Sweet and tangy with a little kick of heat on the end and pretty, too. This is a flavor packed, simple meal that will excite your tastebuds and make you smile.
Most people believe escabeche is a Spanish dish referring to a process of pickling. Au contraire mon ami, according to linguists, escabeche comes from the Hispanic Arabic word assukkabáğ, which in turn comes from the Arabic sikbāğ, which is derived from the Persian term sekbā, meaning ”meat stew with vinegar.” Food historians trace the origin of escabeche to Persia in the 6th Century. During this time period Persia was the center of the world economy. Its king, King Khosrau I Anushirvan, had a favorite dish called sikbāj, from sik, Persian for “vinegar”, and bā meaning “broth.” So popular was the dish that it was a Royal delicacy for nearly 300 years. With the great Islam outpouring westward, the dish was brought to Spain in the 8th Century where fish escabeche became a favorite of the sailors in the Mediterranean. From there, the Spanish sailors brought the dish to the Spanish territories from Europe to the Americas, the Philippines and Guam. The dish is known as “escoveitch” or “escoveech fish” in Jamaica, as “escabecio”, “scapece” or “savoro” in Italy, “savoro” in Greece, “scabetche” in North Africa and escaveche in Belgium. Some preparations serve escabeche cold; whereas, others serve it hot. Some people marinade the meat before cooking; whereas, others do not. Regardless, escabeche is typically a poached or fried meat with vegetables in a vinegar sauce.
This recipe comes from Jeannie at Goddess of Scrumptuousness. Her photo made my mouth water and I knew I had to try her dish with some variations. This is a simple but elegant meal that you can make from start to finish in 30 minutes, so it’s another dish that is perfect for a weeknight meal. We hope you give this a try and thanks Jeannie for the wonderful inspiration.
- 3 swordfish steaks, roughly 3/4 inch thick
- salt and fresh ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1 tbsp garlic, minced
- 1 cup orange bell pepper, julienned
- 2 Tablespoons ginger, julienned
- 1 large red onion, julienned
- 1 large tomato, seeded and julienned
- 2 scallions, sliced diagonal
- 1/2 cup Champagne vinegar
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup tomato ketchup
- 1 Tablespoon Sriracha
- 1 1/2 cups Dashi (recipe found here)
- 1/3 cup honey
- salt and pepper to taste
In a bowl, whisk all the escabeche sauce ingredients together to incorporate. Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed. Set aside.
Add 1/4 cup oil to a large heavy skillet over medium high heat. Add ginger, garlic and onions and sauté for until aromatics are fragrant.
Add orange bell pepper and tomatoes and saute for 2 minutes.
Pour escabeche sauce over vegetables.
While you prep and cook the fish, let the sauce simmer over medium heat until the sauce is slightly thickened.
While the sauce is simmering, season swordfish steaks with salt and pepper.
In a heavy skillet, add the remaining peanut oil and heat over high heat. Add the swordfish to the hot oil and fry.
Because swordfish is such a beautiful dense, meaty fish I like to cook mine no more than medium rare which is roughly 2 minutes per side. If you like yours done more then cook it another 2 minutes. Remember, the residual heat is going to cook the fish after it’s removed from the heat. Also, at the end you are going to pour the hot sauce on top of the fish which also will cause the fish to cook further. So whatever you do, do not overcook your fish.
To Plate: Place a scoop of rice in the middle of a bowl.
Place fish on top of rice.
Spoon vegetables and sauce over fish.
Top with sliced scallion greens
Serve & enjoy!