Achiote Marinated Fish Tacos - ?

Achiote Marinated Fish Tacos

I came across this delicious looking recipe while perusing the Internet. It looked like a worthy addition to Food Nirvana. As is typical I made a few modifications. And by dumb luck I happened to buy the Achiote paste at a local ethnic market before making this entry for Food Nirvana. That takes most of the work out of making this dish. I have to try this recipe and report results back to you.

Achiote paste (You can make it or, much easier, buy the paste in a Latino market)


4 rounded tablespoons of achiote seeds (also called annatto seeds; available at Latino markets)

1 teaspoon of dried Mexican oregano

1 teaspoon of cumin seeds

1/2 teaspoon of black peppercorns

12 whole allspice


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. Use about 3 tablespoons of water. After using it in this recipe, store any leftover achiote paste, well-wrapped in plastic wrap, in the freezer.

Chipotle mayonnaise


1 cup of mayonnaise

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 tablespoon of olive oil

2 tablespoons of lime juice

1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt

3 chipotle peppers in adobo, roughly chopped (you can buy this in small cans)


Blend the mayonnaise, garlic, oil, lime juice, salt and chipotle peppers in a food processor or blender. You will have more chipotle mayonnaise than is called for in the fish taco recipe. Keep any extra chipotle mayonnaise in the refrigerator in a sealed container until you are ready to use it in other recipes.

Fish Tacos


2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed

1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt

3 tablespoons of achiote paste

1 pound of yellowtail fillet, skin removed (I am guessing this means yellowtail tuna, but many types of saltwater fish would be just fine)

1 tablespoon of olive oil

8 small white corn tortillas

1 cup of finely shredded cabbage

1 cup of chipotle mayonnaise

1 lime, cut into 8 wedges


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

Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat on a cast-iron griddle or in a frying pan.

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.

Put the fish on a cutting board and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing it thinly across the grain. It is okay if the fish breaks apart.

Warm the tortillas in a pan over medium heat, or, you can warm them individually in a microwave oven on full power for about 10 seconds each. Place the tortillas on a platter or on individual plates, two per person.

Divide the fish among the tortillas and top the fish with the shredded cabbage and a teaspoon of the chipotle mayonnaise.

Serve immediately with the lime wedges.

Note that this dish goes along well with a bottle of cold Corona® beer.