From the Yucatan

This Yucatan-style, roasted fish dish is simple, with big explosive flavors and reminds us all why Mexican cuisine is one of the world’s most popular.

Bizarre Foods in the Kitchen: Roasted Red Snapper

Servings: 6


  • 3 pounds fresh red snapper fillet
  • 1 package of frozen banana leaves (sold as one-pound packs in the freezer section of any Latin or Asian market)
  • 1 pound sausage (see below)
  • 2 cups of fresh corn kernels
  • 2 cups canned, chopped tomatoes and their juices
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 minced onion
  • 1 cup grated queso blanco (a hard white Mexican cheese that tastes like mild feta)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Juice of 2 limes

The Sausage

  • 2 pounds coarsely ground natural pork
  • 2 pieces minced natural wood-smoked bacon
  • 1 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons chipotle pepper in adobo
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon Ancho chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoins minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon ground epazote


Place the oil in a sauté pan over high heat and add the onions, garlic, herbs and spices.

Cook for several minutes until onions are glassy.

Add the tomatoes and cook until liquid is evaporated.

Cool and fold in the corn, lime juice and cheese.

Unroll the banana leaves and cut into 3-foot lengths.

Place a fish portion into the third of the leaf nearest you.

Place a few tablespoons of raw sausage, crumbled on top of the fish and cover with a few tablespoons of the sauce. Season with salt, pepper.

Fold the fish packages burrito-style, tucking the sides in as you roll up the leaf.

Place on a sheet pan, seam side down to prevent unrolling, and bake in a preheated 400-degree oven for 40 minutes until cooked through.

Serve with corn tortillas, limes and a good spiky fresh hot chili puree.

The Sausage

This sausage can be stuffed into a natural casing and smoked; it can be frozen or grilled fresh. It can also be served in patties as well. Please allow the sausage to sit in the refrigerator for 24 hours before cooking to allow the flavors to develop. Use half the batch for this snapper recipe, and freeze the rest.

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