Like Bey, it slays.Gather Journal “Escaviach” Fish
The first feature by an African-American woman to earn a wide release, Julie Dash’s radical 1991 epic Daughters of the Dust is an evocative celebration of black female identity. Set in the Sea Islands in 1902, it also serves as a record of Gullah folk and food traditions, for which Dash relied on late culinary griot Vertame Smart-Grosvenor as a resource. This recipe for “escaviach”-style fish, is adapted from her book Vibration Cooking.
Rinse fish inside and out and pat dry. Season with lemon juice, onion salt, seasoning salt, pepper, and paprika and marinate, chilled, 3 to 4 hours.
Pat fish completely dry. Pour enough oil in a deep, heavy 9-10 inch skillet to come ¾ inch up sides. Heat over medium-high until very hot but not smoking. Fry fish, in batches if necessary, until golden brown and crisp on both sides, 5 to 6 minutes per side. Transfer fish to paper towels to remove excess oil.
Bring vinegar, water, sugar, and salt to boil in a medium saucepan. Add onions, Tabasco, and allspice berries and then return to a simmer and cook until onions are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.
Place fish in a large glass or ceramic baking dish and pour onion mixture over fish; turn to coat both sides. Refrigerate covered, overnight.
Pry fillets from bones and serve 1 fillet per person warm or chilled with rice.