Pescado en tikin-xik

For many years now, we’ve tended to go on holiday with two other families we’re close to; the children have all grown up together, and when they’re happy, everyone’s happy.

Most of the time, we tend to do things together, fifteen people with an age range between eight and fifty. But we always make an exception: one night, we just go out as “adults”, the three sets of parents together. And last night was that night. We went to a place called Fonda San Miguel, specialising in Mexican food. While I’ve been there before, yesterday was special, special because of what I had as the main course, Mayan in origin.

It was called Pescado en Tikin-Xik, which apparently translates to “fish cooked in a dry-wing style”. It looks a bit like this:

[I didn’t take my camera with me, so what you’re seeing is a photograph accompanying the recipe I’m about to share with you.]

Since Tikin-Xik refers to a style of cooking, I assume it can be applied to anything, not just fish. Last night I was served black drum, which I understand is a local Texan saltwater fish line-caught, and it was amazing. Now the last time I spoke about food, one of the comments made hit home; it went something like “pictures good, recipes better”. So this time I’m providing a recipe as well. Here it is. While it’s not the recipe for the dish I was served, as far as I can make out the ingredients and treatment are very similar to what I had.

It looks like it would be real fun to cook, as long as you can get the ingredients. The red sauce (the recado rojo or achiote) seems makeable. Banana leaf is harder to get, but not impossible. The “butterflying” of the fish prior to its marination looks interesting and challenging; and dry-cooking the whole shebang over charcoal or a grill doesn’t look that hard either.

The way it was served to me, the entire package was tied up in cord as if it were a present. It felt like a present. It tasted like a present. I was definitely grateful for receiving it. And, as far as I can make out, it’s actually good for me as well.

Any adventurous cooks out there? Try it and let me know how you get on. And I’ll do the same.

6 thoughts on “Pescado en tikin-xik”

  1. That looks very good. I think I may well have a go at cooking that, although I think tracking down the ingredients may prove tricky!

  2. Patra Ni Machi, a Parsi dish from India, leverages Banana leaves as well.

    However it is a lot blander and is usually steamed vs. grilled. Looks good and the condiments definitely appeal to the Indian palate ;).

  3. James, Zubin, thanks for your comments. Adrian, good to hear from you. Alpaca farming, whatever next. Will ping you via e-mail sometime soon.

Let me know what you think

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