Fish/ Sauces

Escabeche (pickled sauce)

Escabeche (pickled sauce)

Escabeche is one of the best ways of preserving food naturally. In Spanish cuisine, this is a traditional method of preserving fish, such as mussels, sardines, herring, mackerel and tuna or bonito, but you can also marinate meat, including chicken, rabbit and pork. Escabeche is considered a marinade, as it consists of precooking and searing the pieces of fish or meat and then marinate them in a vinegary mixture. There are a lot of ways of preparing escabeche, but the basic recipe consists of 2 parts of oil to 1 part of vinegar and 1 part of white wine. Other common ingredients of escabeche are salt, sugar, paprika, garlic, onion and carrot. Also, escabeche includes spices, but you can choose those you like the most. Some of the most common ones are bay leafs, peppercorns and cumin.

This is an easy recipe to prepare fish escabeche:

Escabeche (pickled sauce)
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  • 1 heaped tbsp salt
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cup olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ kg (1 lb) fish fillets, cut into pieces
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 more bay leaves


  1. Combine the salt with the water.
  2. Put the fish in the salty water for 30-45 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a frying pan.
  4. Slice the garlic.
  5. Add the garlic and the bay leaves to the hot oil.
  6. Cook over medium heat until the garlic is lightly brown, for about 5 minutes.
  7. Remove the garlic and bay leafs and discard them.
  8. In a frying pan, sear each side of the fish pieces, for 1-3 minutes. Remember that you do not need to cook the fish all the way through.
  9. Remove from the frying pan and set aside.
  10. Slice the onion.
  11. Add the onion to the same pan and cook until it is translucent. Remove from the frying pan and set aside.
  12. Add the black peppercorns, white wine, white wine vinegar and 2 more bay leaves to the same frying pan and bring to a boil.
  13. Cook for about 20 minutes, until the sauce has reduced by half.
  14. Remove from heat and let cool.
  15. Then, pour the sauce into a container (preferably hermetic).
  16. Add the seared fish and cooked onion.
  17. Store in the refrigerator.
  18. You can serve it cool or at room temperature.

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