Grilled Sea Bass with Rocoto Sauce

This chile pepper originated in the mountains of South America and Mexico. Because of their appearance they are often called “Manzano” which means apple chile. This pepper can only be grown in these regions at elevations above 5000′ therefore making these very rare in the US.These chiles are unique in that they are the only ones that have black seeds. They are very hot and meaty. Rocotos are chopped and used in salsas or sometimes stuffed with cheese and meat and then baked.

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The Fish:

4 sea bass fillets
1 Tbsp. lime juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup olive oil
2 limes, quartered into wedges for garnish
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped for garnish

The Sauce:

3 rocoto chiles, stemmed and seeded
1/4 cup white onion, minced
3 garlic cloves
1 Tbsp. lime juice
1/2 tsp. white pepper, freshly ground
1/2 tsp. salt (or more if needed at finish)
1/4 cup water
2 tsp. sherry wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. butter


1. Place the sea bass fillets in a large resealable bag with lime juice and salt. Mix together well, seal the bag and set aside for about 30 minutes.

2. Place the chiles, onion, garlic, lime juice, white pepper and salt into a food processor, and blend while slowly adding water. This helps the ingredients move around in the machine. Use a spatula to scrape any of the larger material off the sides and back into the mixture. Blend to a fine texture and add a little water if the mix is too pasty.

3. Place the mixture in a saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to a low simmer, and cook covered for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Stir in the vinegar and butter. Add some water only if the salsa is too thick. It should have some juice to it. Taste and adjust the flavor if needed. Remove from the heat and set aside while cooking the fish.

5. Preheat the grill to medium heat (griil should beclean and oiled). Pour the olive oil into the bag of fish fillets and massage to an even mixture. Place the fillets on the grill and cook for about 4 minutes per side, or until the fish is firm to the touch.

6. Place the fillets on a bed of basmati rice and drizzle the sauce equally over the sea bass fillets. Garish with lime wedges and chopped cilantro.

Serve with a side of grilled plantain slices and a salad.

Yields 4 servings.

Recipe by Larry Noggle.