Accompanied by tostones and ensalada de tomate, this pescado aborrajado is the best fried fish you will ever eat.
THE RAMBLE: Winner for Team Spain!
LET’S TALK ABOUT all the amazing people I met while in Spain. I met people from all over the world, and the most generous, optimistic people are those from Latin America! As missionaries for the LDS Church, we were invited many times from our great Latin American members to have mediodia with them, the big meal of the day in Spain. We had a dish similar to this many times, with friends from Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, etc. and I have craved this fried fish so many times since being home. I learned how to make the platanos fritos, or tostones (fried plantains), but I didn’t learn how to make the fish. I finally found the recipe on My Columbian Recipes (along with tons of other great recipes!) and I was so excited to learn how to make this super easy and delicious fried fish.
LET’S TALK ABOUT this recipe. It is the best fried fish in the world. The batter is with a little bit of flour, milk, egg, just to make it super light and crisp, but the key ingredient is the Sazón Goya con Azafrán, a powdered flavoring that is available at Mexican markets and some chain grocery stores, that gives this fish its distinctive flavor that can never be replaced. The ingredients include MSG (one of my favorite ingredients, haha), dehydrated garlic, cumin, annatto, turmeric, mexican saffron (which is safflower) and fake coloring. So if you can’t find this, you could probably make a similar flavor profile. I could eat this fish a few times week, and I don’t care for fried food too much, but dang, this fish will change your life. The sides are just as addicting. You can find green plantains at most grocery stores, but I have to go to my Mexican market to get the globe green onions (i.e. white lisbon or southport white globe or augusta, etc.). They look like green onions but the white section is like a small ball, and the flavor is so much better. I’ve tried to do this with just sliced white onion and regular green onion, but the flavor isn’t as perfect, so do what you must, but try to get those globe green onions!
WHO YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT making great Latin American food: Andria from her blog From Scratch Latin Kitchen, Oriana from her blog Mommy’s Home Cooking, Kanaima from her blog Sabores Venezolanos, Aly from her blog Sabor, Aromas y Más, Layla from her blog Laylita, Cristina from her blog Vovo Cristina, the recipe site Peru a la Carte, Sandra Cuza and her book The Art of Brazilian Cooking.
Pescado Aborrajado, Tostones y Ensalada de Tomate
For this meal, I make the tostones first, then the fish, then the salad while the fish is frying to keep optimal temperatures.
Colombian Fried Fish
Adapted from My Colombian Recipes, serves 4, easy-level recipe, about 20 minutes to make.
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup milk
5 TBS AP flour
1/2 TBS (or 1 packet) Sazón Goya con Azafrán
salt and pepper to taste
4 fillets of white, flaky fish, such as cod, pollack, or trout
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp ground cumin
neutral oil, such as sunflower, for frying
lemon or lime wedges, to serve
steamed white rice, to serve
- Heat oil in a large frying pan or skillet with high sides with about 1-2 ” of oil to 350 degrees F.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together ingredients for the batter until smooth, set aside.
- Pat dry your fish, if necessary, and season with salt, pepper and cumin. Dip fillets one at a time into the batter to evenly coat, and carefully and slowly drop the fillet into the hot oil away from you, frying only 1-2 fillets at a time. I also lightly shake the frying pan back and forth to keep the bottom of the fish from sticking.
- Fry on each side about 3-4 minutes, or until dark golden brown and crispy. Drain each fillet on a baker’s cooling rack set over a plate or baking sheet lined with paper towels, about a minute, then serve with steamed white rice and lemon or lime wedges.
serves 4, about 10 minutes to make, easy-level recipe
2-3 green plantains
salt (flaked is best)
neutral oil, such as sunflower, for frying,
- Heat oil in a medium skillet or saucepan with about 1-2″ oil to 350 degrees F.
- Meanwhile, slice plantains with peel on into 1/2″-1″ rounds. Then make a little cut down the length of each round, through the little “points” of the peel, and then remove peels.
- Once oil is heated, add as many rounds as will fit to be about halfway covered with oil. Fry until light golden brown, about 2-3 minutes, then flip each round to do second side. Drain on paper towels or cooling rack, only for a few seconds. Then, on something like a plastic cutting board, place a square of parchment paper over the round and with a flat glass or mug, smash each plantain until flat (if not using parchment, use a butter knife to gently loosen plantain from glass if necessary). Then add flattened plantain back into the hot oil to fry a second time, about 30 seconds-1 minute on each side, or until edges are crispy and light golden brown. Remove to drain, then immediately sprinkle with salt.
- Repeat step 3 with remaining rounds, then serve hot or at room temperature.
Ensalada de Tomate
serves 4, about 5 minutes to make, easy-level recipe
4 large tomatoes
4 globe green onions, white part
about 4 tsp olive oil
1 lemon, cut into wedges
salt, to taste
- Slice tomatoes into about 1/4″ rounds, place on your serving dish (or each individual plate), just barely overlapping in one single layer, then slice onions as thinly as possible and sprinkle onions evenly over the tomatoes. Drizzle with the olive oil, squeeze lemon edges over everything, then sprinkle with salt to taste. Serve.