Sudado de Pescado (Huanchaco-Style Fish Stewed in Tomatoes and Chiles)

This simple stew, seasoned with tomato, garlic, onions, and chiles, represents a typical way of preparing fish throughout northern Peru. This version comes from two sources, Miriam Soles, the wife of a fisherman in the village of Huanchaquito, and the Isla sisters, the cooks at Restaurante El Caribe in Huanchaco. Look for fruity aji escabeche chiles at your local Latin market.

Sudado de Pescado (Huanchaco-Style Fish Stewed in Tomatoes and Chiles)
This simple stew represents a typical way of preparing fish throughout northern Peru.
Yield: serves 6

Ingredients

  • 2 lb. boneless skinless grouper filets, cut into 6 pieces
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice plus 6 lime halves
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 fresh or frozen aji escabeche (yellow Andean), Holland, or banana chiles (4 seeded and chopped, 4 thinly sliced)
  • 14 cup canola oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, mashed to a paste
  • 1 medium red onion, halved and cut into 1/2" slices
  • 2 large plum tomatoes, cored, seeded, and coarsely chopped
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano, lightly toasted in a dry, hot pan
  • Boiled Yuca
  • 3" chunks of boiled sweet potatoes (North American yams or Caribbean boniato; optional)

Instructions

  1. Put the grouper, lime juice, cilantro, salt, and pepper into a large bowl; toss gently to combine.Let grouper marinate at room temperature while you continue with the rest of the preparation. Puree the chopped chiles and 13 cup water in a blender until smooth. Set the chile puree aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Carefully add reserved chile puree and cook for 2 minutes. Add onions and cook, stirring constantly, until softened, about 5 minutes. Gently lay grouper filets in skillet, along with marinade and 1 cup hot water, and stir liquid gently to combine. Top filets evenly with remaining chiles and tomatoes and sprinkle with oregano. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until grouper filets are cooked through, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide grouper filets between 6 shallow bowls, along with the liquid. Serve immediately with lime halves and boiled yuca and sweet potato (if using).