Heat the oil in a deep-fryer or cast-iron skillet to 350 degrees F.
Score the fish on both sides with a knife. Sprinkle inside and out with the Seafood Spice Rub. Coat in batter if using (see Cook's Note).
Fry the fish until the skin, or batter, is crispy, 10 to 12 minutes.
Serve with Escovitch Dressing.
In a food processor, pulse together the pimento seeds, adobo, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, salt, black pepper and white pepper. Add the olive oil and process until the mixture has a deep red color, about 45 seconds.
Combine the vinegar and 3 cups water in a saucepan. Add the sugar, pimento seeds and 1 tablespoon salt. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Add the carrots, onions, peppers and thyme. Remove the pan from the heat and let the vegetables cook slightly in the hot liquid (they should still be firm).
If using batter for the fish, you can add the spice rub to the batter. If time permits, marinate the fish at least an hour for a whole fish, less for filets (depending on size and cut). Escovitch is a staple in Caribbean homes. The recipe varies from region to region and family to family. It is usually bottled in a mason jar or other creative vessel and used as a dip or sprinkled on roasted, fried or steamed seafood.
This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional. It has not been tested for home use.
Recipe courtesy of Ena's Caribbean Kitchen, Columbus, OH