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  • Writer's pictureRuby Deubry

Snapper Escovitch


1 lb fresh snapper, cleaned and descaled

2 tablespoons choice fish seasoning (homemade recipe below)

1 small carrot, thinly sliced

1 small onion, thinly sliced

1 small leek, thinly sliced

1 small red pepper, thinly sliced

1 small yellow pepper, thinly sliced

1 small green pepper, thinly sliced

1 celery stalk, thinly sliced (optional)

½ cup thinly sliced green papaya (optional)

½ cup vinegar (white or raw apple cider)

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1 teaspoon whole all spice

2 sprigs fresh thyme

1 bayleaf

½ to 1 hot pepper (e.g. Scotch Bonnet) per your heat preference (optional)

Neutral oil for frying + 2 tablespoons additional oil for sautéing vegetables

Homemade All-Purpose Seasoning

2 tablespoons paprika

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon onion powder

2 teaspoons celery salt

1 teaspoon dried parsley

1 teaspoon each dried thyme

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon and marjoram

½ to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, per your heat preference

½ to 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, per your heat preference

½ teaspoon Kosher salt

¼ teaspoon ginger


  1. For the seasoning: mix all the ingredients together well. Store in an airtight container.

  2. For the escovitch: Pat the snapper dry with paper towels. Cut 2 to 3 diagonal slits on each side. Season well, using approximately 1 tablespoon of dry seasoning on each side, then allow marinate for 10 minutes at room temperature.

  3. Heat oil in large frying pan over medium heat. When very hot, gently place the fish in pan. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes, then flip and fry for another 2 to 3 minutes. Repeat this 3 times until fish is golden brown on each side and cooked through. Tip: you’ll know the fish is done when it flakes easily with a fork. Remove from the oil and set aside on a plate lined with paper towel. For a healthier version: Brush the fish on both side with a little oil. Season well with fish seasoning and allow to marinate for 10 minutes. Follow the manufacturer's guide to your air fryer to air fry the fish.

  4. Remove all but 2 tablespoons oil from the pan. If the fish was air fried, add 2 tablespoons of oil to a pan. Saute the vegetables for about 5 minutes until just tender. Deglaze the pan with the vinegar. Stir in the sugar. Add the allspice, thyme, bayleaf, and hot pepper. Cover and reduce the heat to very low. Simmer for 5 - 10 minutes or until desired tenderness.

  5. Place the fish in a dish that can hold the sauce. Place the vegetables over the fish and pour over the pan sauce. Serve with your favorite side dish! May be made in advance and refrigerated overnight - cool completely and cover before refrigerating.

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