This Jamaican steamed fish is slowly steamed with herbs and vegetables to give it an awesome tropical flavor.
Steamed Whole Fish
Traditionally, steamed fish in Jamaica is done with okra and carrots with loads of Caribbean herbs. It can be done in many different styles with or without vegetables. I believe everyone has their own take on what they add but one thing for sure it should definitely be delicious. Spinach is not what should be in there, but I added that just to twist it a bit.
Authentic Jamaican Steamed Fish
***This is not done with traditional ingredients***
What I hate it when people try to recreate this dish and do something different and then say authentic. If it’s not done the traditional way it’s not authentic. If you say it is Jamaican it must have at least the main ingredients to make it Jamaican. Not to mention the method and style. If you fry the fish and then cook it down, that is not steam that is brown stew fish. That is also a different style of traditional Jamaican fish. Steamed Whole Fish is what I titled it because most people won’t understand when I say steamed fish.
Also, most people don’t prefer fish on the bone in Northern America. This can be done without the bones too, fillet as you would say. If you speak to most Caribbean natives and ask them if they prefer fillet, they would probably look at you dumbfounded. Some may ask what is fillet? Believe me, my grandma did. I would suggest using a whole fish for this Jamaican Style steamed fish recipe.
Whole Fish or Fillet
Honestly, I hate having it if it without the bone. The fish head gives it so reeky awesome flavor and it is also edible. I know it may seem like I am grossing you out but, it is. Every part of the fish is edible except for the bones. I love sharing my culture with the unknown. If you like to learn more or see my feature some other Caribbean/Jamaican recipe let me know. I’ll be glad to do so for you. Tips
- I made this dish with some grits.
- I used a black bass for this recipe.
- Optional to add Okra and Carrots to the fish.
- If you were to add vegetables such as okra and carrots it would be best to add them when adding the seasoning. So you can create a nice flavor with the fish broth.
Enjoy this delicious Steamed Whole Fish (Jamaican Style with a twist)
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Steamed Whole Fish (Jamaican Style with a twist)
Season for the Whole Fish
- 1-2 Ibs Whole Fish (Snapper, bass, flounder, etc)
- 2 sups Spinach
- 2 sprigs Thyme (pulled apart)
- 1 1/2 stalks Scallion (mined)
- 2 cloves Garlic (minced)
- 1 medium Onion (sliced)
- 1/2 whole Scotch Bonnet Pepper
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 2 oz Butter or Margarine
- 1 tbsp Cooking Oil
- 10 grain Pimento or All Spice
Stuffings for Inside the Fish
- 1 sprig Thyme (chopped)
- 1 clove Garlic (minced)
- 1 oz Chopped Onion
- 1/2 whole Scotch Bonnet Pepper (mined)
- 1 stalk Scallion (mined)
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 1 oz Butter or Margarine
- It's Optional but wash the fish with vinegar to get rid of rawness and cleanse the fish.
- Season fish with salt and pepper. A generous amount I would say. Then stuff fish with the above stuffing for the gut.
- In a big frying pan with medium heat, add oil. After the pan becomes heated add seasoning (thyme, garlic, onion, scallion, pepper, pimento) and sautés until seasoning becomes translucent. Adding tomato is optional. I didn't have any so I cooked without.
- Add fish to the pot and reduce heat to medium-low. Then add butter to the pan and cover to cook.
- If fish becomes dry add 1 oz of water to the pot and cover. Let it cook until the fish is tender.
- Before the fish is done, add Spinach and base the fish with the fish sauce. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Serve and garnish with fish sauce and herbs.