One of my favorite ways to eat red snapper is escovitch style. Whenever I dine out at a Caribbean Restaurant where they serve red snapper escovitch that is always my go to meal. The fish is usually whole and deep fried and the “pickled” like veggies is tart. In my version of the classic Caribbean fish cuisine, I set out to make it a bit healthier; this was achieved by using the red snapper fillet and frying it in olive oil in a frying pan. The fish is first seasoned with a simple spice mix before pan frying. It’s cooked until lightly brown and the skin is crispy, while the fish remains flaky.
The escovitch vegetables is sautéed separately. The two brilliant adds to this part of the recipe, is the use of tomatoes and red wine vinegar. [Usually the classic recipes use white vinegar]. These changes were truly delectable. I usually serve the fish on top of a bed of the vegetables and I also add the veggies on top of the fish. We truly enjoyed this healthier version. I hope you will make it and enjoy as much as we do. Happy Cooking!
Red Snapper Escovitch | Healthier Version
An easy and healthier version of escovitch fish that is great for dinner.
FOR THE FISH:
- 1 1/2 pounds red snapper fillet
- Optional: 1 lemon juiced and cold water for washing the fish
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil.
- 1 1/4 teaspoon salt (sea salt or kosher) Adjust for your diet.
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
FOR THE VEGGIES:
- 4 small carrots cleaned and Julianned (cut into strips about 3 inches length)
- 4 cloves garlic peeled and sliced
- 3 plum tomatoes quartered
- 2 small onions peeled, halved and sliced
- 2 whole scotch bonnet or habanero peppers
- 1/2 red bell pepper Julianned (strips)
- 1/2 yellow bell pepper Julianned (strips)
- 1/2 orange bell pepper Julianned (strips)
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoons whole pimento seeds (allspice)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
MAKE THE FISH:
Mix together the spice mix ingredients. Reserve 1/2 teaspoon for the vegetables.
Rinse fish and pat dry.
Note: I rinse the fish in lemon water using cold tap water and juice from 1 lemon. You can let the fish sit in the water for 10 to 15 minutes.
Season the fillets all over using the spice mix.
Heat 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a non-stick frying pan.
Note: I use medium-high heat. Adjust heat as needed.
Cook the fish in 2 batches. Add the fish, skin side down, to the hot oil. Cook 5 to 6 minutes until the skin is crsipy and light brown in color. Flip the fish carefully using a spatula and kitchen tong to prevent it from breaking. Cook for another 4 to 5 minutes.
Note: The cook time will vary depending on the thickness of the fish – usually a total of 10 to 12 minutes for larger fillets.
MAKE THE VEGETABLES: (Do this simultaneously while the fish is cooking)
In a large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat.
Add the pimento seeds and roast for about 60 seconds until fragrant (and you hear sizzling sounds).
Add the onions, bell peppers, carrots, garlic, whole hot peppers and thyme. Mix. Season with 1/2 of the reserved spice mix. Cook 2 to 3 minutes.
Add in the red wine vinegar and tomatoes. Add the remaining spice mix. Stir and cook about 4 to 5 minutes until tomatoes look wilted and veggies are soft but still has a crunch. Turn off the stove.
To serve, plate each piece of fish on top of some veggies, then add more veggies on top of the fish. Enjoy!
You can use whole red snapper. This will take longer to cook depending on the size.
If you prefer the veggies more tart, you can add up to a total of 1/2 cup red wine vinegar.
Video Tutorial available – link in summary.