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Trip Advisor listed Maya Bistro as the best Placencia, Belize had to offer. Most items in this Central American village were priced fairly, but a taxi ride to Maya Bistro, seven miles from our hotel, would cost us sixty bucks one way. I suspect the speed bumps add up. When a desk clerk at the resort overheard our deep desire to eat at the restaurant, he offered to drive the family. We were determined to eat this food and murder was worth the risk.

From a cacao rubbed pork chop – tended to perfection, to feta whipped potatoes and risotto cakes, Maya Bistro delivered. Blown away by my meal of nut encrusted fish, which was served with spicy black beans, I sought out (begged) the purveyors for the recipe. Ellen and Chef John Lee generously provided the kitchen’s recipes for it all. To my surprise, the nut encrusted fish was ridiculously simple and turned out insanely delicious.

The cool thing about restaurant recipes is that they’re loaded with do-ahead preparations – also perfect for the home cook.Chef Lee sautes all sides of the fish in a pan as the pre-fixing. At that point, we can freeze or refrigerate the fish until we’re ready for our meal. It’s then finished in the oven before serving. Kids will love this fish – slightly sweet and oh so crunchy – it’s a healthy alternative to breadcrumbs.

Thank you to Ellen and John and the fine folks of Belize for making this truly the nicest and tastiest place on Earth.


nut encrusted halibut

preptime 15 minutes serves 4

cooktime 15 minutes

1 c Special K cereal

1/2 c Coconut (Angel Flake)

1/2 c Honey Roasted Peanuts*

4 6-oz fish filets (halibut, bass, etc.)

1-2 eggs



  1. Heat oven to 400° at the time you’ll be serving the fish.
  2. Process nuts in food processor until finely chopped. Process Special K and coconut well crushed but not turned into powder. Combine, then spread mixture onto a plate.
  3. Mix egg well.
  4. Dredge filets in flour, shake off excess flour. Then, dip filets into egg wash. Coat egg-washed fish with nut mixture.
  5. Heat 1 T oil in pan over medium heat.
  6. Saute fish on all thicker sides until golden brown, but not cooked through.
  7. At this point, you can refrigerate or freeze fish until you’re ready to serve.
  8. Move fish from stove to heated oven and bake for 6-10 minutes more, depending on the thickness of the filets.
  9. Serve

Recipe from Maya Bistro in Placencia, Belize and provided by your friends at crunchtimefood.com


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