Escoveitched fish is a traditional Jamaican dish served for breakfast on the weekends and served with bammies (a type of fried cassava root). It is likely that the origins of this dish are Spanish; it was introduced to Jamaica during the 16th century when the Spanish ruled the island. The word escoveitch comes from the Spanish word escabeche and is used to describe a dish as being pickled, and pickling was a great way of keeping food from spoiling in the days of no refrigeration. In a time when no one had electricity, it was a dish that could be prepared beforehand and left for a day or more. Just about any type of fish can be used – it’s fried and then covered with a spicy Escoveitch sauce which preserves it. It can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Serves 4 – 6
2 lb. fish
¼ cup flour
Oil for frying
1 cup vinegar
1 cup water
Pinch of salt
1 tsp. sugar
1 cup strips of cho-cho (also known as chayote, vegetable pear or christophine) and carrots
2 medium sized onions
Hot pepper to taste
6 pimento (also known as allspice) grains
How to prepare
- Wash fish in lime and water
- Season with garlic, salt and black pepper.
- Lightly dust with flour.
- Fry fish in ½ inch deep oil.
- Fish is ready as soon as flesh is opaque.
- Boil 1 pot of water with vinegar, pinch of salt and a teaspoon of sugar.
- Add strips of cho-cho, carrots, hot pepper to taste, pimento grains and onion rings.
- Bring to boil then pour over fried fish.
Enjoy this dish with family and friends!
Simone Pryce is an accountant by day, and a Jamaican Empress by night, living life to the fullest. She is passionate about traveling and making a positive impact on the lives of others.