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striped red mullets in escabeche sauce

The king of the Mediterranean sea at his best!

ingredients for 4 servings (cost about 6 € pp)
  • 1 kg small striped red mullets
  • EV sunflower oil for frying
  • 4 garlic cloves NOT peeled, steamed or roasted
  • 200 ml EV olive oil
  • 100 ml top quality white vinegar
  • 100 ml white wine
  • 1 large beetroot, steamed or roasted and cut in dice
  • 10 spring onions, steamed or roasted
  • 2 large carrots, steamed or roasted and cut in pieces
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Paprika
  • Salt

Escabetx or escabeche, is a marvelous Catalan cooking technique, which helps us cook and preserve fish, seafood, vegetables or meat for up to 10 days in a cool temperature. Today, we prepare this way the king of the Mediterranean sea, the striped red mullet, a rock fish with a very characteristic taste. For this dish we need small, cheap red mullets.

We start by preparing the vegetables, by steaming or roasting them, as already told. I remind you that by steaming or roasting vegetables, instead of boiling them, we manage to keep their colour, their taste and their nutritional benefits.

We continue by pre-cooking the fish. We wash them, we remove their intestines and we pat them dry.

We preheat the EV sunflower oil to 180o – 190oC and we fry them, keeping in mind that they will continue to be cooked in the escabeche sauce. We let them cool.

In another skillet, we add the olive oil, the wine and the vinegar and we bring to boil. We salt the liquid and after 1-2 minutes we add the fish, the vegetables, the paprika and the bay leaf, we lower the temperature and we cook them for 3 another minutes.

We let them rest in the escabeche sauce for at least 12 hours. It is obvious that we can eat them sooner, but the aromas will not be as strong as they have to. Although some writers suggest that we can keep the escabeche preparations out of the fridge, I would propose that you use the fridge, especially if you don´t afford a cool place.

We eat it cool but not cold, accompanied by a green salad.

We can conserve the fish in the escabeche sauce for up to a week.


Published in FISH