Fish Fillets in a Bath of Garlic

  • Active Time 20m
  • Total Time 20m
  • Rating ****

Serves 6

Garlic sauce, known as mojo de ajo, is a favorite topping for Mexican seafood. This version adds a touch of ancho chili. Make the sauce quickly while the fish finishes cooking, and take care not to brown the garlic or chilies. Serve with red or white rice.


  • 6 halibut or sea bass fillets, 6 ounces each
  • Salt to taste, plus 1 teaspoon
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste, plus 1/2 teaspoon
  • 8 tablespoons olive oil
  • 20 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 dried ancho chili pepper, stemmed, seeded and chopped
  • 2/3 cup fish stock or bottled clam juice
  • Juice of 3 limes
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley

Companion recipe: Red or Green Rice Steamed Rice


Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F.

Sprinkle the fish fillets with salt and pepper. Place a large cast-iron, or other heavy-bottomed, frying pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the fish fillets and sear, turning once, until lightly golden on both sides, 1-2 minutes per side. Transfer the fillets to an ovenproof platter or shallow baking dish and place in the oven to finish cooking until opaque throughout, 3-5 minutes depending upon thickness of fillets.

Meanwhile, add the remaining 5 tablespoons olive oil to the same pan and place over medium-low heat. Add the garlic, the 1 teaspoon salt and the 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add the ancho chili and continue to sauté until fragrant, 1-2 minutes longer. Add the fish stock or clam juice and any juices that have collected in the platter or dish holding the fish fillets and raise the heat to medium-high. Boil until reduced by half, 1-2 minutes. Add the lime juice and parsley and bring to a boil, then remove from the heat.

Pour the sauce over the fish fillets on the platter. Or, if using a baking dish, transfer the fillets to a warmed platter and pour the sauce over the top. Serve immediately.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Owen. All rights reserved.

RecID 2046

nutrition information per serving

387 calories; 22g total fat; 54mg cholesterol; 569mg sodium; 9g carbohydrates; 1g fiber; 37g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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