It is made by coating the fish (usually a white fish) in flour and deep-frying it in olive oil, then sprinkling it with salt as the only seasoning. It is usually served hot, freshly fried, and can be eaten as an appetizer (for example with a beer or wine), or as the main course. Usually, it is served with fresh lemon, which is squeezed over the fish or occasionally in escabeche.
It is also a traditional Shabbat fish dish (usually cod) originating amongst the 16th century Andalusian Jews of Spain and Portugal. The deep-frying of the fish in vegetable oil makes it crisp and light even when eaten cold, and it is a favourite dish for the late breakfast or lunch after synagogue services on Saturday morning.