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Achiote-marinated fish tacos

Time 50 minutes
Yields Serves 4
Achiote-marinated fish tacos
(Los Angeles Times)

Achiote paste

1

Mix the spices and grind them in batches in an electric spice or coffee grinder as finely as possible. In a small bowl, stir together the ground spices and enough water to make a stiff paste; we used about 3 tablespoons. You will have more achiote paste than is called for in the recipe. Store it well-wrapped in plastic in the freezer.

Chipotle mayonnaise

1

In a food processor or blender, blend the mayonnaise, garlic, oil, lime juice, salt and chipotle peppers. You will have more chipotle mayonnaise than is called for in the recipe. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Fish tacos

1

In a small bowl, combine the garlic, salt and achiote paste. Put the mixture into a 1-gallon sealable plastic bag with the fish. Refrigerate for an hour.

2

On a cast-iron griddle or in a frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Scrape some of the extra achiote paste from the yellowtail, then grill the fish, about 6 to 8 minutes per side, or until done. If the fish is cooking too quickly or unevenly, adjust the heat as necessary. Let the fish rest for a few minutes before slicing it thinly across the grain; if the fish breaks apart, that’s fine.

3

Warm the tortillas on a pan over medium heat; place on a platter or individual plates, two per person.

4

Divide the fish among the tortillas and top with shredded cabbage and a teaspoonful of chipotle mayonnaise. Serve immediately, with lime wedges.

The achiote paste recipe is adapted from “The Essential Cuisines of Mexico” by Diana Kennedy. Annatto seeds are available at Latino markets.

Amy Scattergood is a staff writer for the Food section of the Los Angeles Times.
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