Marinated Fish

  • Active Time 30m
  • Total Time 24h 30m
  • Rating ****

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."


  • 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, divided


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 cover 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, 5-6 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, 15-20 minutes. Add salt and 1 cup of the vinegar, raise the heat to medium, and cook until the vinegar is absorbed, 5-10 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.

RecID 2286

nutrition information per serving

228 calories; 5g total fat; 73mg cholesterol; 133mg sodium; 14g carbohydrates; 3g fiber; 30g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

Sign Up for Newsletters Here

Delicious recipes, easy meal ideas and holiday inspiration delivered straight to your inbox.