Escabeche Recipe (Cuban Pickled Fish)

Escabeche is the name for a number of dishes in the Mediterranean and Latin American cuisines from fish or meat. The dish is popular in the Spanish-speaking world. Cuban escabeche recipe is from firm-fleshed fish – swordfish, haddock, mackerel, tuna, or sardines. This fish is marinated and cooked in an acidic mixture with vinegar and colored with paprika or saffron. It is a traditional breakfast dish.

Ingredients in escabeche recipe

  • 3 lbs firm-fleshed fish (cut in 1/2” slices)
  • 2 cups olive oil
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large yellow onions (sliced)
  • 2 green bell peppers (sliced)
  • 2 limes (juice)
  • 4 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup green stuffed olives
  • ½ cup capers
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp salt (for sauce)
  • 2 tsp salt (for seasoning)
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • Chopped parsley for garnish

First, for escabeche recipe cook marinade in a saucepan. Add 1 cup olive oil, vinegar, bay leaves, black pepper, onion, green bell peppers, oregano and ½ tsp salt. Bring to a boil and cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes. Set aside, let it cool, and discard the bay leaves.

Rinse fish and dry. Rub fish with lime juice and sprinkle the 2 tsp salt. On a separate, large skillet, add the remaining olive oil with the minced garlic, and heat over medium heat. As soon as garlic is staring to become brown, remove minced pieces from the oil and discard.

Dredge the fish slices in the flour. Fry them on medium heat, both sides, until golden or ready, but make sure fish doesn’t fall apart into pieces. If you assume that all fish slices won’t fit on the skillet, divide them into two batches and add ½ cup olive oil to the skillet to fry the first batch, and reserve the other half for the next group of slices.

Remove fish and place some slices at the bottom of a dip glass dish. Add some escabeche recipe marinade. Repeat by adding more fish, but alternate by adding a layer of olives, then capers and then more sauce. Repeat this until you have no more fish left.

Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least one entire night before serving. Serve it cold and sprinkle with some parsley.

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