Veracruz Style White Fish

Pescado a la Veracruzana

Delicious, beautiful, healthy, and easy to prepare, this white fish  “a la Veracruzana” covers all the bases.

Any dish that is served ” a la Veracruzana,”  which means Veracruz style, is served with a mild tomato sauce prepared with olives and capers.

This is one of the few sauces served in Mexico that doesn’t have any chile in it.

White Fish Veracruz Style

Ready to Cook?

Start by gathering all of your ingredients. For this dish, you will need white fish fillets, tomato, onion, olives, capers, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, and chicken broth.

The full ingredient list is below in the recipe. The traditional fish for this dish is red snapper. When prepared with red snapper the dish is called, “huachinango a la Veracruzana.” We used tilapia but any firm mild white fish works well.

Ingredients Veracruz Style White Fish

Prepare the Sauce First

Over medium heat, fry the onion and garlic in 3 tablespoons of cooking oil for 4 minutes. You are starting to build flavor in the sauce.

Sauteeing Onions and Garlic for Veracruz Sauce

Add the tomato, black pepper, and salt.

Cooking Tomatoes for Veracruz Sauce

Reduce the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes until the tomatoes have given off much of their liquid.

Cooking Tomatoes for Veracruz Sauce

Crush the tomatoes, onion, and garlic with a bean or potato masher.

Crushing Tomatoes for Veracruz Sauce

Next, add the spices and stir.

Spices Added to Vercruz Sauce

Add the chicken broth.

Chicken Broth Added to Vercruz Sauce

Add the chopped olives and capers and stir. Simmer for 15 more minutes. It’s starting to look good, isn’t it?

Olives Added to Vercruz Sauce

Cooking the Fish

After the sauce has simmered for 15 minutes, start cooking the fish. In a separate pan over medium heat, lightly brown each side of the fish in 3 tablespoons of oil.

Pan Frying Tilapia

Don´t let the fish get too brown.

Pan Frying Tilapia

Once you have browned the fish on both sides, place each fish fillet in the simmering sauce.

Simmering Fish in Veracruz Sauce

Cook for 10 minutes until the sauce has thickened slightly and the fish is fully cooked and has taken on the flavor of the sauce. Check the flavor of the sauce and adjust the salt if necessary.

Now it’s looking really good!

Simmering Fish in Veracruz Sauce

Serve and Enjoy

Serve the fish with white rice. First, put the rice on the plate then place the fish next to the rice. Gently spoon about 1 cup of the sauce over the fish and serve immediately.

White Fish Veracruz Style Recipe
White Fish Veracruz Style Recipe
Print Pin
3.62 from 18 votes

Veracruz Style White Fish

Veracruz style white fish prepared with a tomato sauce with olives and capers. One of the few sauces served in Mexico that doesn't have any chile in it.
Course Fish
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword how to make Veracruz fish, pescado a la veracruzana, Veracruz fish recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 213kcal
Author Douglas Cullen

Ingredients

  • 4 white fish fillets 4 to 6 ozs. each
  • 5 medium tomatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. epazote
  • 1 tsp. salt + as necessary
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 28 green olives
  • 12 capers
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth

Instructions

  • PREPARING THE SAUCE
  • Over medium heat, fry the onion and garlic in 3 tablespoons of cooking oil for 4 minutes.
  • Add the tomato, black pepper, and salt.
  • Reduce the heat to low and cook the sauce for 15 minutes until the tomatoes have given off much of their liquid.
  • Then, crush the tomatoes, onion, and garlic with a bean or potato masher.
  • Next, add the spices and stir.
  • Add the chicken broth.
  • Add the chopped olives and capers and stir. Simmer for 15 more minutes.
  • COOKING THE FISH
  • After the sauce has simmered for 15 minutes, start cooking the fish. In a separate pan over medium heat, lightly brown each side of the fish in 3 tablespoons of oil.
  • Once you have browned the fish on both sides, place each fish fillet in the simmering sauce.
  • Cook for 10 minutes until the sauce has thickened slightly and the fish is fully cooked and has taken on the flavor of the sauce.
  • Check the flavor of the sauce and adjust the salt if necessary.
  • SERVING
  • Serve the fish with white rice. First, put the rice on the plate then place the fish next to the rice. Gently spoon about 1 cup of the sauce over the fish and serve immediately.

Nutrition

Calories: 213kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 11g | Sodium: 913mg | Sugar: 3g

More Mexican Fish and Seafood Dishes

You might enjoy preparing one of our other recipes.

Did you enjoy this recipe for Veracruz Style White Fish? Any questions about the preparation?

Please let us know in the comments below if you have prepared this dish and how it turned out for you. Also, if you have any questions on preparation you can let us know in the comments too. We think you will love this recipe!

16 comments… add one
  • Mark

    Hola Doug,

    If this is half as good I think it will be we will make it this week. Question: where to buy good fish? Please drop a note when you have a minute.

  • Kanisha

    This recipe just looks and sounds amazing! Its like a Mexican version of chicken picata but with fish and tomatoes. This is most definitely a drool worthy recipe that must make it onto my weeknight cooking list and soon! By the way, the pictures and details are just amazing. The best part of any new recipe is a picture worth a million bucks that can instantly instill some serious hunger!

  • Rhonda

    Can you use oregano in place of epazote?

  • Merlinda Guerra

    Epazote: are you using fresh or dried? And how many servings approximately is this for? Thank you!

  • beejay

    We used to always do this with snapper, but that’s getting hard to find in my area. I switched to tilapia which is usually available, but this week I am trying rockfish. Wish me luck.

  • Lee

    It would be helpful to know how much onion to put in the dish.

  • Wendy

    What kind and how much onion is used?
    I did not see it in list of ingredients.
    I made this recipe last month and family loved it. Just don’t remember about the onion.

  • Jeff

    Request #3. How much onion?
    This is actually a Mediteranean dish thst made it’s way to Mexico. I doubt epazote was in the original recipes. Bay leaves are Mediteranean, too.
    I have dried oregano, Mexican and Mediteranean along with some dried epazote.’ll have to see what works best.

  • I added a red pepper with the onion (I guessed 1 medium onion😁 ) and did not use epazote. I only used 6 olives but that’s because my wife is not a big olive fan, and I was too lazy to chop 28 of those suckers. But it came out great!

  • Ash

    I absolutely love this recipe. This is my go to when I want to cook for family and guests. Everybody always loves it. I switch the recipe up and bread the fish and put the sauce on top. Thank you for this world class recipe!

  • Jamie

    where is amount for onions?

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