Fried Sardines with Krioyo Sauce
Sardines you know, but you might be asking yourself what is krioyo sauce? Krioyo is the Papiamento word for creole and is a very typical and recognizable sauce in Curaçao. It’s the one sauce you can basically have with anything and that can bring any dish together in Curaçao. Of course, ever family has their own version and even within the family there are slight variations based on what they might have available in their fridge that day.
The word Creole itself encompasses a lot, it’s a culture, it’s people it’s languages and of course it’s a descriptor of cuisines. Papiamento, the language we speak in Curaçao is a creole language derived from Portuguese, and mixed with other languages. But there are several other creole languages in the Caribbean and they originated from Spanish, French or English. The same variety you have in languages you can also find back in the cuisine and culture and you can expect a different answer as to what creole is depending who you are asking and from which region they are. Therefore, this particular sauce is a creole sauce that will be familiar to people from Curaçao, Aruba and Bonaire. But might not necessarily be recognized as such by someone from a different island.
This beautiful sauce is paired with sardines, I was pleasantly surprised when I bumped into sardines in the frozen fish section at my supermarket. But they turned out to be more work than I expected as they still had to be descaled and gutted. I simply flashed back to watching my grandpa doing this in the garden and applied his technique as this is not particularly something I can say I’m skilled at. But at the end of the day I got the job done. In this case I would say definitely follow Andrea’s advice, befriend your fish monger and ask him to do the dirty work for you.
I also paired the fish with some nice boiled cassava and fried plantains. Bringing all these elements together and you have quite a typical dish you can find at any authentic Curaçao eatery. Maybe instead of cassava you might get served rice or our sturdier version of polenta called funchi. But it definitely made me feel like I was in Curaçao if even for a split second. I hope you try this and enjoy it as much as I do.
Fried Sardines with Krioyo Sauce
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 green bell pepper diced
- 3 to matoes diced
- 1 lime juice
- 1 tbsp celery leaves chopped
- 2 tbsp coconut aminos
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 6 fresh sardines
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- 1 plantain ripe
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 cassava
- 1 tsp salt
- In a pan heat up the olive oil and add the onions to cook.
- When onions are slightly translucent add the minced garlic and stir for 30 seconds before adding the bell pepper, tomatoes and salt. Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the remaining ingredients cover the pan and set to simmer for 10 minutes.
- Heat up a pot with water to boiling point and add salt.
- While the water is boiling, peel the cassava and cut them into wedges like fries, remove the woody bits in the center of the cassava these are not edible.
- Add the cassava to the pot and allow to cook for 20-25 minutes, check whether they are done and pour out the water.
- Peel the plantain and slice on a diagonal.
- Heat up a pan with 2 tbsp of coconut oil and place the plantains on the pan. If the plantains are really ripe they can turn from golden brown to burned really fast, so pay close attention to them and turn once they are nice and golden brown.
- Once done remove from the pan and place on a paper towel to drain any excess oil.
- Move on to the sardines, do yourself a favor and buy them from the fish monger already cleaned. Rinse them under running water and pat them dry.
- Make sure the bottom of the pan is completely covered with coconut oil, you might need to add more oil after cooking the plantains.
- Fry the sardines on each side for about 3-4 minutes until nice and crisp.
- Remove and let drain on a paper towel.
- Put all the cooked elements together and you are ready to serve.