A THOUSAND WORDS: Pescado Zarandeado — grilled fish Mexican style

On a beach near San Blas, Pedro Garcia grills whole fish pulled fresh from the sea.

WORDS AND PHOTOS BY CINDA CHAVICH


Playa Las Islitas is just one of the many wide sandy beaches lined with outdoor palapa bars near San Blas, Mexico, where local seafood, pulled fresh from the sea, is the specialty.


Restaurant Mysis III on Playa Las Islitas, a sandy stretch near San Blas, Mexico

At Restaurant Mysis III, a rustic, open-air restaurant at the end of the road, Pedro Garcia has a smoky mangrove wood fire going and is busy seasoning a large butterflied snapper to lay across his make-shift grill. Basted with a spicy, garlicky butter flavoured with citrus and achiote paste, the Pescado Zarandeado is the local specialty, and comes to the table garnished with sliced onions, tomatoes and oranges, smoky and juicy and ready to wrap in tortillas with a splash of the local Salsa Huichol hot sauce.

It’s a fish feast that starts with his crispy fish chiccarones and platters of cool and spicy aguachile, a ceviche made with local prawns – perfect to have with an icy, long-necked Pacifico beer at a shady table by the beach.



Aguachile, a ceviche made with local prawns, is another specialty at this palapa restaurant on the beach

Crispy fried fish "chiccarones", to wrap in tortillas, is another specialty at Mysis III

PESCADO ZARANDEADO 101


For his Pescado Zarandeado, Pedro Garcia starts with a whole red snapper that's butterflied and seasoned with salt

The seasoned snapper is ready to cook

The whole fish is grilled to perfection over a smoky mango wood fire

Pedro Garcia bastes the grilled fish with a spicy, garlicky butter flavoured with citrus and achiote paste


Garnished with oranges, onions and tomatoes, Garcia delivers his zarandeado to awaiting guests

Pescado Zarandeado is a traditional preparation for fish in Mexico

Restaurant Mysis III promises 'The best seafood in the region'

A lunch of grilled fish at Mysis III on Playa Las Islitas in San Blas is just one way to enjoy this beautiful beach

TRY IT YOURSELF!

Pescado Zarandeado is a traditional fish dish from the Nayarit region, one that inspired the restaurant Zanaya in the Four Seasons Hotel in Mexico City — a perfect place to try it if you don't make it to Restaurant Mysis III on the beach in San Blas.


Or if you'd rather make it at home, here's a link to a recipe from Chef Rick Bayless!