Stuffed Fish Filet: Filete De Pescado Relleno

articles Food & Cuisine Recipes

Karen Hursh Graber

This is a basic coastal recipe, adaptable to several different kinds of fish and shellfish. We first tried it in Boca del Rio, Veracruz, but some version of it is on the menu of nearly every seafood restaurant in the country. The stuffing ingredients are not limited to those listed and any combination of seafood that is available and appealing may be used. I’ve had this with shrimp, crab, octopus and squid, among others.


  • 6 10-12 ounce fish filleted for stuffing, such as small red snapper, grouper, corvina or flounder (It is easiest to have this done in the fish market. Have the backbone of each fish removed and the fish opened out without cutting through, to form a “book”, a wide filet)
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 6 small garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 3 roma tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 cup each raw peeled chopped shrimp, raw chopped scallops and cleaned crabmeat or any combination of chopped raw seafood, for a total of 3 cups
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • melted butter for basting


Mix the lime juice, garlic, salt and pepper and rub some onto each filet. Marinate for 15-20 minutes. (Any longer marinating will cause the lime juice to “cook” the fish.)

Melt the butter and oil in a skillet, add the onion and cook until transparent. Add the tomatoes and cook until their juice has evaporated. Add the raw seafood and continue sautéing until cooked through. Stir in the chopped parsley and salt and pepper to taste.

Spread ½ cup of the seafood mixture on each of the fish filets and roll up. Lay seam side down in a buttered baking dish. Drizzle with the melted butter.

Cover the baking dish with foil and bake in a preheated 350º oven for about 20 minutes or until the fish are tender. Drizzle with more melted butter if desired and serve immediately.

Serves 6.

Published or Updated on: March 1, 2006 by Karen Hursh Graber © 2008
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