Azores Chicharros with Sauce (Blue Horse Mackerel or Stickleback)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Fried chicharros (blue horse mackerel or stickleback) with a garlic sauce. A traditional dish from the Island of Pico, in the Azores, Portugal.
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Portuguese
Serves: 6 Servings
  • 3.3 Lbs or 1.5 kg Blue Horse Mackerel or Stickleback, tail trimmed, gutted and washed well
  • ½ Tbsp course sea salt
  • 1 cup white corn flour
  • ¾ cups pork lard (you can substitute with other types of fat, like vegetable oil, but they use lard in the Azores and it's packed with flavour)
  • Garlic and wine sauce
  • 5 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 small bunch of flat leaf or Italian parsley (about ½ cup after chopped), finely chopped
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp fine salt
  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp sweet pimento paste
  • ½ cup water
  1. In a wide medium bowl, mix together all the sauce ingredients and set aside.
  2. Add the lard to a wide heavy duty pan (we used our 12 inch cast iron pan) and heat on medium high.
  3. Pour the flour onto a wide plate.
  4. Once the lard is hot, dredge each fish in the flour and carefully place it in the pan. Careful, it might splatter a little.
  5. Repeat the last step until the pan is full, but be careful to leave a little space between each fish.
  6. Let the fish fry on one side until it takes on a nice light golden colour. (about 6 to 8 minutes per side)
  7. Turn over all the fish and let the second side reach the same golden colour. (turn only once).
  8. Once both sides of the fish are nicely coloured, remove the fish into the sauce bowl and dip them all until they're covered.
  9. Transfer the fish to a serving dish.
  10. Repeat the last few steps for the remaining raw fish.
  11. Serve the fish hot... but these are awesome at room temperature as well. Enjoy!
Our instructions say 12 minutes to cook. This is per pan full.
Recipe by Photos & Food at