Usually I’m not a fan of escovitch fish that's not a whole fish. We buy sliced snapper and butter-fish all the time but rarely do we escovitch them. To me there is a taste the fish has sometimes that I don’t care for. I rather filet a whole fish myself if needs be (but then who even has the time for that). The day I made this, I was just in the mood for some spicy pickle sauce on fish. And we were completely out of whole fish, and I had a few bags of snapper in the freezer and figured what the heck. Can I tell you how delicious it was?
The fish was crispy on the outsides tender on the inside and the pickle sauce added the perfect finishing touch. I think the fish I used must have been a very fresh batch, because it was super tender and flavorful, didn’t have that taste (that I can’t explain) it was perfect. What was even more spectacular was the fish sandwich I made with the left overs the following two days, with soft hard dough bread, lettuce, the pickle, and a little mayo.
You can really utilize this recipe for different occasions, lets say for the kids or as an appetizer; I would cut them into strips, for easy eating. However the smaller you cut them, the shorter cooking time they will require, if you fry them too long the fish will dry out. If you are going with smaller sticks make sure the oil is really really hot, so that the outsides will brown and crisp quickly while the inside cook simultaneously to perfection.
Let say this is a main course, you may want to leave the fillets whole, season, bread and fry them whole. You still want hot oil, but too hot and you will end up with the outsides too dark and the insides not one hundred percent cooked. So it’s a slippery slope, experienced cooks will know how to gauge this. If you’re not so experienced use trial and error with one or two fish sticks to test the temp and cooking time, that way if the batch is burnt or under-cooked, you only sacrificed one stick and not a whole batch. Then you can adjust as needs be.
Greedy Tips: You can use snapper, whiting, trout, tilapia any type of mild flavored white fish.
Ingredients (printable recipe)
4-6 Fish fillets cut into strips
½ teaspoon Salt
¼ teaspoon Black pepper
1 teaspoon Onion powder
1 drizzle of oil
½ cup Cornmeal
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon onion powder
Enough oil for deep frying the fish
For the pickle (You may have left overs)
1 onion thinly sliced
1 carrot thinly sliced
1 tablespoon allspice berries
1 scotch bonnet pepper thinly sliced
1 cup Vinegar
3/4 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Sugar
- Preheat the oil to 375 degrees
- In a bowl combine all the pickle ingredients and allow it to soak, set aside
- Season fish fillets with salt black pepper onion powder and a drizzle of oil
- Place the flour, cornmeal and onion powder in a bag
- Drop the pieces of fish in the bag and shake to coat all the pieces of fish
- Fry the fish in the hot oil until the skin is golden brown. They should not take longer than 4 to 5 minutes to cook in the hot oil
- Place on a cooling rack to drain until all the fish sticks have been fried.
- Place in a dish and spoon the pickle on top of the fish along with some of the pickle juice.