Fried Red Pepper-Rubbed Mackerel

This recipe uses Pimenta Moida, a Portuguese fermented red pepper paste, available at Portuguese markets and other gourmet stores.

Total Time:
47 min
35 min
12 min

4 servings

  • 1 (2 to 3-pound) mackerel, cleaned with head and tail on, rinsed and patted dry
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons Pimenta Moida
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon Essence, recipe follows
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup minced green onions
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Portuguese bread or cornbread, accompaniment
  • Place the fish on a baking sheet and cut 4 slits into each side. In a small bowl, combine the Pimenta Moida, garlic, and 2 teaspoons of salt. Wearing rubber gloves, rub the mixture evenly onto both sides of the fish. Let sit while assembling the remaining ingredients.

  • In a large pan, combine the flour, cornmeal, and Essence.

  • In a decorative bowl, combine the onions, parsley, green onions, olive oil, vinegar, remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and crushed red pepper. Stir to mix well.

  • Preheat the oil in a large pot to 360 degrees F. The oil should come halfway up the sides.

  • Dredge the fish in the cornmeal mixture, tossing to coat evenly. Add to the hot oil and fry, turning, until golden brown and cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes.

  • Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels. Place on a platter and serve hot, passing the onion sauce at the table. Serve with warm bread.

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika

  • 2 tablespoons salt

  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder

  • 1 tablespoon black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon onion powder

  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano

  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme

  • Combine all ingredients thoroughly.

  • Yield: 2/3 cup

  • Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch

  • Published by William and Morrow, 1993.

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