This is a tasty way to cook fish, and is something that was borrowed from the Arabs, via the Spanish who used this technique to pickle and preserve fish in the hot,desert conditions.
8 Snappers, scaled and gutted/Salmon Cutlets/Mackeral Fillets/1 kg of Sprats/Whitebait
1 Spanish Onion, cut into rings
1 Scotch Bonnet Pepper, sliced, and deseeded if desired
1 Cho Cho-This vegetable resembles a green apple, but hasnt got a strong taste and is used raw in salads,and cooked in soups,stews and of course in Escabeche/Escoveitch. It is also known as Chayote(chai-yo-teh), or Xuxu(shushu).
1 Tablespoon of Crushed Pimento Seeds/Jamaican Allspice Berries
1-2 Bell Peppers, sliced thin
Salt and Black Pepper mixed, in a dish to taste
300 mls of White Vinegar, more or less may be needed
Cooking Oil for frying
Firstly,clean the fish or have your fishmonger do this for you.
Wash the fish in lime/lemon juice and water,to rid it of any “fishy” smell and to wash the blood away.
Pat the fish dry with a clean tea towel, and make a few cuts into the fish, but not deep enough to slice right through it. This is called SCORING.
In a small bowl mix of salt and pepper together, and sprinkle and then rub onto both sides of fish.
If using a whole fish such as snapper, sprinkle seasoning in the cavity of the fish.
Leave to one side, peel and slice the vegetables. To prepare the chocho,cut in half and then in half again. There is a seed inside the vegetable, and with the knife make an incision and then a slight scooping and cutting action.
A little bit like coring an apple. Slice and set aside, and sprinkle with vinegar to stop the chocho turning brown.
Heat oil in a pan-Pour a good amount of oil although not enough to deep fry the fish, and fry the fish for about 10 minutes, or until cooked through and crispy on both sides. Put two fishes in the pan at one time. Repeat as necessary.
Change the oil and in a wide frying pan, fry the vegetables including the chocho, for 3 minutes on a high heat. Add the Season lightly, adding the pimento and then the vinegar. Cook for one minute. The vegetables should be slightly crunchy,not soft. Pour the mixture over the fish. Leave to cool and then refrigerate. Serve with Hard Dough Bread, Fried Dumplings, or Potato Salad and a Green Salad. This can also be served warm and keeps for around 1 week in the fridge. Serves 8 servings. Enjoy!