This is another go at the Jamaican Escovitch Fish using fillets instead of whole fish. I really wanted to include my latest find, the bird peppers, in this dish. I also needed to find some very fresh fish so I asked my Japanese friend to suggest a place. I went and I did find some very large fresh Tai (タイ), sea-bream.
In my limited Japanese, I asked the attendant to clean the fish for me. He asked me something in Japanese that I didn’t quite understand so I did the stereotypical foreigner thing of just saying ‘hai, hai‘ (yes, yes) while bowing politely.
I turned away for a few seconds and when I turned back, he had already chopped the heads off. ‘I wanted the fish whole… with the heads… dude!!!’ I didn’t say it but I was thinking it; it was too late. So I stood there with a grimace, passing for a silly smile, watching him gut and fillet the two immaculate looking sea-bream, that I had picked out.
I noticed that he had expertly sliced up my lovely fish, and I saw that the fillets totaled about 8 pieces, so I chose another fish and said, ‘sumimasen‘, excuse me, with a slight bow. He looked up and returned my bow with a large smile and a polite ‘arigatougozaimasu‘, thank you kindly.
I came home with my fish fillets, changed up my recipe ever so slightly and went about creating. Enjoy! ٩(^ᴗ^)و
3 large Sea Breams (filleted-12)
1 medium onion (sliced in rings)
3 bird peppers (chopped)
3 cloves garlic (sliced)
1 Tbsp ginger (Julienned) optional
½ medium red bell pepper (Julienned)
½ medium green bell pepper (Julienned)
1 small carrot (sliced thinly)
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
½ tsp allspice
1 small tomatoes (sliced)
2 Tbsp vinegar
1 Tbsp water
½ cup vegetable oil
Squeeze a lime or lemon on the fillets and rinse in water. Pat dry with paper towels. Place a large frying pan on high flame, pour the oil in and allow it to get smoking hot. While the oil is heating, mix the salt, black pepper and allspice together and rub this all over the fillets.
Add the garlic and a few pieces of the bird pepper to the oil. Immediately place the fish in the pan and allow each fillet to fry on each side until golden brown. Remove the fish, reduce the flame to medium and add the other ingredients. Stir for 1 minute then place the fish back in the mixture. Reduce the flame to low and cover the pan for 3 minutes.
After 3 minutes turn the flame off and let it sit for 1 minute more. Remove the fish from the pan and place a fillet on a plate. Garnish lavishly with ingredients from the pan and serve with white rice and a salad. Serves 5
ESCOVITCHED FISH FILLETS