- 4 ancho chiles or 8 guajillo chiles, stemmed, seeded and torn into flat pieces
- 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons Worcestershire
- 1 3-pound fish (round fish like snapper, grouper or striped bass work really well)—ask to have it filleted, but keep the bones
- Oil for brushing or spraying the basket and fish
- 12 warm corn tortillas
- 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced, for serving
- 2 limes, cut into wedges, for serving
- Chinese toasted chiles in oil (or your favorite salsa or hot sauce), for serving (optional)
- In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the chile pieces a few at a time, pressing them firmly against the hot surface with a metal spatula until they are aromatic, about 10 seconds per side. In a bowl, rehydrate the chiles for 20 minutes in hot tap water to cover; place a plate on top to keep them submerged.
- Use a pair of tongs to transfer the rehydrated chiles to a food processor or blender. Add ½ cup of the soaking liquid, along with the tomato sauce, garlic, soy and Worcestershire. Blend to a smooth puree. Press through a medium-mesh sieve into a bowl. Taste and season highly with salt, usually about 2 teaspoons.
- Cut ½-inch-deep diagonal slashes along the flesh side of the fish (to promote even cooking and aide in marinade penetration). Sprinkle with both sides with salt. Spread or brush about 3 tablespoons of the marinade over both sides of the fish—spread some on the bones as well. You’ll probably have marinade leftover for another round of fish. (It’ll keep for a couple of weeks in the refrigerator.)
- Turn on a gas grill to medium or light a charcoal fire and let it burn to until the coals are covered with white ash. Lay a grill basket over the fire. When quite hot, brush or spray the basket generously with oil. Spray or lightly brush the fish with oil, then lay the oiled-side down on the basket; spray or brush the other side. Close the basket and cook lay over the fire. Cook, turning every 3 or 4 minutes, until the fish is cooked through but still juicy—a 3-pound snapper typically takes 10 to 15minutes.
- Gently and carefully open the basket and remove the fish to a platter. Serve with warm tortillas, red onion, lime and toasted chiles for making very tasty soft tacos.