Catfish Veracruz Recipe - Authentic Mexican Cuisine

Catfish Veracruz

Catfish Veracruz Recipe - Authentic Mexican Cuisine
Region / culture: Mexico | Preparation time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 30 minutes | Servings: 4


Catfish Veracruz
Catfish Veracruz

Catfish Veracruz is a delicious and flavorful dish that combines tender catfish fillets with a zesty rice mixture. This dish is perfect for a family dinner or a special occasion, as it is both easy to prepare and impressive to serve.


Catfish Veracruz is a traditional Mexican dish that originated in the coastal region of Veracruz. This dish is known for its bold flavors and fresh ingredients, making it a popular choice for seafood lovers around the world.


How to prepare

  1. Rinse the catfish fillets and pat them dry.
  2. Place each fillet between two pieces of wax paper.
  3. Flatten the fillets to a thickness of 0.25 inch using a rolling pin or wooden mallet, and set them aside.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the rice, tomato, green pepper, jalapeño pepper, 1 tbsp lime juice, 2 tbsp cilantro, cumin, salt, and pepper. Stir well to mix.
  5. Place the fillets skin side up.
  6. Spoon 0.33 cup of the rice mixture onto the lower portion of each fillet.
  7. Gently fold over the fillets to enclose the rice.
  8. In an 8x8 inches or 9x9 inches baking dish coated with cooking spray, spread the remaining rice on the bottom.
  9. In a small bowl, combine the remaining 3 tbsp lime juice and oil.
  10. Place the fillets on top of the rice.
  11. Brush the fillets with the remaining lime juice mixture.
  12. Bake, uncovered, at 400°F (204°C) for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.
  13. Place the dish under the broiler until the fillets are lightly browned.
  14. Garnish each fillet with 2 tbsp salsa.


  • Substitute the catfish fillets with tilapia or cod for a different flavor.
  • Add diced avocado or black olives to the rice mixture for a creamy texture.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

Make sure to pat the catfish fillets dry before cooking to ensure a crispy exterior.

- Use fresh ingredients, such as ripe tomatoes and cilantro, for the best flavor.

- Adjust the amount of jalapeño pepper to suit your spice preference.

Serving Suggestions

Catfish Veracruz pairs well with a side of steamed vegetables or a fresh green salad. Serve with a wedge of lime for an extra burst of flavor.

Cooking Techniques

Baking and broiling are the main cooking techniques used in this recipe to ensure the catfish fillets are cooked through and have a crispy exterior.

Ingredient Substitutions

Use white rice or quinoa instead of brown rice for a different texture.

- Substitute the jalapeño pepper with a milder pepper, such as bell pepper, for a less spicy dish.

Make Ahead Tips

Prepare the rice mixture and flatten the catfish fillets ahead of time to save time on the day of cooking. Store the components separately in the refrigerator until ready to assemble and bake.

Presentation Ideas

Garnish each fillet with a sprig of fresh cilantro and a slice of lime for a beautiful presentation. Serve on a colorful plate for an eye-catching dish.

Pairing Recommendations

Catfish Veracruz pairs well with a crisp white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio. For a non-alcoholic option, serve with a glass of iced tea or sparkling water with a splash of lime.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in the microwave or oven until heated through.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of Catfish Veracruz contains approximately 350 calories.


Each serving of Catfish Veracruz contains approximately 45 grams of carbohydrates.


Each serving of Catfish Veracruz contains approximately 10 grams of fat.


Each serving of Catfish Veracruz contains approximately 30 grams of protein.

Vitamins and minerals

Catfish is a good source of vitamins B12 and D, as well as minerals such as selenium and phosphorus.


This recipe contains fish and may not be suitable for individuals with fish allergies.


Catfish Veracruz is a nutritious dish that is high in protein and low in calories. It is a great option for those looking to enjoy a healthy and delicious meal.


Catfish Veracruz is a flavorful and nutritious dish that is perfect for a family dinner or special occasion. With a zesty rice mixture and tender catfish fillets, this dish is sure to impress your guests and become a new favorite in your recipe collection.

How did I get this recipe?

I can't forget the moment I stumbled upon this recipe for Catfish Veracruz. It was a hot summer day, and I was visiting a friend in a small coastal town in Mexico. We had spent the morning exploring the local market, taking in the sights and sounds of the bustling stalls selling fresh produce, spices, and seafood.

As we walked through the market, the savory aroma of grilled fish filled the air, and I followed my nose to a small food stand tucked away in a corner. The vendor, a friendly elderly woman with a twinkle in her eye, was busy grilling fish on an open flame, drizzling them with a fragrant tomato sauce and garnishing them with olives, capers, and herbs.

I watched in awe as she expertly prepared the dish, her hands moving with practiced ease as she sprinkled spices and herbs over the sizzling fish. Intrigued, I struck up a conversation with her, asking about the dish she was making. She smiled warmly and told me that it was Catfish Veracruz, a traditional Mexican dish that she had learned to make from her grandmother.

Intrigued by the flavors and techniques she used, I asked her if she would be willing to share her recipe with me. To my delight, she agreed, and we spent the rest of the afternoon cooking together, exchanging stories and laughter as we prepared the dish.

She showed me how to marinate the catfish in a tangy mixture of lime juice, garlic, and spices, infusing it with a zesty flavor that would complement the rich tomato sauce. As the fish grilled, she taught me how to make the sauce, simmering fresh tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, and jalapenos in a fragrant blend of herbs and spices.

When the fish was cooked to perfection, she spooned the sauce over the fillets, garnishing them with briny olives, capers, and fresh herbs. The dish was a symphony of flavors and textures, the tangy tomato sauce complementing the tender, flaky fish perfectly.

I savored every bite, reveling in the complex blend of flavors and the memories it evoked of my time spent in Mexico. As I thanked the vendor for her generosity and hospitality, she smiled and told me that the secret ingredient in Catfish Veracruz was love – love for the ingredients, love for the process of cooking, and love for sharing a meal with others.

Since that day, Catfish Veracruz has become a staple in my repertoire of recipes, a dish that I turn to time and time again when I want to evoke the flavors and memories of that hot summer day in Mexico. I have shared the recipe with friends and family, passing on not just the ingredients and techniques, but also the spirit of generosity and warmth that I experienced that day in the market.

As I prepare Catfish Veracruz in my own kitchen, I can't help but think of the vendor who shared her recipe with me, and the joy that cooking and sharing a meal can bring. The flavors of the dish transport me back to that small coastal town, the sounds of the market, and the taste of the sea in every bite.

Catfish Veracruz is more than just a recipe – it is a reminder of the power of food to connect us, to evoke memories and emotions, and to create lasting bonds between people. And for that, I am forever grateful to the kind vendor who shared her recipe with me that hot summer day in Mexico.


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