From The Madeira Island Web Site

Black Scabbard Recipes
By Jorge Barbosa
Jun 5, 2008 - 6:40:28 PM

A typical looking "Espada" dish at any Madeira restaurant

It is difficult to ship the Black Scabbard fish abroad as it does not keep well and is best served fresh. Despite that, many efforts are undertaken by locals who want to send their homesick relatives abroad a bit of heart warming Madeira memories: frozen scabbard wrapped tight in foil leaves the island in temperature controlled parcels. Those lucky enough to acquire some fillets can try the recipes below.

Black Scabbard with Fried Banana

Ingredients: 4 scabbard fillets, salt to taste, fresh ground pepper to taste, several cloves of garlic, lemon juice, 2 eggs and a cup of bread crumbs.

Preparation: season the fish with the salt, pepper, crushed garlic and lemon juice. Roll the fillets in flour and then dip the fish fillets in the beaten egg yolks. Finally cover with the bread crumbs Heat a pan of oil and once hot enough lay the fillets into the oil and bake until the fish turns a crispy golden brown. Drain the excess oil and then fry slices of banana lengthways in the pan.

Black Scabbard "Vinho e Alhos" (Wine and Garlic)

Ingredients: 750 gr. of Black Scabbard fillet, 100 ml of Vinegar, 1 tomato, 3 cloves of garlic, 1 bay leaf, salt and ground black pepper to taste, flour to taste, and olive oil to taste.

Preparation: slice the Scabbard fillets into portions of about 6 cm sizes. Season the fillets with the salt, pepper, crushed garlic, and bay leaf. Let it stand for about half an hour. Thereafter soak the fillets with the vinegar and spread over with the finely sliced tomato. Leave the fish to marinate in all the juices for another half hour. Once the time is up roll the fillets in flour and dip into the heated olive oil in a pan. Once golden remove the filets from the stove and drain the fillets of the oil. Return the pan to the stove and cook the left over marinated juices till it starts to boil. Soak the fish into the hot marinated juices and let it cook till it boils again. Once cooked remove from the pan and serve immediately. Accompaniments may include baked or broiled potatoes in salt, with fried onion rings or even baked maize meal or corn cubes.

Did you know?
There are many traditional and new Black Scabbard recipes. It is recommended you buy the book by Zita Cardoso - "Secrets of Madeira and Porto Santo Cooking" on if you would like to venture further into recipes for this extraordinary fish. The book is available in English and Portuguese versions.

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