A typical Mediterranean cuisine which refers to both a dish of poached or fried fish (escabeche of chicken, rabbit or pork is common in Spain) that is marinated in an acidic mixture before serving, and to the marinade itself. The dish is common in Spanish, Salvadoran, Panamanian, Peruvian, Philippine, Puerto Rican, Mexican and Guatemalan cuisine, and popular in Catalonia, Portugal and Provence. Influences of the dish appear as far as Asia-Pacific with adjustments to local food staples. It is usually served cold after marinating in a refrigerator overnight or longer. The acid in the marinade is usually vinegar but can also include citrus juice. Escabeche is a popular presentation of canned or potted preserved fish, such as tuna, bonito or sardines. In the New World, versions of the basic marinade are often used with other foods than fish and meats, for example green bananas (Puerto Rico), jalapeño peppers (Mexico), etc. The origin of the word escabeche is Persian, and was brought to Spain by the Arabs during the Moorish conquests. The word derives from al-sikbaj, the name of a popular meat dish that was cooked in a sweet and sour sauce, usually vinegar and honey or date molasses.
- The dish is also known as "escoveitch" or "escoveech fish" in Jamaica, and is marinated in a sauce of vinegar, onions, chayote, carrots and scotch bonnet peppers overnight, since it is a traditional breakfast dish. And as "escabecio", "scapece" or "savoro" in Italy, "savoro" in Greece and "scabetche" in North Africa.
- The dish is not to be confused with an unrelated soup made from chicken, onion, and spices and served in Belize, sometimes referred to as Belizean escabeche. However like the other escabeches, Belizean escabeche is based upon an acidic marinade—in this instance, onions marinated in vinegar.
• 1 large fish such as lapu-lapu or tilapia
• 1 large onion, sliced
• 1 each of red and green bell pepper, julienned
• 1 cup grated unripe papaya
• 4 cloves garlic, crushed
• 2 tablespoons ginger, julienned
• 1 cup vinegar
• 1 tablespoon salt
• 3 tablespoon sugar
• 1 tablespoon cornstarch, dissolved in 1/2 cup water
• 1 cup cooking oil
1. Clean the fish and rub with salt.
2. In a frying pan, heat the oil and fry the fish until golden brown.
3. Place the fish in a serving dish and set aside.
4. Remove the used oil from the pan and put in about 1 tablespoon of fresh oil.
5. Saute the garlic, ginger, and onion.
6. Add the bell peppers and grated papaya and saute until half-cooked.
7. Put this mixture on top of the fish in the serving dish.
8. Return the pan to the heat and put the vinegar, salt and sugar.
9. Bring to a boil and thicken with the dissolved cornstarch.
10. Pour this sauce over the fish and serve immediately.