Fried Yojoa Fish is one of the most famous dishes in Honduras, and a national favorite. It originated in the Yojoa Lake region.
The fish is spiced and salted, left to marinate overnight. Then it is deep fried. This particular method makes the flesh delightfully flaky and easy to be pulled off the bones. Fried Yojoa fish has a slightly sweet taste, which is a large part of what distinguishes it from any other fried fish dish.
Fried Yojoa Fish is served traditionally with garnishes of pickled onions, pickled red cabbage and slices of fresh lime. A favorite side dish is deep fried sliced bananas (plátanos tajaditos).
Fried Yojoa Fish Recipe-
- 2 whole fish, about 10 to 12 oz. each, scaled and gutted, tails and heads left on (red snapper, sea bass, mackerel all work well)
- 4 tbsp. course sea salt
- 2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1-1⁄2 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp. cilantro paste
- 1 tbsp. raw turbinado sugar
- 2 tbsp. vegetable oil, plus more for deep frying
- Clean the fish thoroughly, pat them dry, and set aside while you prepare the marinade.
- Combine all the other ingredients (including 2 tbsp. of the oil) in a mixing bowl, stirring vigorously to blend completely.
- Rub the mixture into the flesh of the fish, working it in well. Place the coated fish in a sealable plastic bag and place it in the fridge to marinate overnight.
- The next day, heat enough oil in a deep skillet over medium high flame to immerse the fish when deep frying.
- Take the fish out of the bag, and, using your freshly cleaned hands, work off most of the marinade mixture – leave just a skim of it still on the flesh.
- Carefully lower the fish into the hot oil, and deep fry for just 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until they have taken on a rich, dark golden brown color.
- Remove from the pan with a slotted spatula, and set on a flat, paper-towel-lined surface to drain.
- Serve your Fried Yojoa Fish while still nice and warm, with garnishes of pickled onions, pickled red cabbage and slices of fresh lime. You might also enjoy some plátanos tajaditos on the side.
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