Fish Escabeche Recipe (How To Cook Escabeche?)

If you ever desire a Filipino dish that possesses an awesome taste for your special occasion but also easy to prepare, here’s introducing the Fish Escabeche.

Otherwise known as the sweet and sour sauce dish, this recipe has always been a crowd favorite in various Filipino gatherings, and for obvious reasons.

Personally, I always look forward to this recipe during our family dinners; and this has always been because it is easy to prepare. This cuisine is a great way to take your fried fish to the next level of goodness.

It is one recipe you get to see in most Filipino festivities. This is especially true when the celebration has to do with a buffet table.


What is Escabeche?

Fish Escabeche

The name Escabeche is used to refer to a type of dish where fish or dish (as the case may be) is marinated and cooked in an acidic mixture or solution such as vinegar and citrus juice. It is originally a Persian word, which was during the Moorish conquest brought to Spain and adopted.

This cooking technique became quite popular in the Latin and Mediterranean areas. The technique of cooking originated as a form of preservation enabling the dish to last for a longer period of time which was particularly useful during their long voyages.

These days, the Filipinos, being colonized by Spain have adopted the techniques and are taking the concept a little further with a unique adaptation. The Filipino escabeche consist of fried or poached fish smothered in a sauce that is sweet and tangy, with garnishings made up of tender-crisp vegetables such as bell peppers and shredded papaya.

With the addition of spices such as fresh ginger, the resultant is a burst of a wonderful spicy, citrusy, and zesty flavor.


What Fish can be used for Escabeche?

how to make escabeche

As far as the Philippines version of escabeche is concerned, Tilapia is what is commonly used, even though you can actually use any available fish. This is because it is big and less pricey. You may choose to use other more expensive alternatives if you so wish.

Lists of other fishes that are common for this dish are grouper (Lapu-Lapu), and red snapper (Maya-Maya). Generally, any fish that is wide and flat and is good enough to fry will doubtless make a wonderful Filipino escabeche.


How to Serve Escabeche?

One thing I love about Escabeche is its versatility which can really be only limited by your creativity. When cooking is completed, the perfect partner to go along this delicious dish is a cup of hot steamed rice. To complement its taste, another thing to bring into the mix is a mug of beer.

Also, there are many ways the sauce and its spicy pickled veggies can be used, with the most common being to serve them as a side dish and cold. After all, they are already spicy and seasoned.


Fish Escabeche Health Benefits

how to cook escabeche

Other than the delightful taste, this sweet and sour fish also has a number of health benefits to offer.

1. Fish

Fish is known as a key part of a healthy diet. Its benefits are many: from strengthening the mind to reducing the risk of stroke and heart disease, lowering blood pressure, triglycerides and inflammation; to mention a few.

2. Vinegar

Vinegar is generally known for possessing strong antimicrobial properties. This implies that your food is safe to consume as any bacteria inside the food will be killed.

3. Spices

The spices contained in the recipe, particularly garlic are an excellent source of vitamin C and manganese which are essential for a healthy body. They help absorb calcium and improve thyroid gland function. Pepper contains Vitamin K, iron, and fiber, also essential for the health of the body.


Tips To Help Achieve The Best Fish Escabeche

1. Only fresh fish should be used. Before buying, look out for signs such as a clear and plump eye, firm and shine flesh, wet and bright red/pink gills

2. Ask that the fish be de-scaled and cleaned for convenience purposes. Otherwise, this you can easily do with your fine knife for slit making and scissors for trimming off the fins

3. Avoid scrubbing with salt on a wet fish, as the oil tends to splatter when frying is done. You should pat dry the fish after washing

4. Include ginger in the sauce, as this will enhance its flavor and help cut the fishy smell


How To Make Escabeche?

Fish Escabeche recipe

Fish Escabeche

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Filipino
Servings 3


  • 1 Large fish 1 to 2 lbs, cleaned and salted
  • 1 Medium red bell pepper sliced into strips
  • 1 Medium red onion sliced
  • 1 cup White vinegar
  • 5 cloves Garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp Whole peppercorn
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Cooking oil


  • In a frying pan, add oil and allow to heat.
  • Put your fish inside heated oil and fry until both sides become crispy.
  • Using another pan, pour in the vinegar and allow to boil.
  • Put in garlic, whole peppercorn, and sugar and cook for a minute or two.
  • Add your red bell pepper and onion and stir and cook until veggies become tender.
  • Sprinkle with salt and stir.
  • Time to put in fried fish and allow to cook for about 3 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and put it on a serving plate. Serve. Enjoy!


Keyword escabeche


Final Words On How To Cook Escabeche

Thanks for the read! You will agree with me that the Fish Escabeche, otherwise known as the sweet and sour fish is no doubt a Filipino favorite, amongst other cuisines around the world.

Whether it’s eating with family or as part of your menu for your special occasion, this is one dish you can be sure to give your gathering that wow feeling and at the same time satisfying to the tummy.

In fact, your guest will be so in love with its wonderful taste that they will be eagerly waiting for your next gathering, with the dish on your menu. This can be confidently said even of food critics.

Hope you enjoyed the read? If you did, be so kind share to help others discover the recipe. If you have questions about this amazing Fish Escabeche dish. I look forward to hearing from you in the comment section. It will be nice to hear your experience if you have had a taste of this Fish Escabeche.

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