Pescado Zarandeado

Preparing Aguachile and veggies for Pescado Zarandeado

It's Summer!

It's Friday!

And it is way too hot to cook indoors!

Sounds like three perfectly valid excuses to head outside and fire up the grill.

But if that wasn't enough to convince you, then I have two words that hopefully will...Pescado Zarandeado.  

Pescado Zarandeado is a whole fish that is grilled and topped with lots of veggies.  We use Robalo or Red Snapper, but you can use any kind of fish.  You can even bake Pescado Zarandeado in the oven using Tilapia fillets.

The real secret to Pescado Zarandeado is in the sauce that the fish is brushed with before grilling.  The recipe for the sauce varies all over Mexico.  In some parts of Mexico a rub is used in place of the sauce.  The first time my brother-in-law prepared Pescado Zarandeado for me to taste, he handed me a container of the top-secret sauce that he purchased at the seafood mercado in Guadalajara. 

I proceeded to dip my finger in the sauce, then lifted it to my mouth so I could taste the bright orange sauce.  The sauce was tangy with a slightly spicy kick.  I couldn't help but think that I had tasted this sauce before.  I licked the remaining sauce off of my finger and after that second taste, I uncovered the secret to the sauce.   It was Catalina salad dressing!

And once I tasted Pescado Zarandeado, it was love at first bite!

Pescado Zarandeado is so good that I forgot to take a picture of the finished dish.  Sorry!  

Pescado Zarandeado

  • 1 whole fish, butterflied and cleaned 
  • 1-1/2 cups Catalina salad dressing
  • 1 large red onion, sliced
  • 3 or 4 large roma tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut in strips
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut in strips
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cut in strips
  • 1 to 2 serrano or jalapeño peppers, seeded and sliced 

Rinse the fish and pat dry with paper towels.  Lay fish flat on a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil; season with salt and pepper on both sides.  Generously brush both sides of the fish with Catalina dressing.

Top the fish with the sliced veggies.  Wrap tightly in aluminum foil.

Grill over a medium flame for about 20 to 25 minutes, turning occasionally or bake in a 350F oven for 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the size of your fish.  Serve with Tostadas and AguachileEnjoy!!!


Linking up with:

friday potluck guest host girlichef


  1. Sounds  yummy!  I do not have very many recipes when it comes to fish. So thankful for the recipes you've posted!

  2. Oh my gosh, that sounds amazing! I love whole-fish preparations...especially done outdoors. Just wondeful, Leslie.  And...wha!? Catalina dressing...really?  That's madness ;) Want some...

  3. I am totally intimidated by whole fish. But you make it look easy!

  4. I hope ya'll are not through eating 'cause I heading over... this is so my kind of food, and yup, gonna grill out tonight too, again... to hot to be in the kitchen...

  5. This looks ABSOLUTELY delicious! Your blog is so insightful and creative. I'll definitely have to try some of your recipes.

  6. What is Catalina salad dressing?  What brand do I buy?  Is it called french dressing?