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Contramar's Red and Green Grilled Snapper Recipe

With half spicy salsa, half mild, Contamar's signature dish makes sure there's something for everyone.
My Mexico City Kitchen_Pescado a la Talla

Servings: 4-6
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes


for the green sauce:
4 garlic cloves
2 cups|40 grams parsley leaves
½ cup|120 ml safflower oil
pinch of ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt

for the fish:
safflower oil
1 whole red snapper, butterflied*, or 4 (8-ounce|230-gram) boneless red snapper fillets, with skin on
sea salt
1 cup|240 ml adobo de chiles rojos

to serve:
salsa verde
salsa roja
corn tortillas, warmed
refried beans, warmed
additional salsa of your choosing
lime wedges



  1. To make the green sauce: Place the garlic, parsley, oil, cumin, and salt in the jar of a blender and puree until smooth.
  2. Once you are ready to cook your fish, heat a grill to medium or a grill pan over medium heat. Brush the cooking surface with oil so that the fish won’t stick.
  3. Clean your fish well, then pat it dry. Using a sharp knife, crosshatch the flesh on the diagonal, making cuts about ½ inch|12 mm deep and 1 inch|2 ½ cm apart. Sprinkle with salt. If using fillets, spread two of them with ½ cup|120ml of the red sauce each and the other two with ½ cup|120 ml of the green sauce, being careful to coat the entire surface and get the sauce into the crosshatched knife marks. If using a butterflied whole fish, spread the red sauce on one half of the fish and the green sauce on the other half, carefully covering the whole surface area and working the sauce into the knife marks.
  4. Grill the fish, skin-side down, until it’s almost cooked through, 7 to 10 minutes. Using a spatula, carefully flip it over and cook the flesh side until it has char marks and easily releases from the grill or pan. Place it flesh-side up on a platter or onto individual plates.
  5. Serve with the warm tortillas, a bowl of refried black beans, whatever salsa you wish, and wedges of lime.

*If you don’t have a fishmonger who can butterfly a whole snapper for you, buy four fillets instead and cook two of them with the red sauce and two with the green, in a grill pan or on a grill. You want the grill marks because they sear the sauce into the flesh of the fish. Both sauces can be made a day ahead and stored in separate sealed containers in the refrigerator.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: This recipe has been reprinted with permission of the author from My Mexico City Kitchen: Recipes and Convictions.

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