Bake 'n' Shark - A Trini Speciality

I was at the Caribana Festival in Toronto this weekend and happened upon a stand selling Bake 'n' Shark, a sandwich invented and made famous at Maracas Beach in Trinidad. Seasoned and deep-fried pieces of shark are stuffed inside fried batter bread and topped with cabbage, lettuce, onions and pineapple pieces. A large variety of condiments are available to flavour the sandwich as you will.

I've never been to Trinidad , but the sandwich I had was very tasty and the woman who sold it to me swears it is the authentic recipe just as you would get at Richard's stand at Maracas Beach. Richard's started making Bake 'n' Shark in the early 80's, and since then many stands have started selling the same thing, making it a kind of tradition in the area.
After receiving my sandwich I immediately headed for the condiments and topped mine with tamarind sauce, scotch bonnet, and shadow bennie sauce. Shadow bennie is an herb specific to the Caribbean and similar to coriander leaf.

The sustainability of shark meat is not very positive right now so kingfish, tilapia or another dense meaty fish would be a good alternative if you want to make this at home. Personally I think the enjoyment of the sandwich is the texture of the bread and the sweet and sour condiment mix you top it with so I could recommend deep fried chicken bits or even alligator meat as a good alternative.

The recipe for the "bake" is from and works great. The tamarind sauce recipe is something I've been making for years for samosas and goes well with this dish.
"Bake" Trini Fried Bread 

This is the bread that is served with shark to make the famous Maracas Bay shark and bake. The bakes are simple and quick to prepare. Yield: 4 to 6 bakes
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup butter
1 teaspoon sugar
Vegetable oil for frying
Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter and sugar, and mix with a fork. Add enough water to make a dough and knead gently. Cut the dough into 4 to 6 pieces (depending on how large you want the bakes to be) and roll each piece into a ball. Let stand for a few minutes.
Flatten the balls of dough until they are about ¼ inch thick, and fry in hot oil until they are brown. Remove and drain on paper towels. Kind of like a pita bread.

Tamarind Sauce

½ tamarind pulp
1 cup water
½ cup sugar
1 finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove
1 or 2 shakes scotch bonnet sauce
chopped fresh cilantro

mix all ingredients in a sauce pot and simmer for about 15 minutes. Puree with hand blender and chill.
Cut your protein ( kingfish, chicken, etc.) into 1 inch pieces and marinate in some lime juice, sprinkling of sugar and salt. Dredge in flour and deep fry until crispy. Slice open the "bake" and fill with meat pieces shredded cabbage and pineapple. Top with tamarind sauce and any other condiments you think will go well and enjoy.

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  1. What an interesting sandwich. I've only had shark once, but from what I can remember it is a very dense fish. I really like the flavors too. Great work.

  2. We also have this type of sandwich in guadeloupe, it's called "bokit"



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