Thursday , 18 January 2018

Mayan Style Annatto Marinated Fish

Have you all missed me???

I’ve been on an unintended hiatus this past week.  I ended up taking a full time course load this quarter in an effort to graduate in July rather than December.  Long story short – one midterm, 2 papers, 1 case study, 2 group projects, an assignment and a final and I am done!

Woohoo!  I still have two more classes to focus on but everything came to a head this week with three of my courses wrapping up.

Unfortunately I’m a bit behind at my job which means today is going to be a day of laundry, work and house cleaning (sigh) but at least school has eased up slightly.  Thankfully, my husband took me out to a lovely dinner last night – after my last 8 hour class making dinner was the last thing on my mind.

But rest assured, I’ve still been cooking (had a fantastic dinner party last Saturday) but unfortunately just haven’t had the chance to actually do what I want – write about it!

Let’s get back to the food though (I’m way behind, I’ve got at least 8 different meals worth of pictures to edit and write about).

I’ve been very into using annatto lately.  Those poor seeds have been hanging out in my spice drawer for months while I tried to figure out what to do with them.  I bought them intending to figure out Filipino ways of using them but instead they’ve been used mostly in Mexican style dishes.

This fish is heaven!  I was worried because usually to please the fish hating husband I have to “hide” the fish under sauces, etc. as much as possible so he can mix it in and gulp it down.

The fish here is pretty much shameless, flaunting itself out there on the plate although it becomes a little more demure with its absolutely tasty topping of onion, tomato, cilantro and garlic.  Mostly though I’m going to attribute the total deliciousness of this meal to the marinade the fish rests in.

Husband’s comment “it doesn’t taste fishy at all” which is high praise indeed, especially when he quickly and happily eats it.  I served with some corn tortillas on the side (they were in my fridge) but you could easily make a sort of Mexican vegetable rice to round it out instead.

Mayan Style Annatto Marinated Fish

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Servings: 2

Calories per serving: 200

Fat per serving: 4.7

Mayan Style Annatto Marinated Fish

Prep time does not include the hour of marinating time.


  • ¼ tsp annatto seeds
  • ¼ tsp black peppercorns
  • ¼ tsp oregano
  • 1 whole allspice
  • 1 cloves
  • ¼ inch long piece of cinnamon stick
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp orange juice
  • ½ small onion, finely diced
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced and divided in half
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • ½ lb halibut, mahi-mahi or cod, cut into two pieces
  • ½ Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ small onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 small roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges for garnish


  1. Grind the annatto seeds, peppercorns, oregano, allspice, clove, cinnamon and bay leaf in a spice grinder and grind into a fine powder. Place lime juice, orange juice, finely diced onion, half of minced garlic, salt and water into food processer or blender, then add in spice mixture from grinder. Puree into a smooth paste.
  2. Arrange the fish in a shallow bowl and pour paste over it. Marinate in fridge for 1 hour, flipping halfway through.
  3. In a medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add thinly sliced onion and garlic and cook until they’re soft but not browned for about 3 minutes. Increase the heat to high and add the tomato and cilantro. Cook for another minute and add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and keep warm.
  4. You can either wipe out the same skillet or preheat a grill pan and cook the fish over medium high heat until done, about 4 – 6 minutes per side. Place the fish on a plate and spoon out the tomato onion mixture on top of the fish. Garnish with additional chopped cilantro (if desired) and serve with lime wedges on the side.

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  1. T hese look delicious. We like our fish not to taste fishy also so I understand your husband.
    Casey recently posted..Butternut Squash MuffinsMy Profile

  2. Looks so good. I love the flavors and the vegetables topping it.
    Carol @There’s Always Thyme to Cook recently posted..Pommes FritesMy Profile

  3. Wow you are so busy how do you manage to squeeze in everything in your schedule and still blog and read blogs. Well keep up the good work and good luck if you have any exams on the way
    Raymund recently posted..Pork Leg RoastMy Profile

  4. I’ve never seen annatto seeds before. Google says is peppery with a hint of nutmeg? Sounds wonderful. I’m happy for you that you’ve finished your studies – I missed visiting your blog. 🙂
    Kristi Rimkus recently posted..Fresh or Frozen Green Beans? Sesame and Garlic Green BeansMy Profile

  5. This does sound like a wonderful way to prepare fish! I’ve never had annato seeds before (at least not knowingly) so it’s hard for me to imagine how it would taste but all of the other flavors sound wonderful. If your picky fish-eating husband liked it, it must be good!
    Susan recently posted.."Be Mine" Chocolate Chip and Dried Cherry SconesMy Profile

  6. Welcome back Food Jaunts! Happy to see you back in the blogosphere with a delicious dish to boot. Anything Mexican inspired works for me and this sauce looks incredible. Love that this is light and healthy with bold flavours!
    Kelly @ Inspired Edibles recently posted..All Natural Frozen Banana-Lemon CreamMy Profile

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