Pescado a la Criolla

Creole Fish


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • 4


Appears in

Secrets of Colombian Cooking

Secrets of Colombian Cooking

By Patricia McCausland-Gallo

Published 2004

  • About

Another job for your fishmonger! Buy your fish head-on, but cleaned, gutted, and scaled. This is a typical Caribbean coast Creole-sauced fish; it is very good over white rice. Prepare fillets the same way if you prefer: sauté them in two tablespoons of oil instead of frying them; otherwise follow the same instructions.


  • 5 pounds (4 individual) fish such as red snapper, cleaned, gutted, and scaled
  • 4 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons mashed garlic
  • 2 teaspoons color* or Sazón Goya with Saffron
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 2 cups oil for frying


  • 4 tablespoons oil
  • 2 cups sliced onion, ¼-inch thick
  • cups sliced tomatoes, ¼-inch thick
  • 2 teaspoons mashed garlic
  • 1 teaspoon color* or Sazón Goya with Saffron
  • 1 fish bouillon cube
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • Pinch curry powder
  • Cooked white rice, for serving


  1. Make sure all the scales have been removed from the fish by passing your hands over them from tail to head. Make 3 or 4 slashes along the sides of the skin of each fish; they should go all the way down to the bones.
  2. Combine the lime juice, Worcestershire, garlic, color and curry powder, and rub the mixture inside the cuts and in the belly of the fish.
  3. Covered and set aside in the refrigerator for 15 minutes or until ready to fry.
  4. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan or wok over medium heat to 350°F.
  5. Carefully drop the fish into the oil and fry for 2 minutes. Turn and fry for 2 minutes more.
  6. Remove from the oil and drain over paper towels.
  7. While the fish are frying, in another large sauté pan PREPARE THE GUISO. Place the oil, onion, tomatoes, the garlic, color, bouillon cube, salt, pepper, and curry powder, over medium heat and cook for 12 minutes.
  8. When all the fish have been fried, place them into the guiso sauce and finish cooking, 5 minutes on each side. Serve hot, with white rice.