Jamaican steamed fish recipe - lightly seasoned red snapper steamed with an assortment of bell peppers and onions with a side serving of bammy.
If you're a huge fan of seafood, then you will definitely fall in love with this Jamaican steamed fish. I grew up surrounded by so many fish dishes.
This fish dish is flavoursome with a hint of Caribbean flare. Therefore, it would be wrong of me not to share how to cook Jamaican steam fish.
In my household my mother and grandmother used to cook fish every Thursday and during Easter (good Friday).
With Easter being just around the corner what better way to end lent then with this tasty fish cuisine.
In the Caribbean you will find fish in abundance - doctor fish, parrot fish,butter fish, mehi mehi (dolphin), jack fish, barracuda etc... you name it and we have it!
For that reason you will find SOOO many fish recipes featured throughout the Islands with its unique flare.
My favourite fish is parrot fish followed by red snapper which this recipe calls for.
What type of fish is used to make Jamaican steamed fish?
The most popular choice tends to be snapper but there's not reason why you cannot turn this into a parrot fish recipe.
You can purchase red snapper from your fish monger. I normally buy mine in bulk because I cook fish on a constant basis. Also, you can ask your local fish monger to gut the fish for you.
I prefer them to do this as I really don't like doing it myself. Despite my grandmother teaching how to clean fish, to this day, I try to avoid it.
You will save a bunch of time outsourcing the job and can focus your efforts elsewhere. For instance preparing the fish seasoning which is so simple to make. As previously mentioned, I mill all of my homemade seasoning in my coffee grinder.
To make the Jamaican steamed fish seasoning -
- 1 teaspoon of himayalan pink salt
- 1 teaspoon of celery salt
- 1 teaspoon of black pepper
- 1 teaspoon of onion powder
- 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon of paprika
- ½ teaspoon coriander
- The leaves of 4 fresh sprigs of thyme, stem discarded or ½ teaspoon of dried thyme
All of the aforementioned are common pantry ingredients. Do note that you won't need to use all of the dry rub as the fish only needs to be lightly seasoned.
What should I do with any excess seasoning?
Store the leftover seasoning in a small, air tight jar or container. If you follow my blog you will most likely re-use it at some point. As long as the seasoning is stored away in a dry place, it will last for several months.
Although, Jamaicans embrace Good Friday and abstain from red meat and only eating fish. This recipe can be eaten anytime of the year.
What is Jamaican steamed fish served with?
Typically steam fish can be paired with
- water crackers
- Yam Mash
- Green Banana
- Bammy (cassava flat bread).
- Jamaican steamed Cabbage
Other fish recipes to try
- Jamaican hot pepper shrimp
- Oven Baked Crispy Sprats
- Brown Stew Fish
- Escovitch Fish
- Jamaican Shrimp and Cabbage
- Caribbean Stewed Fish
**Don't forget to comment below and star rate if you have tried my recipes. Let's be friends and engage on Facebook and Instagram I also like to pin on Pinterest, where you can find more amazing recipes.**
Jamaican steamed fish
- 2-3 whole red snapper gutted with gills removed
- 1 small onion chopped
- 1 red bell pepper sliced
- 1 green pepper sliced
- ½ of orange pepper sliced (optional)
- 1 tablespoon of fish seasoning see post
- 2 tablespoon of dairy free butter
- a dash of hot sauce optional
- 1 tablespoon of tomato puree
- 3 sprigs of thyme
- 1 whole lime
- ¼ teaspoon of pink salt and black pepper
- ½ a cup of warm water
- Cut the lime in half and then proceed to rub the lime halves over the inside and outside of the fish. Squeeze down so the juice from the lime is expelled onto the flesh.
- Rinse the fish directly under cold water, open the cavity to ensure the inside is thoroughly clean.
- Pat the fish dry then place on a chopping board.
- Use a knife to create two shallow diagonal clashes on each of the fish.
- Sprinkle a bit of the fish seasoning into each crevice (clash) and the cavity of each fish.
- Refrigerate the fish and leave to marinade for an hour or overnight.
- On low-medium heat, melt the butter in a large skillet or frying pan then add all of the vegetables.
- Stir the vegetables so they are coated in the butter and cook until slightly soft for 3-4 minutes.
- Season the veggies with pink salt, black pepper then stir.
- Pour the water into the pan followed by the tomato puree, hot sauce and sprigs of thyme and then stir again.
- Carefully add the red snapper to the pan, move the vegetables to the side and spoon some of the liquid onto the fish. Repeat this 2-3 times.
- Bring the pan to the boil then reduce the heat to low.
- Cover the pan with the lid then steam the fish for 15 minutes in total, turning the fish half way through the given time.
- Serve with bammy/vegetables or rice
spent lots time in Caribbean. some on Cat Isle. fish boil was one favorite . new to your site. will try your recipe with freshwater fish such as bass , and Drum. planting seed for Calaloo tomorrow great recipes. thank you !!
Hi Joseph and welcome, bass and drum sound like some great choices of fish to steam. Enjoy!
This recipe was awesome thank you some much.
You are welcome Kae 😉
I’ve made your recipe three times and don’t feel the need to change a single thing. Thank you for sharing - it is DELICIOUS. Thank you !!
Thank you so much your feedback Paula.
I love Jamaican cuisine, and steamed red snapper is a favorite of mine personally. I’m making this version of the recipe today... Thanks to you!!! GOD Speed!!!
Hope you enjoyed the steam fish Shirley
Hi! Can I substitute snapper with porgies?
Hi Jennifer. Yes porgies or any whole fish would work well with this recipe.
Is it possible for you to do a tutorial on how to clean fish? (taking off the scales, cleaning out the cuts, cutting etc)
Hi Shinel. Yes of course! I will put your request on my to-do-list for next month and will make a point of doing a tutorial guide on cleaning fish.
I may have asked this before, if I did, my apologies.
Do you have a cookbook?
Hi AnnMarie, I'm in the process of writing the manuscript for my cookbook which I'm hoping to release this year.
Please let me know when your recipe book is ready. I’ll certainly buy!
Aww I am so touched Peter, I will definitely let you know.
What gorgeous colours! I love you added all those different coloured peppers. Nice!
Thank you Jacqueline. I don't think it would Caribbean if I didn't add some tri colours of bell peppers.
I'm such a fan of ALL the seafood. If I could eat fish everyday I honestly would. This recipe sounds and looks absolutely amazing. I love the seasoning and all the veggies. I'm saving this recipe and making this for my family.
Thank you so much Natalie. I hope yourself and the family enjoy it too.
Beautiful presentation with the whole fish and colourful peppers! This looks really tasty and healthy too!
Thank you so much Marie
I have never thought to steam fish, but this looks equally easy and tasty!! I'll have to try it soon!
What a delicious Jamaican steamed fish! I simply cannot wait to try it! Very interesting combination of ingredients. I am saving this recipe for later.
Thank you so much Veena