How To Make Colombian Fried Fish

Mojarra is a fish which is commonly used in Latin American dishes. It is a small, silvery saltwater fish with short but sharp fins, which can sometimes be found in freshwater. Tilapia is a common substitute for this fish, for its similar taste and accessibility in the market. Mojarra and Tilapia are widely used for the typical Colombian meal called bandeja costeña or coastal platter.

This recipe is for a simple but tasty fried Tilapia. The whole fish seasoned with salt, lime, and garlic. It is then coated with flour and deep-fried. The skin is crispy while the flesh stays juicy. Serve the fish with fried green plantain chips, vegetable salad, and coconut rice to complete the Colombian coastal platter.


• 4 small whole Tilapia, cleaned and scaled
• 2 limes, cut in half
• 4 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 tsp salt
• 1 cup of all-purpose flour
• 2 cups of vegetable oil


This recipe takes about 25 to 30 minutes to make. Serves 4.

To prepare the fish, cut 4 slits on each side.
Squeeze lime on the fish including the cavity.
Rub the fish to make sure the lime juice penetrates into the flesh.
Pack slits and cavity with minced garlic.
Sprinkle and rub salt all over the fish including the slits and cavity.
Let the fish marinate for 10 minutes.
Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat until the temperature reaches 350ºF.
Coat the entire fish with all-purpose flour and pat any excess flour.
Carefully lower the fish into the hot oil.
Fry for 5 to 7 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
Put the fried fish on a plate lined with paper towel to drain excess oil.

Ideas And Tips:

• Coating the fish with flour before frying has several benefits. It creates a crispy golden-brown skin, prevents the fish from sticking to the pan, prevents the flesh from falling apart, and minimizes oil splatter. Make sure you pat off excess flour. Loose flour will just settle to the bottom of the pan and burn while frying. This will give your fish a bitter or burnt taste.

• Be sure to drain fried food on a rack or paper towel to maintain crispiness and prevent greasiness.

• You can also use flounder, red or white snapper perch, grouper or pomfret.

• If you are not comfortable cooking or serving whole fish, you can also use any white fish fillet.

How To Make Colombian Fried Fish
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