Fry Dry! Small ocean fish marinated in a classic Caribbean marinade, then fried until crisp. Such a simple dish, but deep in tradition (our family’s recipe goes back about 150 yrs) . Just about every Caribbean household got their own version of making this dish.. today I’ll share my grandma’s take on it.
2 lbs herrings (cleaned)
1/2 lemon (juice)
1 teaspoon curry powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
I tablespoon Caribbean Green Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon pepper sauce (hot sauce)
1 clove garlic (crushed)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Clean (or ask your fish monger to do it) and wash the herrings with lemon juice and cool water. Drain and season with salt, black pepper, curry powder, garlic, Caribbean Green Seasoning and peppersauce (or your fav hot suace). Mix well (be gentle as you don’t want to break-up the fish) to coat evenly and marinate for about 1 hour. Try to get some of the seasoning
into the belly cavity of the fish. For additional flavor you may grate in a small onion too!
Set up your frying station. Flour (on a plate), Seasoned fish, frying pan and a plate lined with paper towels.
Heat oil on medium heat, dust each fish in the flour (not heavy) and pan fry the fish until they are crisp. Takes between 3-4 minutes on each side. The goal is to have fried (crisp) dry fish.
Fry in batches to not crowd the pan and place on paper towels to drain off excess oil.
Quick, simple and very tasty. I recall days when my grandmother would have boiled rice, split peas dhal and this fry dry herring (sardines and smelts will work great too) . Yea, fire roasted coconut chutney would be the spicy condiment of choice back then.