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Basics in Haitian Cuisine

Basics in Haitian Cuisine/ Dinner/ Seafood

How to clean and marinate fish

Finally finally finally it is here… You asked me to show you how I clean and marinate fish and to be honest I actually didn’t know how to do it and I was never a huge fish fan. But because of this journey that I am on I knew I had to do it.

What have I learned about this process?? I got sick while cleaning the fish, the smell of it didn’t agree with my body. During filming I had to put the fish down and take a break from it. When I say sick I mean I was a little nauseous but I didn’t let that stop me, after my break I got back up and finished filming the video so you better appreciate it LOL.

When buying the fish ask them to clean it for you in which they will cut off part of the tail,  the fins, remove 90% of the scales and the guts. Keep in mind that some places will clean the fish better than others, the fish market where my mother and I get fish is really really good at cleaning the fish. That minimizes the time you will spend cleaning it at home.

 

This is how much the fish cost on this particular day, it fluctuates throughout the year… I find it to be pretty expensive, but that’s me LOL.

Watch me clean and marinate fish here:

Print Recipe
Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2.5 lbs red snapper (2 pieces of fish)
  • 2 lemons, reserve the juice of one
  • ½ cup epis
  • 1 bouillon cube, cut into 2 halves
  • ½ cup white distilled vinegar
  • ⅛ cup salt
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Instructions

1

Pour vinegar and salt on top of fish and mix

2

Remove remaining scales with the tip of a small paring knife by scraping across the entire fish if you don't see anything coming off you could be scraping in the direction that the scales are laying, change the direction. When scraping don't be heavy handed to minimize the amount of scales flying everywhere.

3

Remove the remains of the gills and any veins that were left inside where the guts were.

4

Place 3 cuts into each fish on both sides to make 6 in total for each fish. This will ensure that your marinade (epis) gets into the fish.

5

Rinse fish with cold water to remove any remaining scales and blood.

6

Add lemon juice, epis to each fish making sure to push it into the slits and inside the fish. Use one half of a bouillon cube for each fish, crush with fingers and sprinkle on outside and inside of fish. Distribute ½ teaspoon of salt between both fish.

7

Allow to marinate for at least an hour.

Notes

One thing you should take into consideration when venturing out to clean fish is that your hands will definitely smell like fish when you're done. My mom told me to just rub lemon all over my hands and wash with soap like normal; I also saw a YouTube video saying the same thing… my experience was that my hands still smelled like fish after doing that. I say that to say... WEAR GLOVES LOL!

Basics in Haitian Cuisine/ Dinner/ Poultry

How to clean and marinate chicken (Haitian style)

Anyone who knows anything about Haitian cuisine knows that cleaning meat/poultry can be a lengthy process… if you didn’t know, you’re about to learn today. The process is lengthy because we like to ensure we’re dining on the cleanest meat possible. The main thing that stands out in this process is what we Haitians call “chaude” (chode). To chode (parboil) your meat (In this video I will only be talking about chicken) you pour boiled water over it, it’s supposed to get rid of bacteria; I will go further into detail about this process at a later time.

 

Watch the video to see what I’m talking about.

How to clean and marinate chicken (Haitian style)

Print Recipe
Serves: 5 Cooking Time: 45 minutes - 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs of chicken
  • 1/4 cup epis
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt-free blended herbs
  • 1-1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 lime, cut in half, juice reserved

Instructions

1

Remove skin off chicken. Using a small knife or kitchen shears remove all/most visible fat.

2

Pour lime juice over chicken, set 1 tablespoon of the lime juice aside for later use.

3

Boil about 2-3 cups of water, keep hot and set aside for later use.

4

Rub each piece of chicken with lime halves, when done rinse with cold water.

5

Pour hot water over chicken and let chicken sit in water for about 30 seconds then remove, discard water.

6

Add reserved tablespoon of lime juice and epis to chicken and mix well. Combine spices and add to chicken. Marinate chicken for at least an hour or over night.

Basics in Haitian Cuisine

Sòs (Haitian Sauce / Gravy)

I know most of my post I start it off with the phrase “Haitian’s love…” but for this post that phrase has never been truer. Haitian’s love sauce; serving food without sauce is like a crime because you will definitely have someone ask “Kote sòs lan” (where is the sauce). Without sauce our diri (rice) and mayi moulen (polenta) would be dry and not very appealing.

This recipe is similar to Sòs Ti-Malice (a popular condiment in Haitian cuisine) but is not quite the same, same concept but not the same. If you want more information on Sòs Ti-Malice, feel free to click on the link above.

I love spooning this sauce over white rice or any other rice for that matter LOL. I also make this sauce if I make boulèt (Haitian style meatballs) because the meatballs are fried and don’t produce a stock the way chicken or pork would produce when boiled in water. So what I do is add 2-3 meatballs and let it simmer in the sauce and it gives the sauce added flavor, talk about delicious.
While looking at other recipes for Haitian sauce I found that most people start off by heating the oil or butter and sautéing the onions, pepper and tomato paste then adding the water and spices; I do it different as you will see in the video below. Hope you like and try this recipe.

Watch me make Sòs here:

Sòs (Haitian Sauce / Gravy)

Print Recipe
Serves: 8 Cooking Time: 10-15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of tomato paste or tomato sauce
  • 2 1/2 cups of water
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon epis
  • 1/2 tabelspoon pikliz juice or lemon juice or hot pepper sauce
  • 3 cloves or 1/8 teaspoon clove powder
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1/2 cup sliced bell peppers
  • 1/2 cup sliced onions
  • 1 scotch bonnet/hot pepper (optional)

Instructions

1

Add water, tomato paste, oil, epis and seasoned salt to a small pot and stir well to combine ingredients and bring to a boil.

2

Once liquid is boiling add cloves, thyme, pikliz juice, bell peppers and stir. Then add onions and scotch bonnet and continue stirring, being sure not to puncture the scotch bonnet.

3

Lower heat and let simmer for 5 minutes.

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