Escabeche is a tomato based sauce used extensively throughout the Spanish-speaking islands of the Caribbean. You can use it for any of the meats or vegetables the same. There is no set way to do it and it all comes down to taste. The main base is the same though: onions, peppers, garlic then whatever else you want to add.

Escabeche, sofrito


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1/2 bell pepper chopped
  • 3 medium onions chopped
  • 4 tbsp pimentos, sliced in julienne strips
  • About 1 tbsp cilantro
  • Worcestershire sauce

This basic sauce can be used to cook beans, beef, chicken, and fish, or to pour over Mangú (mashed plantains.) Dried cod cooked in escabeche is a favorite Dominican dish. Food that you cook in escabeche is called guisada(o) (Stewed).

To cook meats, always brown the meat first by heating oil and about 1 tablespoons of sugar, until very hot and the sugar is browning. Add the meat in small batches to brown and sear. The meat will be much more tender and tasty.
Freeze or refrigerate the sauce for later use. Enjoy!

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

In a heavy skillet sauté onion, bell pepper, garlic and cilantro in olive oil until onions are transparent. Add ham and saute for 5 minutes. Dissolve the tomato paste in the vinegar and add along with the Worcestershire, salt, and sugar. Add bay leaves and pimentos and cook in low heat for about 20 minutes until sauce reduces. If you like hot food add 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco.