A Classic Escabeche Recipe

Seared Fish with Marinade
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Ratings (22)
  • Total: 25 hrs 10 mins
  • Prep: 24 hrs 45 mins
  • Cook: 25 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
319 Calories
15g Fat
9g Carbs
25g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 319
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 19%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 75mg 25%
Sodium 7605mg 331%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Protein 25g
Calcium 76mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Escabeche (es-kah-BECH-ay) is a classic Spanish recipe in which you sear meat or fish, then marinate it in a vinegary sauce loaded with herbs and spices and serve it cold or at room temperature on a hot day. It works perfectly with fish, especially oily fish such as mackerel, jacksmelt, herring or bonito, but you could use any thinly sliced fish.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 mashed garlic cloves
  • 1 hot chili, cut in half
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced into half-moons
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seed
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano leaves
  • 1 cup fish or chicken broth
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 more bay leaves
  • 1 pound fish fillets, cut into 2- to 3-inch pieces

Steps to Make It

  1. Combine the cup salt with 4 cups of water and stir to combine. Brine the fish in this mixture for 30 to 45 minutes.

  2. Heat the olive oil in a large pan and add the mashed garlic cloves, chili, and 2 bay leaves. Cook these aromatics in the oil over medium heat until the garlic browns, about 4 to 6 minutes. Do not let the garlic burn. Remove the aromatics and discard.

  3. Turn the heat up to medium-high and cook the fish. You want a good sear, so if the fish is not cooking hot enough, turn the heat all the way up to high. Sear each side of the fish for 1 to 3 minutes, depending on the thickness. You don't need to cook the fish all the way through.

  4. Remove the fish to cool. Add the slivered onion, lower the heat to medium and cook until translucent. Remove to cool.

  5. Add all the remaining ingredients to the pan, turn the heat up to high and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce by half, turn off the heat and let cool.

  6. When everything is at room temperature, pour the sauce into a container and add the fish and onions. Store in the refrigerator overnight to let the flavors marry.

  7. This fish will stay in good shape for a week or more so long as it is covered by the vinegar sauce. Serve cool or at room temperature.