Fish-fry Fridays

Fried fish.
Fried fish.

Most Caribbean islands have their own versions of Friday night fish fries. It’s a celebration by fishermen of their craft. Cooks and vendors gather in a designated area of the town and proceed to prepare their catch of the day and fry them up for locals and tourists to enjoy, for a price of course.

Barbados has made famous its Friday night Baxter's Road fish fry, where you can buy a variety of fresh seafood, fried or grilled. Some accompaniments include fried plantains, boiled provisions, peas and rice, and macaroni pie. A party atmosphere presides, heightened by live music, and you may even be lucky to spectate on a local game of dominoes or all fours (cards).

Grenada has a similar Friday fish fry in the town of Gouyave, where a common area is cordoned off every Friday and the fish-fry event turns into a street party later on in the night.

Trinidad can now boast our own – a savvy fish fry in Carenage. The next time you are looking for something new to try, catch a Friday night fish fry. It’s great food and entertainment at a reasonable cost.

Here are some of my versions of what is sold at some fish fries.

Deep-fried jacks

- Wendy Rahamut

Jacks look like small herring or sardines, most times they are dredged in seasoned flour and deep fried until they become crunchy to the point of shattering! Delicious as a cutter.

24 jacks or small herring, gutted and washed

2 tbs ground herb seasoning paste

1 cup flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

½ tsp cayenne pepper

vegetable oil to deep fry

lime wedges to serve with

Rub the herb paste onto the jacks, season with salt and pepper.

Combine flour with salt, pepper, and cayenne.

Heat oil in a deep frying pan.

Dredge the jacks in the seasoned flour.

Shake off excess and deep fry on medium heat until very crisp and brown in colours, about 10 minutes.

Serve with lime wedges and pepper sauce.

Serves 4

Batter-fried fish fillets

8 fresh fish fillets, about 4 ozs each

2 tbs minced chives

1 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp salt

1½ cups all-purpose flour

½ tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 egg yolk

1 cup milk

pinch all spice powder

vegetable oil to fry

Rub fillets with chives and garlic, sprinkle with salt.

Combine flour in a mixing bowl, with baking powder, pinch salt.

Add egg yolk to milk and add to flour, stir until batter is smooth, add allspice, and stir.

Heat oil in a medium frying pan.

Dip fillets into batter, then drop into hot oil, fry until deep golden and crisp. Drain

Serves 4

Curry flavoured fried fish

6 king fish steaks, about ¾-inch thick, washed

2 tbs fresh herb seasoning paste

1 tsp salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 tsp regular curry powder

vegetable oil

Rub fish steaks with herb paste. Sprinkle with salt.

Combine flour with curry, then dredge fish steaks into mixture.

Shake off excess.

Heat oil in a frying pan and fry fish until tender and golden, about 3 minutes per side.

Serves 4

Oven baked tilapia with barbecue sauce

Grilled fish -

6 tilapia fillets

1 tbs minced garlic

1 tbs minced chives

1 tbs olive oil

salt and pepper

½ cup barbecue sauce

Preheat oven to 400F.

Grease a large shallow glass dish.

Rub fillets with garlic, chives and olive oil. Sprinkle with salt.

Bake for 6 minutes until opaque and tender.

Pour on barbecue sauce and bake for just another minute.

Remove and serve with lime wedges.

Serves 4 to 6

Grilled jerked fish

6 king fish steaks about 1-inch thick, washed

1 tbs jerk paste

2 tbs olive oil

½ tsp paprika

Preheat oven to 400F.

Combine jerk marinade with olive oil and paprika.

Rub fish steaks with marinade.

Bake for 8 minutes until tender and opaque.

Serve with lime wedges.

Serves 4 to 6


"Fish-fry Fridays"

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