Margarita's International Recipes


Fried Flying Fish

fried fish

Fried flying fish served with cou-cou is the national dish of Barbados. This meant that I just had to make it. Unfortunately my chances of finding Barbadian flying fish in the US were slim to none, and further reduced as I didn't really have the time to go looking around. Therefore I substituted with another white fish - I don't remember what it was but I do remember that I made the mistake of getting fillets from a small fish. For some reason when I was at the supermarket all I could think were of cartoon flying fish - which seemed very small to me- it was only after I left that I remembered that the real flying fish I'd seen on nature documentaries were quite big. Indeed, I'm told that flying fish are very expensive because they have a lot of bones and therefore it takes a lot of work to debone them - it's only the large size of the resulting fillets which makes it worth it.

I was bummed that I hadn't bought larger fillets because this recipe was quite good and it would have been good to have more fish to enjoy. There are several recipes of this recipe here and there, many call for the fish to be marinated in "bajan," a spice mixture which is simplified in the recipe below. I served the fish with cou-cou, and the fish (not the cou-cou) got accolades from my guests.

Fried Flying Fish


  • 6 fillets of flying fish or another large white fish
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • bread crumbs.
  • Oil for frying


    Wash the fish and put in a bowl. Add the lime juice, chopped onion, chopped green onions, garlic, salt and spices. Mix well and marinate the fish for several hours in the refrigerator. Coat fish with breadcrumbs.

    Heat oil in a frying pan. Fry fish on both sides until done, 5 to 10 minutes. Serve with cou-cou.

    Adapted from a recipe at the Citizen & Immigration Canada, Cultural Profiles Project website.

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