Escovitch Fish - Jamaican Style

A fried fish dish doused with a pickled sauce with vegetables.

Escovitch Fish - An easy recipe to make Jamaican escovitch fish where the fish is fried and then sauced with vegetables cooked in a spicy vinegar marinade. @HomeMadeZagat

I don't eat fish often enough, but when I do I dive into some escovitch fish. This Jamaican fish dish is extremely popular and everyone has their unique twist to it. The fish is fried and then covered in a sea of vegetables that have been simmered in a spicy vinegar mix.

Did I mention that it's spicy? 

The added pepper gives the fish a great flavor and leaves you with a runny nose as you eat but not wanting to stop.

Now normally when I get this from the restaurants, they give you a whole fish fried. But I opted to use slices of fish here. Tilapia or kingfish are great options. The process really doesn't change for whatever type of fish you are using.

The most important thing for me with fish is to make sure it's clean and not smelling "fresh". So you will need to get a lot of limes and soak the fish in it. I normally leave the fish (whole and sliced) covered in water and squeeze the juice of about three limes into the water and leave the lime in there as it soaks. I also add onion powder and some pepper sauce. This will sit for about 10 minutes

Escovitch Fish - An easy recipe to make Jamaican escovitch fish where the fish is fried and then sauced with vegetables cooked in a spicy vinegar marinade. @HomeMadeZagat

Once your fish has been soaked out, you're ready to season up. I live by my green seasoning. It's always on hand. I think all Caribbean households have green seasoning by the bottle load in their fridge. It's so easy to just grab and pour into whatever meat or sauce you're making.

If you do not have green seasoning, no fear. You are free to season the fish however you usually season your meat. I also like to let my seasoned meat sit a little so that it can marinate

A golden brown fried fish is what we want our fish to look like. When I am ready to flour the fish I try to take off any excess liquid (seasoning or water that may have sprung from the fish sitting). This makes sure there are no clumps of flour on the fish and when it is put into the hot oil that it fries evenly.

Escovitch Fish - An easy recipe to make Jamaican escovitch fish where the fish is fried and then sauced with vegetables cooked in a spicy vinegar marinade. @HomeMadeZagat

Cause this fish being fried to perfection is important. The fish being undercooked or overcooked and burnt can ruin the meal easily. Once golden brown, turn and fry on the other side. Once all the fish is done, pop them in the oven on a low temp (like 250 degrees) so that it stays warm while we get the veggies ready.

Now this is where the recipe can be adjusted to your liking. What veggies are your favorite? You are free to use them here. Just make sure they can stand up to a little cooking. We are not trying to get a vegetable that wilts quickly. I also love to have some crunchy veggies.

I opted for bell peppers and carrots. I love carrots in this dish. Onions, chayote (also called christophene or cho cho) are also great additions. And did I mention, you MUST have hot pepper here? Yes grab your hot pepper of any kind and get it ready. Cut it up as small as you can. I used my usual scotch bonnet WITH the seeds. Too hot? easily just avoid using the seeds and the membrane of the pepper

These vegetables are sauteed and simmered in a sauce of water and vinegar and some salt. Oh, don't forget the bay leaf and thyme.

Escovitch Fish - An easy recipe to make Jamaican escovitch fish where the fish is fried and then sauced with vegetables cooked in a spicy vinegar marinade. @HomeMadeZagat

Now it's time to merge the two components together. Layer the veggies on top of the fish and pour the sauce all over. It's not to be dish with a lot of sauce (gravy) say like the brown stew fish. The sauce should be enough to be soaked up into the fish so that it's moist but not drowning in liquid. In fact, I usually do not have any type of gravy in the dish with the fish at the end.

Escovitch Fish - An easy recipe to make Jamaican escovitch fish where the fish is fried and then sauced with vegetables cooked in a spicy vinegar marinade. @HomeMadeZagat

Some people like to leave the fish to cool to room temperature. This gives the fish some more time to soak in the vinegar sauce. It tastes good at room temperature but I personally like to eat it warm.

Warm fried fish with these spicy and crunchy veggies, especially the carrots. Crunchy carrots with slight pepper. Did I mention I loooove the carrots?

Traditionally escovitch fish is eaten with bammy or fried dumplings, but there are no rules for food. It can be easily paired with any side: mashed potatoes, rice and peas, fried plantains or even hard dough bread.

You are free to choose whatever side you like. 

Escovitch Fish - An easy recipe to make Jamaican escovitch fish where the fish is fried and then sauced with vegetables cooked in a spicy vinegar marinade. @HomeMadeZagat

So excuse me while I sniffle through eating up this leftover fish!



Yield: Serves 4

Escovitch Fish - Jamaican Style

An easy recipe to make Jamaican Escovitch fish where the fish is fried and then sauced with vegetables cooked in a spicy vinegar marinade.
prep time: 30 MINScook time: 30 MINStotal time: 60 mins

INGREDIENTS:

For Fish
  • 3 limes
  • 4 slices of fish about 1.5" thick (firm fish like kingfish or even tilapia)
  • 4 tablespoons green seasoning (make your own)
  • 1 cup flour (you may need more)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
For Vegetables
  • 3 carrots, julienned
  • 1 red bell pepper, julienned
  • 1 green bell pepper, julienned
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 hot pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • A small piece of ginger, grated
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt
  • 1 chayote (optional)
  • 1 onion

INSTRUCTIONS

For Fish
  1. Wash and clean fish
  2. Place fish in a large bowl with enough water to cover fish
  3. Squeeze juice of limes into water and add squeezed limes into water
  4. Add salt and onion powder and leave to soak for 10 minutes
  5. Heat oven to 150 degrees
  6. Remove fish from water and season with green seasoning (or can easily be seasoned with salt, black pepper)
  7. Heat a dutch pot with enough oil to cover bottom of pan for frying
  8. In a shallow dish, place flour, salt, and black pepper
  9. Remove any excess liquid from on fish and cover fish with flour mixture
  10. When oil is hot, fry fish to a golden brown on each side
  11. Place fried fish in heated oven
For Vegetables
  1. Add oil to bottom of pot
  2. Saute garlic, ginger, and bay leaf
  3. Add veggies (peppers, carrots, onions and any other veggies you are using)
  4. Saute for about 2 minutes
  5. Add water and thyme and leave to simmer for about 10 minutes so that liquid reduces
  6. Add vinegar and salt to taste
  7. Remove fish from oven and top with vegetables and sauce
Created using The Recipes Generator


Escovitch Fish - An easy recipe to make Jamaican escovitch fish where the fish is fried and then sauced with vegetables cooked in a spicy vinegar marinade. @HomeMadeZagat




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