The mayan Tikin-Xic

The Tikin-Xic is an authentic mayan recipe that takes advantage of the grouper fish; the grouper is a sedentary fish with a wide jaw, a long and flat body that lives close to seaweed and corals in tropical and moderate climate waters. The grouper's flesh is appreciated for its mild taste.

This recipe calls for cooking the fish in a large skillet, but you can also cook it in the oven, in which case we wrap the fish with the banana leaf in a covered roasting pan at 350 ºF for 45 minutes or until it is cooked, splashing it occasionally with the juice from this mexican recipe.

Ingredients for 4-6 portions:

* 1 Achiote paste package
* 4 lb. Grouper fish without its Backbone, or any white fish, head discarded
* the Juice from 8 bitter Oranges
* 3 or 4 Güeros Chilis
* 5 tablespoons of Olive oil
* 4 red tomatoes
* 2 Green or Red Bell Peppers
* 2 teaspoons Oregano
* 1 Banana leaf
* 2 Red Onions
* Salt and Pepper to your Taste


1- Ask the person serving you at the fish market to slice the fish in two fillets while removing the fish's backbone. Wash and cut the tomatoes, the peppers and the onion.

2- Wash and cut the Güeros Chilis in strips. Wash thoroughly the fish and then dry it with absorbent cooking tissue.

3- Season the grouper fish to your taste and meanwhile, dissolve the achiote paste in the bitter orange juice. Once ready, put the fish in a pan and pour the achiote liquid over, allow to marinate in the refrigerator for about 3 hours.

4- Put a large skillet over the stove, line the bottom of the skillet with the banana leaf and place the fish on top. Then place the chilis in strips, the onion, the peppers and the tomato slices over.

5- Sprinkle the oregano over these ingredients, pour the olive oil over, season again to your taste and wrap the fish by folding back the banana leaf over the top.

6- Cook the fish a few minutes per side until it is cooked and that its flesh is soft, up to the point when the fish's flesh flakes come off easily. Serve it warm on a plate lined with a banana leaf and the vegetables on the side.

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