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Best of the Best Vol. 11
from the editors of Food & Wine
Isabel's Cantina, Isabel Cruz

The jalapeño chiles in the sauce are roasted, which gives a little smokiness to their heat and really shakes up a simple, meaty white fish such as mahimahi.
Serves 4


• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• Four 6-ounce skinless mahimahi fillets
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
• Jalapeño-Ponzu Sauce (below)
• 1 avocado, thinly sliced

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a large ovenproof sauté pan, heat the olive oil over high heat. Season the mahimahi with the salt and pepper. Place the fillets in the pan. Brown for about 2 minutes before flipping and browning the other side for 2 minutes. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake until the fish is opaque throughout, 6 to 8 minutes.

To serve, generously spoon the Jalapeño-Ponzu Sauce over each piece of fish and top with slices of avocado.

Makes about 1 cup

    • 2 jalapeños, roasted over an open flame and roughly chopped
    • 1/2 cup sake
    • 1/3 cup lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
    • 1/4 cup soy sauce
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 3 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
    • 2 tablespoons sugar

Adding jalapeño to traditional Japanese ponzu is a match made in heaven. Bold and delicious, these flavors seem as though they were meant to be together. This also adds zip to a grilled steak.

Combine the jalapeños, sake, lemon juice, soy sauce, olive oil, ginger, and sugar in a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth. Transfer to a small saucepan and simmer for about 3 minutes, or until the raw sake taste begins to mellow.

The sauce can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Warm over low heat before using.

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