The first time we made Peruvian-style escabeche it was so outrageously good, we made it again a few days later — exactly the same.
Admittedly, the dish is pretty ugly — although we did make a half-hearted attempt to dress things up with thin medallions of pale green cucumber — but what it does have, in spades, are a multitude of intense flavors that everyone loves: vinegar, citrus, spice, garlic, coriander and salt. To add to its perfection: not only is it exceedingly crunchy and refreshing, escabeche is meant to be eaten at room temperature. And if you’re like me, you love eating food at room temperature.
Escabache often gets confused with ceviche, but in this case, the tiny fillets of oily fish — like sardines, mackerel or herring — are actually seared first in hot oil before marinating in a vinegary onion sauce. The fish is then served over a bed of shredded lettuce and cucumbers, which soaks up the savory sauce in a crazily delicious way.