If you’re a Bajan reading this then you already know what Flying Fish is, and it’s historical meaning to our country Barbados. For my international visitors, flying fish are tiny fish which can make powerful, self-propelled leaps into the air, using their wing-like fins to glide considerable distances over the water’s surface. This uncommon ability is actually used as a defense mechanism against predators. Flying Fish is part of Barbados’ national dish “Cou-Cou and Flying Fish” (which will be a future post on the blog). Locals enjoy this fish delicacy either fried, or stewed in a gravy; both styles of preparation are personal favorites of mine. This particular recipe incorporates curry spices for a truly enjoyable taste, which can be served with rice or mashed potatoes (pictured).
- 2 tbl Oil
- ½ a small onion
- 2 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 1 sprig fresh marjoram
- ½ tsp ginger paste
- 1/3 sweet pepper
- 2 tsp ketchup
- 1 ½ cup of warm water
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1 chicken Maggi cube
- black pepper to taste (I don’t use additional salt in this recipe because of the seasonings and the salt in the maggi cube)
- 5/6 flying fish
How to prepare your fish
- Place flying fish in a bowl with 1-2 limes, ½ tsp of salt and some cold water (enough to cover the fish), and let it sit for 10-15 minutes.
- Drain off lime and salt water and wash off the fish with some fresh cold water. Now season fish with Bajan seasoning, pinch of onion powder, garlic powder, and Old Bay Seasoning. I prefer to let the fish season over night or at least 5-6 hours.
How to prepare your stew
- Warm up oil in a saucepan on a medium heat. Chop onion, garlic, sweet peppers and place in saucepan with thyme, marjoram and cook until onion become translucent. Add ginger paste and ketchup and mix well in the saucepan.
- Then add all the water, curry powder, coriander, Maggi cube and black pepper. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Roll the fish and keep secure to stew by taking the smaller end of the fish and rolling inwards until you reach the other end. Secure using toothpicks as pictured below. This keeps the fish from unraveling when boiling.
- Then add fish and let it cook each side for two minutes on medium heat. Turn heat off and leave covered for 2 minutes, and then you’re ready to serve.