Pinoy Hot Pickled Fish (Escabeche) Recipe

Serves/Makes: 6 servings


  • 6 porgy or perch steaks, about 6 ounces each
  • 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 medium-sized garlic cloves, peeled and cut crosswise into paper-thin slices
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped, scraped fresh ginger root
  • 1 small onion, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick slices
  • 1 medium-sized carrot, scraped and cut lengthwise into 1/4 -inch-wide slices, then crosswise into 2-inch-wide strips
  • 1 medium-sized green bell pepper, stemmed, de-seeded, de-ribbed and cut crosswise into 1/4 -inch-thick rings
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 cup cold water
  • 1/3 cup malt vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
How to cook Pinoy Hot Pickled Fish (Escabeche):
  • Wash the fish steaks under cold running water and pat the pieces completely dry with paper towels. In a heavy 10- to 12-inch skillet, heat the cup of oil over moderate heat until it is very hot but not smoking.
  • Add all the fish steaks and fry them for 5 or 6 minutes on each side, or until they are crisp and richly browned. With a slotted spatula transfer the fish to a platter lined with a double thickness of paper towels. Discard the oil in the skillet.
  • Wash and dry the skillet, and in it heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil until a light haze forms above it. In order, fry the garlic, ginger, onion, carrot and then the green bell pepper rings in the hot oil, stirring each vegetable constantly for about a minute before transferring it to a plate and frying the next. As you proceed, add more oil to the pan if necessary.
  • Add the cornstarch mixture, vinegar, brown sugar and salt to the oil remaining in the skillet and stir over moderate heat until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens.
  • Add the fish, garlic and ginger, baste with the vinegar sauce, and bring to a boil again. Add the onions, carrots and green bell pepper rings and stir for a minute or so.
  • To serve, arrange the pieces of fish attractively on a deep, heated platter, reassembling them into their original shape if you like. Intersperse the vegetables with the fish pieces or arrange them around the edge. Then taste the sauce for seasoning and pour it over the fish and vegetables.


The Pinoy Hot Pickled Fish (Escabeche) is a very affordable dish. This recipe is delicious, simple, and really easy to cook.


Porgy, also known as scup, is a lean fish with a coarse texture and delicate flavor, consisting of a large family of fish found in temperate and tropical waters all over the world.

Escabeche is a typical Mediterranean cuisine which refers to both a dish of poached or fried fish (escabeche of chicken, rabbit or pork is common in Spain) that is marinated in an acidic mixture before serving, and to the marinade itself. The dish is common in Spanish, Salvadoran, Panamanian, Peruvian, Philippine, Puerto Rican, Mexican and Guatemalan cuisine, and popular in Catalonia, Portugal and Provence.

This recipe for Pinoy Hot Pickled Fish (Escabeche) serves/makes: 6 servings

The Pinoy Hot Pickled Fish (Escabeche) recipe is adopted from The Philippine Cookbook by Reynaldo Alejandro.

Main Ingredient: Porgy (more Porgy recipes)
Preparation Method: Pan Fried/Sauteed (more Pan Fried/Sauteed recipes)
Cuisine: Filipino (more Filipino recipes)

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