A deliciously spicy, tangy delicacy sold on many of Jamaica’s beaches and restaurants, Escoveitched Fish is a seafood staple in Jamaica. Deriving it’s name from the Spanish word “escabeche” which means pickled, the sauce consists of a vinegar base that is seasoned to perfection with spices and peppers. Although generally served on hot fried fish, it can also be poured over fried slices of fish and kept (because the sauce acts as a pickling agent) for several days.
2 lbs. fresh fish, whole or sliced
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. crushed pimento (allspice) grains
Oil for deep frying
1 cup water
1 cup vinegar
2 tsp. sugar
1 large or 2 medium onions, sliced into rings
1 carrot, julienned
1 chayote (known as chocho in Jamaica) peeled and cut into strips (substitute bell peppers if chayote isn’t available)
6 whole pimento grains
Hot scotch bonnet peppers to taste
Make diagonal slashes in fish. Mix together the salt, black pepper and crushed pimento. Place a little of this mixture inside each slash. If using whole fish, rub the mixture inside the fish itself. If using sliced fish, rub the mixture over each slice. Deep fry in hot oil until the fish is golden brown. Remove the fish from the oil, drain on a paper towel and set aside.
Place all the ingredients for the escoveitch sauce in a pot, and bring to a boil. Boil for only a few minutes to prevent the vegetables from losing their crunch.
Pour the sauce over the fish or serve on the side.
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