Photo by Sonia Mendez Garcia

Pescado en Escabeche (Pickled Fish)

Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 16-18 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Pescado en escabeche is a delicious white fish lightly pickled in a homemade escabeche. Serve it anytime of the year for a light dinner option.

This delicious and easy Pescado en Escabeche (Pickled Fish) recipe was adapted from an original Yucatan-style recipe. The simple pickling method used for this fish escabeche is the same method I use to pickle jalapeño peppers during the summer. Traditional pescado en escabeche is most often prepared with a whole fish, but firm white fish fillets work well too. Serve at room temperature with avocado slices and corn tostadas. Leftovers can be covered tightly and placed in the refrigerator overnight. So whether you are looking for a dinner option without red meat or just looking for a tasty fish recipe, you must try this dish.


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  1. Prep all the vegetables and measure out your spices. While you do that, let the fish come to room temperature.
  2. In a shallow pie plate, add the flour, salt, pepper, paprika and cayenne. Stir well to combine.
  3. Preheat ½ cup of oil in a skillet to medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Dredge the fish pieces in the flour just until lightly coated. Transfer onto plate.
  4. Cook the fish in hot oil for 4 minutes per side or until golden brown. Transfer cooked fish to a deep baking dish.
  5. In a separate large skillet, preheat ¼ cup oil oil to medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the onion, carrot, bell pepper and chile pepper. Saute for 5-6 minutes, turning as needed.
  6. Add the garlic, oregano, cumin, peppercorns, bay leaves and cinnamon stick. Sautee for 1 more minute. Add the vinegar and water. Season to taste with salt. Stir well to combine. Bring to a low simmer and cook for 6-7 minutes more.
  7. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.
  8. Pour escabeche over fish in baking pan. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 40 to 60 minutes. Serve at room temperature. Serve fish pieces in a shallow dish with escabeche. Ladle some of the liquid over top. Serve with avocado, tostadas and lime wedges

Chef Notes

When preparing fish recipes, do your best to find fish that is fresh and not frozen. If you have to use frozen, follow the defrost instructions on the package.

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