Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Let me start by saying don't make this yet because I've never made it before and I haven't tasted it. You need to wait 24 hours. I'll let you know tomorrow. OKAY, its tomorrow Wednesday, May 19th.  I give this a thumbs up! I found that it needed a little salt, but once I put it on a saltine cracker it was fine. The fish maintained it's firmess. I will note, that I neglected to put in 2 bay leaves in the oil along with the other spices, and I should have done that, so please include that in the recipe.

According to epicurious.com
Of Spanish origin, escabèche is a dish of poached or fried fish, covered with a spicy marinade and refrigerated for at least 24 hours. It's a popular dish in Spain and the Provençal region of France, and is usually served cold as an appetizer.

Okay so I got this idea this morning reading the blog of one of my newest followers. Nathan made sardines in escabeche. Click here.

Of course, I can't find fresh sardines here, nor frozen for that matter, but it looked so yummy that I had to make it with something. I opened the freezer and I had tilapia fillet. As a child, I remember my mother making this with swordfish.  I didn't like it. It was always too dry, but then again my mother is not known for her cooking.  I didn't want to make a large batch just in case I repeated my mother's creation, but just from tasting it tonight I think I've got a winner. You can use just about any fish or shellfish you prefer.

I'm making mine a little differently than Nathan described in his link above.

To make this escabeche I used

4 tilapia fillets (about 1 lb)
3/4 cups olive oil
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 red onion sliced
6 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp salt

Flour your fish fillets on both sides. Slice your onions. You need not peel your garlic, just press it with the side of your  knife. Warm your olive oil on medium high and brown your fillets. Remove the fish from the oil and place in a glass or ceramic bowl. Lower the heat of the oil. You should have a lid handy in case you encounter splattering from here on. Drop in your onions and garlic. Let this cook for about 10 minutes. Add your paprika, oregano, salt, pepper. Stir and let it simmer for about 5-10 more minutes. Carefully (keep your lid handy) add your vinegar. Let this simmer for about 5 minutes. Pour your mixture over your fish. Let it cool, cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.  (I also threw in about 1 tsp of chopped hot pepper that I had frozen in the refrigerator.)

I'll be back tomorrow to tell you if it's a go. It looks good though, right? It's good.


  1. Thanks for mentioning my blog :) let me tell you it is gonna come out good, with what you put in it, it has to come out good only thing I'd do different is fry a couple bay leaves in the oil:)are there any asian grocery stores where you live? If so check them out, you may be able to find good frozen seafood there, and asian stores carry stuff like malanga, boniato, yuca, name and stuff.

  2. Yvonne, the picture of the escabeche looks great. Just as Nathan says, I remember that my grandmother and my father also fried dry bay leaves into the sofrito. They did use swordfish (in Cuba they called "ruedas de serrucho") and if that fish is not fresh and you overcook it somehow, it can indeed become dry and tasteless, but otherwise, it is delicious. Surprisingly, I just had some absolutely fabulous escabeche made by my Dominican friend Mercedes and since she didn't have any other fish at hand, she used "filetes de mojarra" (a kind of sea bass) and it turned out, like I said, superb... Come to think of it, my father also used to make escabeche with "ruedas de cherna", which is also a kind of sea bass. So I am going to assume that as long as the flesh of the fish is firm enough to withstand the entire process, it's also safe to assume that the end result will be delicious "pescado en escabeche". I have never personally made this dish, but it was not unusual for my grandmother and father to kind of keep it (as I remember it) in a wide-mouthed Spanish olives giant glass jar in the back of the fridge and grab for it to serve it to guests and family alike with bread or large Cuban crackers for several days after they made it. I don't ever remember it being served as a meal itself or as part of a meal, but rather as a very special snack item (¡?). Hugs.

  3. It really does look good. I'm not a seafood person, though. Especially if I make it.

  4. Pedro,
    "Filetes de Mojarra" is Tilapia. "Mojarra" is just the spanish name for it, Tilapia is the english. I'm going to try some with "serrucho" in the future :)

  5. Thanks, Nathan. I didn't know what Mojarra was in English and I googled it and it came up with "sea bass". It kinda makes sense, since I know my friend Mercedes eats a lot of Tilapia. My father did make it with ruedas de cherna (sea bass) sometimes, though, back in Cuba a million years ago LOL. Anyway, I thank you for letting me know this. Hugs.