Crispy Fried Espada

Crispy Fried Espada
Crispy Fried Espada. Espada, hairtails or bulong unas (sugarcane leaf) in Ilocandia, I never cook this fish of any other method except frying. When fried they are best eaten with chopped fresh tomatoes, onions, hot sili and bagoong, or as topping for boiled vegetable dish like dinengdeng or buridibud. Espada thrive on deep seas with hard fish bones and with out scales. The skin of this long flat fish is bright metallic silver that is similar to spade blade that may be the reason why they are called espada. For now I would not attempt to cook it in any other way except crispy fried, should anyone know other method and is happy to share please leave your comments and I would try it my self also.



1 pc. medium size espada, hairtails
cooking oil

Crispy Fried Espada - Cooking Procedure

Cooking procedure:

Remove gills and innards of espada. Using scissors cut fins and tails. Cut fish crosswise diagonally at about 2” width. Wash fish thoroughly and drain. Season inside and out with salt. Fry fish in a large frying pan until golden brown and skin is crispy, Drain on paper towels. Serve with a dipping sauce of choice.

Dipping sauce could be chopped tomato, chopped onion and bagoong or a mixture of kalamansi juice and soy sauce or a mixture of soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, chopped onions, garlic and sili.


  1. i have been craving for Espada for 2 weeks now! thanks for posting this entry. i will buy tons of Espada soon and stuff myself with it. hehe. :-)

  2. tipidmeals, just in time for the holyweek, you got to buy now, lol.

  3. Thanks for this post! Today is the first time that I will be cooking espada. Thank you for your tips! Will try them out

  4. Try grilled or Tinunu. If you have the patience, make some kilawin. Remove the bones and skin and shred the fish. Pls be careful when cleaning the head. The teeth of this fish is one of the sharpest. Mix the kilwain with shredded ginger, red onion, Ilocos vinegar, siling labuyo, a dash of salt and pepper. Chill it for about half an hour in the ref and wallah!.. you will have the best of kilwain ever. We do this a lot in my hometown of Aparri, Cagayan but now that I live in Southern California, I can't do it anymore because no fresh Espada you could find.


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