Cuban Red Snapper Escabeche


This fish is marinaded and served with peppers, olives and capers.


  • 6 six-to-eight-ounce red-snapper fillets, skins removed

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour

  • 8 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut thinly into 2 ½-inch-long pieces

  • 2 ribs celery, strings removed, cut thinly on bias

  • 3 small assorted-colored bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and sliced lengthwise into ½-inch-thick strips

  • 2 small red onions, peeled and sliced lengthwise into ½-inch-thick wedges

  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled

  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns

  • 1 small hot chile pepper, sliced in half lengthwise

  • 6 fresh bay leaves

  • ¾ cup small green olives

  • 2 tablespoons nonpareil capers, drained

  • Lime slices, for garnish (optional)

  • Cilantro, for garnish (optional)


  1. Cut fish fillets in half, and season with salt and pepper. Place the flour on a large plate. Dredge each fillet in the flour.

  2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat. Add half of the fillets; saute until opaque and golden brown on bottoms, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn over, and cook other sides until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer fish to a deep glass or ceramic dish, in a single layer, and set aside. Wipe out skillet, add 2 more tablespoons oil; cook remaining fillets.

  3. Wipe out skillet, add the remaining 4 tablespoons oil, and place over medium heat. Add carrots, celery, bell peppers, onions, garlic, peppercorns, chile pepper, and bay leaves. Cook 3 minutes, without browning vegetables. Add vinegar, 2 1/2 cups water, olives, and capers. Raise heat to high; bring to a boil. Remove from heat; pour mixture over fish, covering fish completely (if fish is not completely covered, add one part water to one part vinegar until covered). Let stand until cool. Cover; refrigerate at least 24 hours or up to 3 days.

  4. When ready to serve, let escabeche stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Divide the fish and vegetables among 12 plates; garnish with lime slices and cilantro, if desired.

Related Articles