Pescado Frito

Fried Whole Fish


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • 1


Appears in

Secrets of Colombian Cooking

Secrets of Colombian Cooking

By Patricia McCausland-Gallo

Published 2004

  • About

This is my favorite way to eat fish; served with head and tail they are a delicacy. We eat the eyes too. I would have it every Sunday at the beach when I was a teenager. They sold the fish with plantains and coconut rice from small wooden houses right on the beach. Imagine the vendors walking around, selling mangos with salt and pepper, mamoncillos*, coconuts with their water and a straw to drink it from them, and advertising their “fish of the day,” which in my hometown was almost always mojarra, a kind of tilapia. Mojarra and red snapper are the most popular fried fish in Colombia.


  • One (1 to 1½ pound) whole snapper or mojarra, cleaned, scaled, and gutted
  • teaspoons minced scallion,
  • 1 teaspoon minced parsley
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups oil for frying
  • 2 slices of lime


  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 scallion, parsley, lime juice, and salt, and rub them inside the cuts and in the belly of the fish.
  3. Cover and set aside in the refrigerate for 15 minutes or until ready to fry.
  4. Heat 2 cups of oil in a large sauté pan or wok over medium heat to 325°F.
  5. Carefully drop the fish into the oil and fry for 10 to 12 minutes. Turn and fry for 8 minutes more.
  6. Remove from the oil and drain over paper towels.
  7. Serve with lime slices.