This is one of the most popular and famous dishes in Honduras and a national favorite. It originated in the Yojoa Lake region in Honduras.
First the fish is spiced and salted and then left to marinate overnight. After that it is deep fried. This specific method makes the flesh delightfully flaky and simple to be pulled off the bones. Fried Yojoa fish has a slightly sweet taste, which is the main part of what distinguishes it from any another fried fish dish species.
This dish traditionally is served with garnishes of pickled red cabbage, pickled onions, and slices of fresh lime. Traditionally a favorite side dish is deep fried sliced bananas (plátanos tajaditos).
Yield: 2 serves
Fried Fish and plantains with limes (Lago de Yojoa)
- 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 – ½ tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp cilantro paste
- 1 tbsp raw turbinado sugar
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil, plus more for deep frying
First you need to clean the fish thoroughly, pat them dry, and put aside while you prepare the marinade.
Mix well all the other ingredients (including 2 tbsp of the oil) in a mixing bowl, stirring vigorously to blend fully.
After that rub the mixture into the flesh of the fish, working it in well. Then place the coated fish in a sealable plastic bag and place it within the refrigerator to marinate overnight.
The next day, you need to heat enough oil in a deep skillet or frying pan over the medium-high flame to immerse the fish when deep frying.
After that take the fish out of the bag, and with your freshly cleaned hands, work off most of the marinade mixture – you should leave just a skim of it still on the flesh.
Then carefully lower the fish into the hot oil, and deep fry for just about 2-3 minutes on both sides, or till they have taken on a rich, dark golden brown color. Then take away from the pan with a slotted spatula, then and set on a flat, paper-towel-lined surface to drain.
When is done you can serve your Fried Yojoa Fish while still nice and warm, with garnishes of pickled onions, pickled red cabbage, and also slices of fresh lime. You can also enjoy some plátanos tajaditos on the side.