Caribbean Flavors- Bake and "Shark"

Somehow every time, when I visit my local fish shop I am almost always drawn towards the fish that I have no idea how it looks like or I have difficulties to pronounce its name (I am living in Denmark and Danish language is known for its impossible pronunciation, and I am still trying to master it) or quite often both. Therefore my trips to fish shop are rather educational, where I try to pronounce the fish name and fishmonger is trying to guess what I meant, have somewhat intelligent conversation with fishmonger and afterwards trying to find out more about this type of fish and what do with it.

This weekend, when we went to fish shop we had a vague idea what kind of fish we should get (read: we didn't have plan with it, just idea it would be nice to have it for lunch or dinner). So after spending some time window shopping, we made a decision to have some garfish and catfish. But while ordering fish, we noticed that they were also selling some shark and thoughts went right away to Maracas specialty "Bake and Shark".  Just to note that earlier on the day we saw photo article about Trinidad and Tobago in the newspaper, which now thinking back might have  sealed the deal for us. (So you might ask, how I reached to this dish base on this article? Well long story short, is that sometime ago I worked with team, who promoted these Caribbean islands in Nordics and the dish is also somewhat trip down the memory lane for me :)).  

Anyway I have tried to recreate this dish couple of times in a past, but as it was some years ago my knowledge was rather rusty. So therefore some hours went in for research and here below is what I came out with. (Just to warn you both Bake and fish will be deep fried, so don't skimp on fresh veggies to add in your bake).

Bake and "Shark"

Bake and "Shark" or Bake and Fish

Bake (inspiration based on Colette Cyrus Burnett recipe)

Yield: makes 6 medium size.

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking power
  • 0.5 Tbsp salt
  • 0.5 Tbsp sugar
  • 1.5 Tbsp oil
  • approx. 0.75 cup of warm water 
  1. Mix all the try ingredients, then add liquid and mix it through. Knead the dough 7 min or so. Dough should be soft, but not wet and not dry, if that is the case add some water or little flour to get medium firmness. Let the dough rest for 15-20 minutes under towel and after that roll golfball size dough balls. Now let it prove another 20 minutes under the towel.
  2. Flatten the dough balls by rolling them into circles (1/2 cm thick) and heat up the pot with vegetable oil (remember to use oil that is suitable for deep frying) to around 175 C. Then lower the dough circle into the oil and bake it till it is golden brown from both sides. (Also note that the bakes are puffing up in the oil). Take the bakes out of the oil and place them on the paper towel to remove excess oil. 
  3. NOTES: This recipe yields 6 medium size bakes, which is enough for 3 peoples. (I have never managed to eat more than 2 homemade bakes with fish or more than 1 original Richards Bake and Shark on Maracas)
Flattened bake balls ready to bake

Flattened bake balls ready to bake

Shark or other strong fish

  • approx 400 g of fish fillets (shark (remember sustainable species); catfish, monkfish, tilapia)
  • Juice of 4 limes
  • 3 Tbsp finely chopped spring onion
  • 3 Tbsp of chopped fresh coriander (or 1.5 Tbsp of dried Mexican oregano)
  • 3 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1.5 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 0.5 finely chopped Scotch bonnet chile (as song goes it is hot hot ;), so be warned )
  • Salt and pepper
  • egg wash from 2 eggs
  • flour
Fish in marinade (missing lime juice)

Fish in marinade (missing lime juice)

  1. Mix all the ingredients together and pour over the fish. Let it marinade at least 30 minutes up to an hour. (If you are using shark marinate for 3 hours)
  2. Prepare in one bowl egg wash and on the plate some flour. Bring oil in the pot again to 176 C till oil is hot hot.
  3. Coat the fish with flour, egg wash and with 2nd coat of flour. Lower slowly into warm oil and fry it till it is golden. Take it out and place on the plate with paper towel.

Condiments

  • Fresh pineapple, tomato, cucumber slices
  • Pepper sauce, chutneys, Tamarind sauce 
  • Lettuce

 

Bake and "Shark" ready to be assembled, still no veggies on sight

Bake and "Shark" ready to be assembled, still no veggies on sight

Finally assemble take bakes by cutting them 90% through from the top so it will open as a pocket. Fill the pocket with fish and condiments. Open a chilled beer (lager type) and you are set for liming as they say in Caribbean.

So bon appetite!