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Marinated Fish

Source: Cucina Ebraica - Flavors of the Italian Jewish Kitchen
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Active Time:  30 Minutes
Total Time:  24 Hours 30 Minutes
  Serves 4 to 6
This typical Venetian Sabbath dish for marinated fish resembles a Spanish "escabèche," or as it’s called in Italian, a "scapece." The wealthy Jews used sole, while the poorer ones relied on sardines. "Saor" is dialect for "sapore," or "flavor." The fish is cooked ahead of time and allowed to marinate and mellow for a day or two in a cool place. Given the American fear of food sitting out of the refrigerator for more than a few minutes, and the American absence of "cool places," it’s likely that you’ll put this in the refrigerator. No crime, but remember to bring the dish to room temperature at serving time. As it is difficult to find fresh sardines at most fish markets, you’ll probably use fillets of sole. Incidentally, this technique for cooking and marinating fish is also used for vegetables such as eggplants and peppers.
2 pounds whole fresh sardines or 1 1/2 pounds sole fillets
all-purpose flour for coating
Pure olive oil for frying
salt to taste
2 pounds white onions, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups red or white wine vinegar  
Marinated Fish Recipe at
If using whole sardines, clean them and remove their heads. Remove their backbones as well, leaving the fillets attached. Rinse well and open them flat like a book. Dry thoroughly with paper towels.

Spread flour on a plate and dip the sardines or fillets in it, coating both sides lightly.

Pour enough olive oil into a large sauté pan to film the bottom and place over medium-high heat. When hot, add the fish and fry in batches, turning once until golden on both sides and cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes. Using a slotted spatula, transfer to paper towels to drain. Sprinkle with salt.

Add a bit more oil to the pan and add the onions. Sauté them over low heat, being careful not to let them take on any color, until soft, 15 to 20 minutes. Add salt and 1 cup of the vinegar, raise the heat to medium, and cook until the vinegar is absorbed, 5 to 10 minutes.

Layer half of the fish on a platter. Top with half of the onions, then the remaining fish, and finally the remaining onions. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup vinegar. Let marinate for 1 or 2 days before serving, either in a cool place or in the refrigerator.

NOTE: Some versions of this dish add raisins and pine nuts to the onions, and a sprinkling of ground cinnamon and freshly ground black pepper.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Chronicle. All rights reserved.
Date Added: 01/01/2008
Nutrition Facts per Serving
Yield:   Serves 4 to 6
Calories: 228
Fat. Total: 5g
Fiber: 3g
Carbohydrates, Total: 14g
Sodium: 133mg
% Cal. from Fat: 20%
Cholesterol: 73mg
Protein: 30g
Spotlight Recipe Review See all 1 reviews »

Rating: 1
by: Valerie Reviewed: 05/27/2013
I used the sardines and it was amazing. It tasted like a dish I had at a Mario Batalis restaurant in Las Vegas.i will definitely make this again and again!
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