Shark & Bake

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Serves:

    4

Appears in

Sweet Hands: Island Cooking from Trinidad and Tobago

Sweet Hands

By Ramin Ganeshram

Published 2018

  • About

Shark & Bake is a fish sandwich in which fried bake—a savory fritter—is sliced open and a piece of breaded, fried nurse shark is tucked between. Nowadays, shark is often substituted with other fish, which is a point of great contention, followed only by what condiments should be used in the sandwich—tamarind sauce, cilantro sauce, or hot pepper sauce are the acceptable choices—and only surpassed by the debate as to whether it is “Shark & Bake” or “Bake & Shark.” I learned it as the former so that’s what I stick with. At Maracas Bay Beach, eating Shark & Bake is a tradition not unlike eating Nathan’s Famous hot dogs on the boardwalk at Coney Island in Brooklyn. If you don’t like or can’t get shark, you can use any firm-fleshed white fish, such as tilapia or catfish.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless shark meat or other firm-fleshed white fish, cut into 4 × 1-inch strips
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons green seasoning
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 4 large bakes, sliced in half horizontally
  • Shado Beni Sauce or Hot Pepper Sauce

Method

  1. Put the fish in a glass or non-reactive bowl and pour the lime juice over it. Let stand for a few minutes. Add the garlic and green seasoning and toss to coat fish. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. Combine the flour, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and oregano. Heat the oil in a large skillet until hot. Dredge the shark pieces on all sides in the seasoned flour, then drop into the hot oil. Fry until golden brown on all sides, about 10 minutes. Drain on paper towels or on a rack set over a baking sheet.
  3. Place some of the fried fish on each of the sliced bakes and sprinkle with Shado Beni Sauce or Hot Pepper Sauce.