Escabeche De Pescado (Crunchy Tilapia in Tomato Sauce)

Total Time
Prep 20 mins
Cook 15 mins

Another of my mother's favorite recipes. This is a great Panamanian recipe with lots of flavor that is easy to make! These amounts are approximate, so feel free to play around with amounts. I'd recommend 1 lb of tilapia for each person. As for the rice, my mom prefers minute white rice with this, but I prefer Jasmine. This goes wonderfully with Panamanian Tortillas (corn cake tortillas). This recipe can get smoky, so be sure there's plenty of ventilation!

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Chop up onion, green pepper, garlic, and cilantro and set aside.
  2. Mix flour, cornmeal, salt, and pepper and spread on a plate. (omit cornmeal for faster cooking time).
  3. Cut up each tilapia filet into 3 or 4 strips.
  4. Coat tilapia with the flour mixture.
  5. In a large frying pan, add 2 or 3 tablespoons oil and then add the fish.
  6. Flip over the fish when golden until both sides are cooked, adding rest of oil as needed.
  7. Remove fish from pan and set aside.
  8. Add onion, green pepper, garlic, and cilantro mixture and stir fry them in the remaining oil until onion is translucent.
  9. Add the tomatoes and the fish, folding the sauce over the fish gently.
  10. Heat through at medium temperature and serve over white rice.


Most Helpful

Love this! So easy and tasty. I ended with added a bit salt in the end because it was too bland for me. Definitely a keeper. September 22, 2010

I absolutely love this recipe! I leave out the cilantro, and it is still very flavorful and filling. I can even get my 4 year old to like it! A big hit!

Alicia4097 June 23, 2008

This turned out really well. I was worried that a whole cup of cilantro might overpower the other ingredients, but I think it was the right amount for this recipe. The only change I might make next time is to use fresh chopped tomatoes instead of the canned (it takes a lot of cooking to get rid of the "canned" taste of stewed tomatoes). It was really good as is, too! Thanks for posting.

Aunt Cookie May 01, 2008

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