Escovitch meaning pan-fried and dressed with spices is a word derived from Escabeche a Latin American/Mediterranean cuisine that refers to fish or meat that is marinated and cooked in an acidic mixture. Escovitch was introduced by the Spaniards to Jamaica during the time they settled on the island. Of course, this delicious dish has been passed down from generations. Over time it was infused. bammy, festival, and veggies are a common side dish that was added to the dish, each of those side dishes was also brought by other settlers on the island.
Snapper is traditionally the fish used for Escovitch. I think the parrotfish is great if you do not have access to snapper. If you do not have access to exotic fishes at all, use what you have. It might go well with plenty of other kinds of fish. The Escovitch sauce is prepared before frying the fish so it is well marinated and flavorful when applied to the fish.
Escovitch fish reminds me of “beach day”. Best dish for a day out in the sun paired with some bammy, festival, and veggies. I paired mine with fried okra and mashed potatoes.
- Check out How to make Jamaican Escovitch Sauce
- You can add bell peppers to your sauce if you like. It’s optional not required.
- Try using different color peppers. Just for esthetics.
- Habaneros are not as hot as scotch bonnet peppers, you might want to use more pepper or hotter peppers to add spice.
- If you’re not using it right away you might want to place it in the fridge for longer shelf life.
Check out How to make Jamaican Escovitch Sauce
Jamaican Escoveitch (Escovitch) Fish
- 1 whole medium snapper
- Escovitch sauce
- 1 whole scotch bonnet or habanero
- 5 crushed pimento seeds or all spices
- ½ cup oil for frying
- ¼ cup vinegar or 1 whole lime to rinse the fish
- 1/2 medium carrot (julienne)
- 1 cup bell peppers (julienne) different colors
- 1 whole medium onion cut into circles
- 1/2 handful pimento
- 2-4 whole scotch bonnet/habanero
- 1 cup vinegar
- 1 cup water
Making the sauce
- In a pot add vinegar and water and bring to a boil. After the mixture starts to boil, turn the stove off and add all the ingredients for the sauce.
- Take the pot off the stove and let the ingredients sit in the hot water with the lid on
- After the escovitch sauce has cooled down. Transfer to a mason jar or a glass container with a lid.
Frying the fish
- Place the fish in a large container and squeeze the lime onto the fish and rinse to clean and get rid of the fishy smell.
- After rinsing the fish pat dry with a hand towel.
- Season fish with salt and pepper
- In a frying pan on medium to high heat add oil. (make sure the pot is at least 350 degrees.
- Add fish to the pan for frying until each side is golden brown. Do not over-fry and do not under-cook. The skin should look stiff and meat should be flaky.
- Serve with Jamaican Festival, okra, rice and peas, steamed veggies, etc.
- Optional: You can marinate the sauce if you like. The longer the better. 24 hours is its peak.