Escabeche I Recipe from Puerto Rico with Kingfish, Limes, and Garlic

Escabeche I

Escabeche I Recipe from Puerto Rico with Kingfish, Limes, and Garlic
Region / culture: Puerto Rico | Preparation time: 1 hour | Cooking time: 1 hour | Servings: 6


Escabeche I
Escabeche I

Escabeche is a traditional Spanish dish that involves marinating and cooking fish or meat in a vinegar-based sauce. This recipe for Escabeche I features kingfish marinated in a flavorful mixture of onions, vinegar, and spices. The dish is typically served cold and makes for a refreshing and tangy appetizer or main course.


Escabeche has its roots in Moorish Spain and was introduced to the country during the Middle Ages. The dish was originally a way to preserve food, as the vinegar in the marinade helped to extend the shelf life of the fish or meat. Over time, Escabeche became a popular dish in Spanish cuisine and spread to other Mediterranean countries.


How to prepare

  1. In a large heavy pot, place oil, vinegar, salt, pepper corns and bring to a simmer.
  2. Add onions and allow to simmer slowly for about one hour.
  3. While the onions are simmering, rinse fish under cold water and place on a cutting board.
  4. Pat the pieces of fish dry with a paper towel and then rub all sides with the lime juice.
  5. Dredge fish in the seasoned flour, making sure that it is completely covered with the flour coating, and set aside.
  6. Once you have floured all of the fish, place it in the refrigerator for at least a half hour.
  7. Place about one quarter cup of oil in a heavy skillet and bring it up to heat.
  8. Once the oil comes up to heat, place a few pieces of fish in it and fry until golden brown on all sides.
  9. You may have to adjust the heat so as not to burn the fish.
  10. Place a layer of the onion and oil mixture into a large container that has a tight lid, preferably glass.
  11. Place a layer of the fried fish into the container, now add another layer of the onion and oil mixture.
  12. Continue this process until you have added all of the fish.
  13. Make sure that you have enough of the onion and oil mixture to completely cover the last layer of fish.
  14. Place in the refrigerator for at least three days, turning the fish from bottom to top at least twice a day.
  15. Be careful not to break the pieces of fish when turning.


  • Substitute kingfish with another firm white fish such as snapper or grouper.
  • Add sliced bell peppers or carrots to the onion mixture for added flavor and color.
  • Use different spices such as cumin or paprika to customize the marinade to your taste.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

Make sure to marinate the fish for at least three days to allow the flavors to fully develop.

- Be careful not to overcook the fish when frying, as it can become tough and dry.

- Use a heavy skillet for frying the fish to ensure even cooking and a crispy exterior.

- Turn the fish from bottom to top at least twice a day during the marinating process to ensure that all pieces are evenly coated with the marinade.

Serving Suggestions

Escabeche I can be served as an appetizer with crusty bread or as a main course with rice or salad on the side.

Cooking Techniques

Marinating the fish for at least three days is essential to allow the flavors to fully develop.

- Frying the fish until golden brown adds a crispy texture to the dish.

- Layering the fish and onion mixture in a container helps to evenly distribute the flavors.

Ingredient Substitutions

Use white vinegar or apple cider vinegar instead of olive oil for a different flavor profile.

- Substitute Spanish onions with red onions or shallots for a sweeter taste.

Make Ahead Tips

Escabeche I can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. The flavors will continue to develop over time, making it a great make-ahead dish for entertaining.

Presentation Ideas

Serve Escabeche I on a platter garnished with fresh herbs such as parsley or cilantro for a colorful and appetizing presentation.

Pairing Recommendations

Escabeche I pairs well with a crisp white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or a light-bodied red wine such as Pinot Noir. It also goes well with a side of crusty bread or steamed rice.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store leftover Escabeche I in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. To reheat, gently warm the dish in a skillet over low heat until heated through.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of Escabeche I contains approximately 400 calories.


Each serving of Escabeche I contains approximately 10 grams of carbohydrates.


Each serving of Escabeche I contains approximately 20 grams of fats.


Each serving of Escabeche I contains approximately 30 grams of proteins.

Vitamins and minerals

Escabeche I is a good source of vitamin C, vitamin B12, and omega-3 fatty acids.


This recipe contains fish and may not be suitable for individuals with seafood allergies.


Escabeche I is a nutritious dish that is high in proteins and healthy fats. It is also a good source of vitamins and minerals, making it a healthy and satisfying meal option.


Escabeche I is a flavorful and tangy dish that is perfect for seafood lovers. With its marinated kingfish and onion mixture, this dish is sure to impress your guests and become a new favorite in your recipe repertoire.

How did I get this recipe?

I remember the joy I felt when I first stumbled upon this recipe for Escabeche. It was many years ago, when I was just a young girl living in a small village in the countryside. My grandmother, who was an excellent cook, had passed down many of her recipes to me, but this one was new to me.

I had been invited to a neighbor's house for dinner one evening, and as I sat at the table enjoying the delicious meal she had prepared, I couldn't help but ask for the recipe for the Escabeche she had served. She smiled and told me that it was a family recipe that had been passed down for generations. She offered to teach me how to make it, and I eagerly accepted.

The next day, I went to her house and watched as she prepared the dish. She showed me how to marinate the fish in vinegar, sugar, and spices, and then fry it until it was crispy and golden brown. She explained that the key to a good Escabeche was in the balance of flavors – the tangy vinegar, the sweetness of the sugar, and the heat of the spices all coming together to create a harmonious dish.

As I watched her work, I couldn't help but marvel at her skill and expertise in the kitchen. She moved with such grace and confidence, her hands deftly chopping, stirring, and seasoning the ingredients with a practiced ease that only comes with years of experience.

After the Escabeche was finished cooking, she served it to me with a side of steamed rice and a fresh salad. I took my first bite and was instantly transported to food heaven. The flavors were bold and complex, with just the right amount of acidity, sweetness, and heat. It was a dish that was both comforting and exotic, familiar yet new.

I thanked my neighbor profusely for teaching me her family recipe and vowed to make it a staple in my own kitchen. Over the years, I have made Escabeche countless times, each time tweaking the recipe to suit my own tastes and experimenting with different ingredients to create my own version of this beloved dish.

I have shared the recipe with friends and family, passing down the tradition of Escabeche to a new generation. Each time I make it, I am reminded of that first time I learned how to make it, and the joy and pride I felt in mastering a new culinary skill.

Escabeche has become a signature dish of mine, a dish that I am known for among my friends and family. It is a dish that brings people together, evoking memories of shared meals and good times spent around the table.

As I sit here now, thinking back on that fateful day when I first stumbled upon the recipe for Escabeche, I am filled with gratitude for the wonderful people who have taught me so much about the art of cooking. I am grateful for the joy and satisfaction that cooking has brought into my life, and I look forward to many more years of creating delicious meals to share with the ones I love.


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