Fish in Chile-Lime Sauce – Pescado en Chile-Limón

Finally, to wrap up the month of June and my Veracruz-themed posts, nothing better than this simple and traditional recipe from the municipality of Catemaco, in the Southern region of Veracruz.  This is a colourful preparation of fresh green jalapeño peppers, with lime juice and a pinch of salt.  This was also a great opportunity for me to use my very first jalapeño backyard harvest of the season; I only had two small peppers, so my sauce was relatively mild.  To adjust spiciness, more jalapeños may be used. 

Fish in Chile-Lime Sauce –

Pescado en Chile-Limón

Ingredients (for two servings)

2 portions white flesh fish fillets (such as haddock, snapper, bass, etc.)
1 tbsp oil (vegetable or olive)
1 tbsp butter (optional)
2 fresh jalapeño peppers, or more, to taste; washed
2 limes; washed
1 tsp coarse salt, or to taste
Salt and black pepper, to taste

For the sauce, gather the jalapeño peppers, coarse salt (I used Kosher) and limes:

Kosher salt, limes and my small, first-harvest jalapeño peppers

Remove stems and seeds from the peppers with caution (do not touch your face, and wear gloves if sensitive), and place in a blender jar.  Slice limes and squeeze juice; add juice to the jar, and season with salt (photo below, left).  Blend until well ground into a runny sauce (photo below, right):

Reserve sauce.  Pat fish fillets dry with a paper towel, then season with salt and black pepper on both sides.  In a frying pan over medium heat, warm up oil, then add butter to melt (if using); add fish fillets, cooking for a few minutes per side:

Transfer fish onto two dinner plates, and divide sauce over the fish.  Some suggestions for sides could be tomato slices on a bed of lettuce leaves, white Mexican rice and beans, with plantain, or as shown below, with a baked potato with sour cream, with garnishes of radish and chives sprinkled on the potato and fish:

This recipe of simple directions, and a very short ingredient list, is so easy to make, but looks amazing on the plate.  The resulting – surprisingly rich – flavour is also hard to explain, but this sauce has just the right level of tartness and a bright punch, and is the perfect topping for a grilled or, as in this case, pan-fried fish; I can attest to that with empirical evidence, from the observation of how my husband was able to produce a clean plate in record time.


I am bringing my recipe to Full Plate Thursday #491 with Miz Helen @ Miz Helen’s Country Cottage. UPDATE: Many thanks to Miz Helen for featuring this recipe at her Full Plate Thursday #492 party!


I am sharing my recipe to Thursday Favourite Things #446 with Bev @ Eclectic Red Barn, Pam @ An Artful Mom, Katherine @ Katherine’s Corner, Amber @ Follow the Yellow Brick Home, Theresa @ Shoestring Elegance and Linda @ Crafts a la Mode.


I am joining Fiesta Friday #335 with Angie @ Fiesta Friday, this week co-hosting with Petra @ Food Eat Love.


I am also sharing my recipe at What’s for Dinner? Sunday Link-Up #260 with Helen @ The Lazy Gastronome.

29 thoughts on “Fish in Chile-Lime Sauce – Pescado en Chile-Limón

  1. You grow your own jalapeños! I’m so jealous! Do you have any plans to convert some into either dry or wet chipotle? God, that plating looks gorgeous. I usually pan roast fish fillets when they’re on the thicker side, but this looks so good I’ll have to try it the way you wrote it. Your hubby is a lucky man indeed! Thanks for posting this 🙂

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind comment! Pan roasting would be great, as well, and just top with the sauce right before serving. I do not have a smoker, so I cannot make my own chipotle peppers; I usually freeze some whole peppers (green and red) and I use them in winter for cooked sauces and stews.

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  2. Guess what I’m eating for a late lunch right now? It is delicious! I didn’t have much lime juice left maybe 1/8 of a cup and so put a little jarred salsa in it. So tasty with a small heat. Lots of flavor. So much healthier than battering and deep-frying. Thank you for this recipe, Irene!

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  3. What a great recipe! I love the simplicity but can almost taste the flavors reading the recipe, it sounds delicious!
    Thank you for sharing it with us at Fiesta Friday! 🙂

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