Fleur Sullivan's Escabeche

We use this every day served in a paua shell on our Kai Moana platter. You’ll find it fun to make and should be proud of yourself when you serve it as a starter or a snack. At festive times with people passing and calling in its nice to have this in your fridge and bring it out as a luncheon dish or with nibbles and drinks. Escabeche would have been made in Mediterranean households and kept in the pantry in times gone by.


4 white fish or conger eel fillets
Plain flower for dipping
1 onion
1 carrot
5 or 6 unpeeled garlic cloves
150ml red wine vinegar
150ml water
Fresh bouquet garni ( herb bundle made with the likes of a bay leaf, thyme and parsley stalks tied together)
Pinch of cayenne pepper
A few coriander seeds
Salt and pepper


Take 4 white fish fillets (or conger eel fillets) dip lightly in flour, pan fry in olive oil until golden.
(the ‘lightly floured’ is only to give colour to the fish and so is not necessary if gluten free)
Drain and arrange in an earthenware dish

Slice an onion and a carrot thinly. Reheat the oil in the pan used for cooking the fish and fry onion and carrot. Then add 5 or 6 unpeeled garlic cloves for a few moments.
Remove from the heat and add 150mls red wine vinegar and 150ml water.
Add a fresh bouquet garni with plenty of fresh thyme in it and season with salt and ground pepper, a pinch of cayenne pepper and a few coriander seeds.
Add 3 or 4 thin slices of lemon in rounds
Cook for about 15 minutes and pour over your dish of fish.
Untie your bouquet garni and scatter the herbs over the top of your fish and marinade.
Cover with a tea towel and leave to marinade in the fridge for at least 24 hours. Can last for up to 2 weeks as long as your fridge is working properly