This recipe sounds a little strange but Pablo Herrera Rodriquez Romero, who lives on the beautiful Portuguese island of Madeira, adapted a traditional fish recipe
based on the ugly scabbard fish and banana, both of which are plentiful in his home country, and substituted trout to the apparent pleasure of all those on the
island who have tried it. He was inspired to adapt this recipe after finding that fruit and fish was not a combination that featured in any of our recipes.
Having eaten scabbard fish and Banana on a number of occasions in various restaurants in Funchal, I can highly recommend the original. However, I was somewhat horrified
when I first encountered the notoriously ugly Scabbard fish in Funchal’s fish market but the white flesh looks perfectly fine on the plate.
Banana and white fish do not seem to be ideal bedfellows but you will be pleasantly surprised if you try the original and there is no reason to think that substituting
scabbard fish for trout would not work. Indeed, I think that any white fish would work just as well.
There is a thriving trout farm up in the mountains above Funchal (which I actually visited last year as it is at the start of a couple of spectacular levada walks) and
as a result trout is readily available in Madeira but more expensive than fish caught from the rich Atlantic waters around Madeira. As a result, it tends to be
served ‘plain’ rather than being ‘mucked about’ so this is a brave adaptation.
1-1.25 kg trout fillets.
3 cloves garlic, crushed.
Juice of 1 lemons.
Salt and black pepper.
2-3 tbsp plain flour, seasoned with salt and pepper.
30 g butter.
2 tbsp sunflower oil.
1 tbsp fresh coriander, finely chopped.
4 lemon wedges.
Metric & imperial measurements are not strictly equivalent: always use one or the other.
1. Use trout fillets cut up into pieces each about 8-10 cm long.
2. Place the fish pieces in a shallow dish, then sprinkle with the crushed garlic and lemon juice. Season with a little salt and pepper. Turn with your hands, so that each piece is coated. Leave for half an hour, turning the pieces again half way through.
3. Spread seasoned flour out onto a plate. Take two frying pans, and heat one third of the butter with about one third of the oil in one of the pans. As the butter heats up, quickly peel the bananas, and put them into the pan. Fry gently, turning once or twice, until golden brown and cooked through. Keep warm.
4. Meanwhile, heat the remaining butter and oil in the second pan. Coat the pieces of trout in seasoned flour and gently fry for about 2 minutes on each side until just cooked through. You may need to do this in two batches.
5. Arrange the fish on a warm serving dish and top with the bananas. Sprinkle with coriander and serve immediately with the lemon wedges.