Pescada Frita – Portuguese Fried Fish

DSC06764Pescada Frita is fried “whiting or hake”

I make this fish on Friday’s during lent. It’s a tradition that I carry on from my mother. Every time I make this recipe, it brings me back sweet memories of her cooking it during lent, and inviting my brother’s and sisters over to eat lunch with her. This popular recipe is relatively easy to prepare. You’ll enjoy the fresh sea flavor of the fish because it’s lightly fried and only seasoned with sea salt and a squeeze of lemon. I serve it with my Portuguese tomato rice.


2 pounds whole fresh, cleaned whiting (sliced into 1/2 inch pieces)

*you can also use frozen fish filet portions but defrost completely*

sea salt

1/2 cup flour

2 eggs (beaten)

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/8 cup olive oil

1 lemon cut in half

parsley for garnish


Season the fish with salt and let sit for about 5-10 minutes then drizzle with a squeeze of lemon juice.  *If you use frozen fish, let defrost completely and pat dry with paper towels to absurb any moisture. Dredge fish portions in flour, then beaten eggs and finally into flour again. Shake off any excess flour. Put aside until ready to fry.

Combine both oils in a large skillet and heat to medium. Be sure the oil is hot enough, or you may find the fish will absorb the grease. Gently place each piece of fish into oil and cook on both sides for about 5 minutes on each side until golden brown.

If you find the fish is browning to quickly, lower heat. Test one piece for doneness by flaking a small portion with a fork. The fish should be flaky white.


Serve with Portuguese Tomato Rice recipe

Here’s a great appetizer to serve with this dish. Sardine Pate, Sao Jorge cheese and fresh home-style bread.


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