Throwdown's fish escovitch

  • Preparation Time30 mins
  • Cooking Time10 mins
  • Serves4
  • DifficultyMedium

For the pickled red onions

1 large red onion, thinly sliced and rings separated
240ml red wine vinegar
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves

For the sauce

960ml fresh orange juice
1 habanero or Scotch Bonnet pepper
6 whole allspice berries
2 tsp grated orange zest
White wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Honey, to taste, optional

For the basil oil

240ml extra-virgin olive oil
Handful of freshly chopped basil leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the fish

140g rice flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
240ml water
Groundnut or rapeseed oil
900h pink snapper skin-on fillets, cut into 3.5cm strips
Fresh basil leaves, for garnish
1) For the pickled red onions:
Bring a small pot of salted water to a boil, add the onions, cook for 1 minute and drain well. Transfer to a bowl.

2) Combine the vinegar, granulated sugar, salt and pepper in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook until the granulated sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, let cool slightly then pour the mixture over the onions. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Stir in thyme before serving.

3) For the sauce:
Put the orange juice in a medium nonreactive saucepan and bring to a boil. Using a paring knife, make a small slit in the center of the habanero and add to the orange juice along with the allspice berries. Cook until thickened and reduced to about 240ml. Strain into a bowl and let cool slightly. Add the zest and vinegar and season with salt, pepper and honey, to taste, if needed.

4) For the basil oil:
Combine the oil and basil in a blender and blend for 2 minutes. Strain into a bowl and season with salt and pepper.

5) For the fish:
Whisk together the plain flour, salt, pepper and enough water to make a batter with the consistency of crepe batter. Let sit 5 minutes.

6) Heat 3.5cm of oil in a medium high-sided saute pan over high heat until it begins to shimmer. Put the plain flour in a large shallow bowl and season with salt and pepper. Season the fish with salt and pepper and dredged lightly in the plain flour, tapping off excess. dip the fish in the batter and let excess drip off. Fry until golden brown. Drain on kitchen towels. Transfer to a platter, drizzle with the vinegar sauce and basil oil and top with some of the pickled red onions. Garnish with basil leaves.

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