Although the Spanish often use hake or sea bream for frying because it is plentiful and available everywhere in Spain. However, any solid white fish or even salmon can be used for this recipe. Fry the fish, then prepare a simple sauce of Spanish paprika, vinegar, and lemon juice. The paprika in the sauce makes this a very colorful and aromatic dish, and a good main course, especially for Lent. This is a simple fish recipe, which is perfect for beginner cooks, and those who are new to Spanish cuisine. It requires only basic cooking equipment and ingredients.
Bacalao a la Tranca is a similar recipe, but uses salt cod instead of fresh fish.
- First, flour and fry the fish. Spread out flour on a dinner plate and mix in 1/2 - 1 tsp. salt, or pour flour and salt in a large plastic food storage bag.
- Pour olive oil to a depth of 1/8 to 1/4-inch in a medium to large, heavy-bottom frying pan and heat on medium. Test if oil if hot enough to fry by adding a small cube of bread to oil. If it browns in 1 minute, oil is the right temperature (355°F). Brown the fish on both sides. Remove and set aside for later.
- While fish is browning, peel and slice garlic cloves. Cut lemon in half and squeeze juice into a cup. Finely chop parsley sprigs.
- Pour vinegar into a measuring cup and mix in the Spanish paprika. Pour a few tablespoons of olive oil into a clean frying pan. Heat on low. When oil is warm, add the garlic slices, bay leaf and paprika with vinegar and mix well. Pour in 1/2 the lemon juice and taste. Adjust salt and add more lemon juice according to your taste.
- Place the fried fish into the frying pan and cook with sauce on medium low for about 10 minutes.
- Carefully remove fish from pan and plate. Spoon paprika sauce over top of fish. Garnish with chopped parsley on top. Serve with white rice or home-fried potatoes.