the pickled jalapeños, capers, olives and reserved olive brine. Stir gently into the sauce taking care not to break up the fish. Continue cooking for a further 10 minutes or until the tomato is softened though. To serve, gently lift the fish onto a platter, then spoon the sauce over. Serve with steamed white rice and warmed tortillas.