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Escabeche (pickled fish)
This dish has dozens of varieties to ingredients because any latin or mediterranean country by the sea has their own unique flavor. In Puerto Rico this is a traditional dish served cold using salted cod (bacalao) and green bananas not plantains (guineitos). I love it cold or hot, mixed with island roots and vegetables I used to mash them all up as a kid for a hearty meal that you only needed to eat once all day! Other countries serve it with a hearty tomato sauce with rice and it's amazing that way as well.
Fish: Any species works, but most common with mackerel especially kingfish steaks any fish that can handle lots of seasoning. Great way of preparing a feast in advance as the marinade preserves the seafood for days.
Whole fried snapper (pescado frito)
Most of my charter clients request their fish be filleted and deboned. But, if you visit any island country, almost every restaurant or household serves whole fried or grilled fish... why? Because all the flavor is in the skin that's why! Best when prepared freshly caught of course. By scoring, lightly seasoning or marinating small stringer fish like vermillion snapper and frying on a hot skillet it's like fried chicken of the sea buddy! And don't forget all the delicious morsels along the collars and cheeks that normally get thrown out, those are the "chicken wings" of the sea! You can add any sauces or marinades to top them off, my favorite is a sweet thai chili sauce with my personal pan snapper, with sides of fried plantains (tostones) covered in sauteed garlic and arepas, Yum!
smoked fish (pescado humado)
Everyone's familiar with smoked Salmon, but not many know how delicious many of our local species are when smoked. King mackeral and amberjacks to name a couple, were put on this Earth to be smoked, as the oil and fat content of these fish add such decadent flavor. My personal preference is to smoke king mackeral or amberjack bellies low and slow using apple or pecan wood and served hot for that night's meal. The leftover (and there will be leftovers) are refrigerated and shredded to make fish dip. I also love to eat unfrozen smoked whole fillets that I'll chop into chunks and make a hearty fish stew.
Smoked Fish Dip can be found on the menu at all our local seafood restaurants and fish houses and I eat it on a cracker, on a burger, in a taco or right out of the tub sometimes! Sprinkler your favorite seasonings like tabasco or cayenne to suit (my fav is pickled jalapenos).