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Fish filets in Mexican hoja santa: Filetes de pescado en hoja santa by Karen Hursh Graber © 2004

Fish filets in Mexican hoja santa is a specialty of Veracruz, where hoja santa is often called acuyo. It combines the fresh seafood for which Veracruz is famous with the anise-scented herb that grows abundantly in the warmer areas of Mexico.


  • 4 filets (about 1 ½ pounds total) bass, grouper or other firm-fleshed fish
  • juice of 1 lime
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 small white onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 4 large hoja santa leaves

Preheat oven to 450º.

Sprinkle the fish filets with lime juice, salt and pepper to taste.

In a small skillet, melt the butter, add the garlic and onion and sauté until the onion is transparent. Add the wine and cook until slightly reduced.

Place the hoja santa leaves on a buttered baking dish, lay a fish filet on each, spoon some of the sauce on each, and fold the leaves over to wrap filets.

Cover baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes. Serve each sauce-topped filet on its leaf, folded back.

Serves 4.

Link to source articles
Mexican wines: Perfect pairings with holiday dishes
From the halls of Moctezuma: Cooking with leaves


Published or Updated on: January 1, 2004 by Karen Hursh Graber © 2004
Contact Karen Hursh Graber

Follow Karen as she travels through the Central Mexican state of Puebla, meeting local cooks, tasting the food, and collecting recipes. With over 75 recipes, plus sections on ingredients and cooking techniques, the book takes the reader on a journey through one of Mexico's oldest and most renowned culinary regions. It can be ordered online.

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