While this recipe is traditionally done with crisp fried whole fish (usually Red Snapper) in Jamaica, I quite like to done with Kingfish… one of, if not my favorite fish. Basically a quick, spicy vegetable pickle poured over the fried fish, so the recipe itself is very forgiving as you can easily over-cook the fish and still have great results.
5-7 slices of kingfish
1 tablespoon Caribbean Green Seasoning
3/4 tablespoon sea salt (divided)
3/4 teaspoon black pepper (divided)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups veg oil
2 large onions (sliced thick)
1/2 carrot (julienne)
6-8 pimento berries (allspice)
2 cloves garlic (smashed)
1 scotch bonnet pepper (sliced thin)
bell peppers (assorted colors – sliced thin)
1 1/2 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoon white sugar
NOTE! In the video below I explain why I like dusting the seasoned fish in flour and why I seasoned the pieces of Kingfish as I did.
The Kingfish steaks were about 1 inch think, washed (cool water and the juice of a lime – lemon or white vinegar works too), drained and seasoned with the Caribbean Green Seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Mix well and allow to marinate as we prepare the vegetables for the Escovitch sauce.
Basically all you have to do is cut the bell peppers the same thickness and the carrot a bit thinner. The Scotch Bonnet pepper will make this SPICY, so please be aware of this. But we’ll balance things with the sugar. Wear gloves when handling such hot peppers, wash your hands with soap and water after and remove the seeds and white membrane if you want to control the heat a bit.
In a sauce pan on a medium heat add the vinegar and pimento berries, bring to a boil, then add the carrot pieces (since this is the toughest thing that goes in the pickle). Simmer for 3 minutes, then add the bell peppers, onion (sliced thick rounds), garlic, remaining salt and black pepper, followed by the sugar to bring the balance I spoke about above.
As it comes to a boil, reduce to a gentle simmer as we get to frying the fish. Dust the seasoned fish pieces in the flour and set aside as your vegetable oil comes to temperature in a wide pan.
Fry the fish a few pieces at a time as to not crowd the pan. I did mine about 4-5 minutes on each side, then onto paper towels to help soak up some of the oil as I did the next batch. You’re looking for a dark golden color. The flour dusting will help you get this color, plus that same crust will act as a magnet for the Escovitch sauce when we pour it on.
After 8 minutes, turn off the heat under the sauce and let it sit until we’re done frying the fish.
Arrange the fried fish on the platter you’ll be serving it on, then pour the Escovitch sauce over it. Or serve on the side. You’ll get notes of spice (pimento), sweet and SPICY with a slight crunch from the vegetables. Add more sliced Scotch Bonnet (any fav pepper) if you want more of a KICK!
Save any remaining Escovitch Sauce in a glass jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Got lame fried chicken? Pour this sauce over it and BAM! You’ve got something truly unique. That recipe (not the lame fried chicken), but Escovitch Fried Chicken will soon come.
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