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Shared by Esther Serruya Weyl

Escabeche de Peixe (Fish Escabeche With Peppers, Cumin, and Cilantro)

Yield: 4 servingsTime: 4 h to 12 h

Escabeche de Peixe (Fish Escabeche With Peppers, Cumin, and Cilantro)

Yield: 4 servingsTime: 4 h to 12 h

Family Journey

Spain and TurkeyMorocco
Belem, Brazil

There are recipes for escabeche, a dish of fried fish soused with a tangy vinegar dressing, in many cultures and the idea is of preserving fish this way centuries — and possibly millennia — old. Sources differ on the origin of it, but the root of the name comes from the Persian word sikbāj, the name of a vinegary stew.

This escabeche recipe comes from Blue Hill at Stone Barns chef Esther Weyl who learned to make it from the Larrat sisters in her family’s Moroccan community in Belém, Brazil. Here, it's served on Shabbat alongside dishes like a roasted pepper salad and a roasted eggplant dip called fumaça.

Read more about Esther's family and community "The Recipes That Connect This Brazilian Community to Its Moroccan Roots" and try her recipes for fish albondigas and meringue with orange marmalade.


  • ½ pound skinless red snapper filet, sliced into 3 x 1 inch pieces
  • ¼ cup olive oil for frying
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper 
  • ¾ cup white vinegar
  • ½  onion thinly sliced
  • ½ cup + ¼ cup olive oil, divided
  • ¼ bunch cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
  • 4 to 6 sprigs cilantro for garnish


  • Step 1

    Place about ¼ cup olive oil in a medium sized pot over medium high heat. There should be about ½  inch of oil in the pot. 

  • Step 2

    Sprinkle the pieces of fish with salt. Place flour into a small bowl. Dip a piece of fish in the flour and shake off any excess flour. Dip the fish into the oil, if it sizzles vigorously, the oil is ready for frying. Place the piece of fish into the oil and continue the process with another 4 to 6 pieces of fish. Fry the fish on each side until golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Transfer the fish onto a paper towel lined plate to drain any excess oil. Continue frying the rest of the fish in batches. 

  • Step 3

    Place the vinegar, olive oil, onion, and cilantro into a deep mixing bowl or container. Mix to combine all the ingredients well. Place all the fried fish into the bowl and make sure all the pieces of fish are submerged in the liquid. Seal the bowl with plastic wrap and set it aside for at least 2 hours before serving. The escabeche can marinate up to 8 hours, overnight, as long a it is stored in the refrigerator. 

  • Step 4

    Serve the escabeche at room temperature.