escabeche de bonito pintxo - bonito escabeche

Bonito Escabeche Pintxo

Before going into the Bonito Escabeche recipe. Do you know the difference between bonito and tuna?

Bonito is a fish that belongs to the same fish family as tuna. They might share a family but they are not the same, Bonito has a smoother texture, lighter meat colour, more fat and a superior flavour. During the end of the summer is when all the canning companies get the best bonitos to make canned Bonito in olive oil. So it is also the best season to prepare different dishes at home.

In the Basque Country, the most traditional recipe is Marmitako, which is a bonito stew cooked with vegetables and potatoes. Traditional fisherman recipe with few ingredients and an exquisite flavour.

Another way to prepare bonito and preserve it instead of canning, it is to make Bonito Escabeche. It is not a difficult recipe and you will get a soft and tender fish cooked in low heat, with vinegar, oil, thyme, rosemary, pepper… Just delicious!

As it is #PintxoSaturday I made the fingerfood version of the dish, but you can prepare it as use it for salads, sandwich, toast…

More pintxos (tapas/fingerfood) next Saturday 🙂 #pintxorootsandcook.

escabeche de bonito pintxo
escabeche de bonito pintxo

Bonito Escabeche Pintxo

Recipe by Enara ParraCourse: Appetizers and Snack, Pintxos (Tapas)Cuisine: MediterraneanDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 1 kg Bonito fillet, deboned

  • 400 ml olive oil

  • 200 ml of white vinegar

  • 2 garlic cloves

  • 1 onion

  • 2 carrots

  • 1 leek

  • 2 thyme sprig

  • 1 rosemary sprig

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 10-12 black peppercorns

  • salt


  • Cut the onion, the carrots and the leek into slices.
  • Pour 4 tablespoons of olive oil into a medium-size pot at medium heat.
  • Cook the onion, carrots, leeks and garlic until golden, around 5 minutes.
  • Add all the herbs, black pepper and a bit of salt.
  • Add the rest of the olive oil and the vinegar.
  • Cover the pot with the lid, bring to boil and simmer for 35 minutes. Keep the lid as otherwise, the vinegar will evaporate.
  • Lower the heat and simmer for 35 mins. Keep the lid as otherwise, the vinegar will evaporate.
  • Pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large nonstick pan at high heat.
  • Season the bonito fillets with salt add seal in the pan. 30 seconds.
  • When the vegetables are ready, transfer the bonito fillets to the pot. Make sure to cover the fillets with the oil. Close the lid and remove from heat. The fish will be cooked with the remaining heat.
  • When the escabeche is complete cold transfer it a large container and close. Make sure all the fish and vegetables are complete covered in oil. Keep it in the refrigerator for 5 to 6 days before eating it. It will taste better.
  • Before eating it, leave it at room temperature for 2 hours so will not be that cold.
  • Serve a little bit of the bonito with the vegetables. (I used the leak and the carrot).

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