The herb acuyo is, like black pepper, a member of the genus Piper—its heart-shaped leaves tastes faintly of anise.

Fish with Acuyo Sauce Fish with Acuyo Sauce
The herb acuyo is popular in many dishes from Veracruz, Mexico. Its heart-shaped leaves tastes faintly of anise.
Yield: serves 4


  • 2 (1-lb.) sea bass or red snapper filets
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 10 acuyo leaves
  • 1 fresh jalapeño, seeded
  • 12 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 14 cup extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Season fish with salt and pepper. Simmer 1 cup water, peppercorns, bay leaf, thyme, and a pinch of salt in a skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low, add fish, cover, and cook until fish flakes, about 10 minutes.
  2. Rinse acuyo leaves. Blanch in a pot of boiling salted water over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, drain, and purée in a blender or food processor with jalapeño, garlic, oil, and 1⁄4 cup water. Warm in a saucepan over low heat; season with salt. Spoon over fish.