Jamaican Steamed Fish

My Sunday dinner...sorry I couldn't bother with rice and peas.

My Sunday dinner…sorry I couldn’t bother with rice and peas.

Hey all, I know Jedd had said the cookshop was wanting recipes, so here is my recipe for steamed fish. I have cooked this at home twice with help from Jamaican friends, once for Christmas dinner and then just yesterday. It’s probably my favourite Jamaican fish dish, and its very healthy for the most part. Apparently, it is also widely considered an aphrodisiac here – I have been told by nuff Jamaicans that steamed fish “makes your pumpum jump.” I don’t know how true that is, but I do know that it is delicious.

I HATE gutting and scaling fish, so I always make someone else do it for me. The preferred fish for steamed fish is red snapper, but red snapper is crazy expensive so I use grunt and it works just fine. As for accompaniment, I know it is common to steam bammies in with the fish, I only like bammy deep fried, so I cooked dumpling and banana. You can also never go wrong with rice and peas.

You can cook this is large quantities, but this recipe is plenty for 2-3 people. It won’t keep nice in the fridge longer than 1 or 2 days, the texture will get funky.

3 fish (about 2-2 ½ pounds) gutted and scaled
1 onion
2-3 cloves garlic
scotch bonnet as you like it
4 maggi cubes, OR all purpose seasoning OR fish seasoning – whichever you have on hand
1 stalk escallion
black pepper
1 tbsp butter or margarine
1 irish potato
1 dozen okras
2 small carrots or one large carrot
1 3-inch cube pumpkin

  1. Wash the fish with vinegar. Crush maggi cubes (if using). Rub maggi seasoning (or alternative) and black pepper onto fish. Finely chop/dice onion, garlic, escallion and scotch bonnet. Add to fish and make sure it covers the fish (I like to shake the dish). Add thyme and shake again.
  2. Allow fish to marinate for at least several hours, even overnight if you wish.

    the fish all ready to marinate n soak up the falvours

    the fish all ready to marinate n soak up the flavours

  3. Set the stove to medium low and bring about 2 inches of water to boil in a dutch pot. While the water is working its way up to boiling, prepare your veggies. Peel and slice or cube the irish. Cut up the okra, and slice the carrot and pumpkin very fine. When water is boiling, turn down to low and add the veggies, Then add salt to taste, as well as the butter. You can add more thyme if you wish. Cover the pot.
  4. Allow the veggies to cook down about 10 minutes. Add the fish. It should be well seasoned. Make sure the stove is on low, cover the pot, and allow to cook.
  5. I would say 30-35 minutes for the fish to cook, but make sure you check up on it. When fish can be easily pierced with a fork and is flaky-fleshed, it is finished.
  6. Be careful not to choke on fishbones. If you get one lodged in your throat, pour some vinegar or lime juice down your throat and it will loosen. It happens to everyone.

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