6 Jamaican Fish Recipes


Fresh fish is available on the Caribbean Islands for the whole year-round. Snapper, goat, flying, and parrotfish are only a few varieties of species that inhabit this area. They are extremely good for you, but also very delicious. Jamaican fish recipes are usually based around sautéed vegetables, herbs, and seasonings. 

We are sure you will go “Aruba, Jamaica, oh I want to make it!” after reading this article about Jamaican fish dishes! 

Delicious Jamaican Fish Recipes

1. Jamaican Escovitch Fish


  • 2 whole white fish (any kind) 
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ cup olive oil 
  • ½ teaspoons ginger
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ yellow bell pepper
  • 1 yellow medium onion
  • ½ red bell pepper
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Scotch bonnet pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon Jamaican allspice
  • White pepper
  • ¾ cup wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper

Step by step instructions

  1. This is one of the most popular Jamaican fish recipes. Start by rinsing the fish and then seasoning with salt and pepper and rub with lemon afterward. You don’t have to use salt and pepper, creole seasoning is also good. Keep it warm until you prepare the sauce.
  2. Heat oil in a skillet over medium temperature. Add the fish and cook it for about 7 minutes on each side until it gets crispy on both sides. Set the fish aside when it’s done, drain the oil from the pan, but leave about 2 tablespoons in it. 
  3. Add garlic, ginger, and bay leaf, and wait for the garlic to turn yellow. 
  4. Afterward, add Worcestershire sauce, sugar, scotch bonnet, thyme, carrots, bell peppers, and onion and cook it for about 3 minutes. Then, add vinegar and seasoning to taste. Simmer for another two minutes. 
  5. Throw away the bay leaf and serve the fish after sprinkling some thyme over it. Drizzle with some lemon juice. 

2. Jamaican Fried Snapper


  • 1 whole red snapper
  • ¼ cup olive oil for frying
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil for drizzling 
  • 1/8 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ white onion
  • ½ large carrot
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • ¼ habanero pepper
  • 1 allspice berry
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • 1 spring fresh thyme 
  • 1 pinch brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Step by step instructions

  1. Make a few small cuts on each side of the fish and pat it dry. Season both sides to taste with salt and pepper. 
  2. Heat ¼ olive oil in a large pan up to medium-high temperature. Lay the fish in the pan carefully and fry until it is crispy on both sides (about 5 minutes on each side). Put a paper towel on a plate and lay the fish over it to dry excess oil. 
  3. Heat the remaining oil in a pan over the same temperature. Stir carrot, garlic, and onion into it and cook for about 2 minutes. Add water, vinegar, habanero pepper, allspice, thyme, and seasoning to taste and cook until the onions get soft, for about 5 minutes. 
  4. Top the fish with the onion mixture when serving and enjoy one of the most delicious Jamaican fish dishes! 

3. Jamaican Brown Stew Fish


  • 1 whole fish (Mediterranean)
  • Oil for frying
  • 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ onion
  • 2 springs fresh thyme
  • ½ large green pepper
  • 2 scallions 
  • 3 pimento seeds
  • ½ tomato
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons oil

Step by step instructions

  1. This is one of the Jamaican fish recipes that you need to try if you want to experience the true spirit of Jamaica. Evenly season the fish with salt and pepper to taste. Put oil into a frying pan and heat it to medium temperature. 
  2. Lay the fish in the pan and fry both sides until it turns golden brown. Drain it on a paper towel. Reheat the pan over medium after washing it. Add a bit of oil then add pimento seeds, thyme, scallions, tomatoes, green pepper, and onion to it. Cook for about 3 minutes but don’t forget to stir constantly. 
  3. In a separate bowl mix vinegar, ketchup, and water. Add the mixture to the pan, and then bring back fish to it too. Simmer for about 20 minutes then serve. Make sure you try this recipe if you’re interested in traditional Jamaican fish dishes!

4. Jamaican Steamed Fish


  • 1 whole snapper
  • 1 cup Irish potato
  • 4 medium okras
  • 2 cups fish stock
  • 1 cup pumpkin 
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ cup tomato
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 whole scotch bonnet pepper
  • 2 stalks scallion 
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 10 whole crackers
  • 2 cups fish stock

Step by step instructions

  1. You can make fillets with a fillet knife for this recipe, but it is better to go with the whole fish. Bring the fish stock to boil in a large skillet. Add okra, pumpkin, and Irish potato then simmer for about 10 minutes.
  2. Stuff the fish’s cavity with half of the scallion, garlic, onion, scotch bonnet pepper, black pepper, and tomato. Season with the remaining pepper if you want to.
  3. Put the fish into fish stock then add the remaining seasonings and vegetables.
  4. Steam for another 10 minutes, but keep spooning the stock over fish. This is one of the few Jamaican fish recipes that are made with fish stock, so it is ideal if you don’t want to try only grilled food. 

5. Jamaican Grilled Fish


  • 2 medium whole bream or red snappers
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons sweet smoked paprika
  • ½ cup Jamaican beer
  • Pinch dried thyme
  • 2 limes

Step by step instructions

  1. When it comes to easy Jamaican fish recipes, this is one of them, and you will probably find it in some fish cookbooks. Use a sharp knife to make a few cuts on both sides of the fish. Put thyme, paprika, onion powder in the beer and add seasoning to taste. 
  2. Pour the fish over and rub the mixture into the cavity and slash. Place the lime slices into cavities and marinate the fish for at least an hour in your fridge. 
  3. Preheat your grill to medium-high. Lay the fish on it and grill for about 15 minutes. Flip the fish a few times while grilling. Pour the beer mixture over fish while grilling. Squeeze the lime over the fish when serving. 

6. Jamaican Steam Fish


  • 2 lbs Kingfish
  • 2 stalks green onions
  • 2 whole tomatoes
  • 1 whole yellow onion
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 small bell pepper
  • ½ tablespoon scotch bonnet pepper
  • 1 tablespoon thyme
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 10 whole okras
  • Salt and pepper

Step by step instructions 

  1. Jamaican fish dishes can also be prepared on steam. Just follow this recipe and you will get one of the healthiest dishes you can eat on the Caribbean Islands. Make a solution of water and lemon juice and clean the fish in it to get rid of any excess blood and dirt. Use paper towels to pat dry the fish. Use salt and pepper to season the fish evenly. 
  2. Then, put butter in a saucepan and heat it over medium-high. Add scotch bonnet pepper, thyme, garlic, okras, bell pepper, and tomatoes and stir it up. Keep sautéing for about 10 minutes until all of the ingredients are soft. 
  3. Once the vegetables are soft, add onion and fish. Leave it to cook for about 20 minutes. Serve with boiled green bananas, Jamaican boiled dumplings, or white rice. 



Q: What does Escoveitched mean?


consists of fried fish that’s marinated with peppers, carrots, spices, vinegar, and onions. You will probably notice that almost all of the Jamaican fish dishes on our list are prepared this way. This is a traditional way of making fish in Jamaica. Escovitched dish is a dish that 

Q: How do you make brown stew fish?


To make a brown stew fish you will need to fry and marinate the fish you want to use. Season the fish and let it marinate for a bit. At that time, chop other ingredients and put them in heated oil.  Add the fish to the pan when garlic turns brown and sauté until vegetables and the fish is cooked.

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Jamaican culture keeps surviving partly thanks to its traditional cuisine. Recipes are usually learned in a household and handed down from generation to generation. It is usually very easy to prepare these recipes, and yet, they are so delicious. Bell peppers and thyme are usually used to enhance fish flavors, while sauces and garlic make the dining experience perfect. 

When it comes to fish choice, it is totally up to you. But, if you want to experience true Jamaican cuisine go with snapper, kingfish, or sea bream. Adapt the recipes to your taste and we’re sure your belly is going to be full!

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My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!