Meet Chef Marlon Damian from the Aruba Mariott. As I promised you a few days ago, I am now going to share with you the recipes he gave me from my cooking class with him in Aruba! These are very special recipes. Generations old. From his grandmother. 


I was so touched that instead of offering a standard cooking demonstration, that he instead chose to share with me a family heirloom. He even brought in his grandmother's original pan to make the little pancakes that are a staple of the cuisine of Aruba.

So here we go! The first recipe is for Frekedel With Creole Sauce (a typical Aruban dish) and the second is for Pan Bati. You serve them side-by-side.

Frekedel With Creole Sauce

Ingredients for the Frekedel:

2 X 8 oz. filets of red snapper

2 slices white bread with crusts trimmed off


2 eggs beaten

1 carrot, 1 stalk celery, 1/2 onion

Ingredients for Creole Sauce:

1/2 red pepper

1/2 green pepper

juice from 1 lemon

3 tablespoons ketchup

1 tomato diced small

2 garlic cloves diced small

4 leaves fresh basil, julliened

2 tablespoons sweet butter

1/4 cup water

corn starch

grated nutmeg

enough vegetable oil in a pot to fry the fish cakes 

Method to make the Creole Sauce:

1. Chop the red and green peppers and 1/2 onion to a small dice. Chop the garlic finely. 

2. Melt the butter in a pan and cook until lightly brown.

3. Add the onion, red and green peppers, diced tomato, 1/4 cup water, 3 tablespoons ketchup, lemon juice, and let it cook and reduce a little. If the sauce is too thin, use corn starch to thicken. Salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste. Just before serving the sauce add the julliened fresh basil.

Method to make Frekedel:

1. Slice up the carrot, celery and onion and put in a pan with water (about 2 cups). Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes to make a court bouillion. Add the fish and simmer until done.

2. Begin heating the oil to fry the fish.

3. Put the slices of bread in a shallow dish, cover with milk and soak. 

4. When bread is soft, take out and put in a paper towel and squeeze out all the milk liquid until dry. Then chop finely.

5.  Dry the cooked fish filets very well. Chop the fish filets finely, leaving some larger pieces for texture. Put the chopped fish and chopped bread into a bowl. Add the beaten eggs, grated nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.

6. Make 4 fish cakes.

7. Fry the fish cakes until golden brown, place on a baking tray and bake at 350 for 5 minutes.

8. Serve topped with the Creole Sauce.

Pan Bati


5 tablespoons corn meal

15 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

3 tablespoons powdered milk

3 tablespoons of sugar 

pinch of salt



1. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl and then add water while you stir until it becomes a thin pancake batter. Add salt and sugar. 

2. Heat up a frying pan or pancake pan, add butter, add the pancake batter, and cook on both sides till pancakes are golden brown. You are aiming for a slightly sweet small pancake to serve on the side of the Frekedel.

This is what the finished dish looks like. Enjoy!





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6 Comments on this article. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Judy February 19, 2011 at 2:32 pm -

    This looks delicious!
    I wonder what the $ difference is between ordering a meal like this @ a restaurant versus making it yourself.

  2. Hillary Davis February 19, 2011 at 3:40 pm -

    Hi Judy!
    Not sure, but it was so much fun to make and I think it would be very hard to find true Aruban cuisine outside of Aruba. 

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