My parents and I spent the Christmas holiday in Cancun, Mexico this year and I fell in love with Tikin Xic fish. At the all-inclusive resort we stayed at, there was a little restaurant near the pool that only served lunch. We stumbled in there the first day and I tried this fish. I then ate it every day, and even tried it at a local restaurant.
I wish I had taken photos of that fish because it was presented so beautifully.
Here is the wikepedia description of Tikin Xic fish.
Tikin Xic, pronounced “teekeen sheek” in Yucatec Mayan and meaning “dry fish”, is a fish dish prepared in the Meso-American style. The fish is prepared whole then marinated with adobo de Achiote and sour oranges then wrapped in a banana leaf and cooked in an earth oven beneath a wood fire.
The reason I went to the international market Super G Mart (see last post and then run there) was to find the Achiote paste. I did not however purchase a banana leaf and in hind sight perhaps I should have.
Here is a photo of the Achiote paste and ground Achiote…which I may experiment with next time. The paste is up top.
I looked at many recipes on the internet and here is what I did…
I squeezed two limes into a bowl
Added a cup of orange juice
Used 1 oz or about half of the package of Achiote paste and dissolved it into the juice
Added some of my Dos Equis
and then threw my fish (I used Tilapia but might use another white fish next time) in a bowl and let it marinade for a few hours. I put a bit of fresh oregano on top.
So the key to this dish…is the pickled onions. Remember this…the key to the dish.
I chopped up some fresh thyme and oregano I had in the fridge. Sliced a red onion into thin rings. Juiced my remaining two limes from the Super G Mart. Added some fresh pepper and some white wine vinegar and added them all together. YUM!
I also put some rice in my rice cooker. 1 cup of rice. 2 cups of water. And wash the starch out of your rice for goodness sakes. It makes all the difference.
Once the rice was done, I added about a tablespoon of vegetable oil, some salt, a bit of lime juice (I keep some in the fridge at all times) and some chopped cilantro. Homemade Chipotle cilantro rice. So yummy and not as fattening. They use way too much oil.
I decided to try and cook the fish on a flat fry pan I have since there was the yummiest carmelization on the fish at the resort. It didn’t really work out as I had planned, but was still yummy.
The entire time the boyfriend and I were eating this I felt like something was missing…but I couldn’t put my finger on it. It kinda tasted like the resort but something wasn’t right. It wasn’t until about an hour later when I went to show him a photo on my phone that I discovered…I had forgotten the onions! Oh no! The delicious pickled onions were in the fridge!
Luckily we had some fish left over and I made us both lunch for the next day with the onions. We both agreed it was so much better. And yes, I am still bitter I forgot the onions.
Might have been the best Monday lunch of all time. And we used the onions for Taco Tuesday but damn! Let’s just say I will be making this again in the near future.
More from the international market adventure soon!