RecipesCooking Techniques

Kingfish Escabeche

Kingfish Escabeche

Instead of the typical fried fish, this version of escabeche showcases grilled kingfish, a rich and oily type of mackerel, bathed in an acidic pepper-and-onion marinade.


  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
  • 2 large red bell peppers, stemmed and thinly sliced lengthwise (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, divided, plus more to taste
  •  6 (6-ounce) kingfish steaks (1 inch thick, see Note)
  • Lime wedges, for garnish


  1. Heat 1/2 cup olive oil in a large saucepan over medium. Add onion and bell peppers, and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in wine, vinegar, honey, black pepper, bay leaves, and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil over medium. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until flavors meld and escabeche sauce is reduced by half, about 20 minutes. Season with additional salt to taste. Remove from heat. Cover sauce, and keep warm until ready to use.
  2. Meanwhile, open bottom vent of a charcoal grill completely. Light charcoal chimney starter filled with charcoal. When charcoal is covered with gray ash, pour it onto bottom grate of grill. Adjust vents as needed to maintain a grill temperature of 350°F to 400°F.
  3. Lightly brush mackerel with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and sprinkle with remaining 2 teaspoons salt. Place fish on oiled grates. Grill, uncovered, until grill marks appear and a thermometer inserted in thickest portion of fish registers 135°F, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer fish to a 13- x 9-inch baking dish, and pour reserved escabeche sauce over top. Cover and chill at least 4 hours or up to 3 days. Allow fish and sauce come to room temperature before serving, about 45 minutes. Garnish with lime wedges.

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