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Escovitch Fish

Learn how to make this traditional Jamaican escovitch fish in the comfort of your own home. - paleo, gluten free, keto
Course Main Entree
Cuisine Jamaican
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 335kcal
Author Charla


  • 2 lb of fish 2-4 whole fish, I used small snapper
  • ½ red bell pepper sliced thinly
  • ½ orange bell pepper sliced thinly
  • ½ yellow bell pepper sliced thinly
  • 1 large onion sliced
  • 1 large carrot julienned
  • 10 pimento berries
  • 1 cup of vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of coconut sugar
  • 8 sprigs of thyme
  • seafood seasoning see post for recipe
  • scotch bonnet optional
  • Coconut oil for frying
  • 1 lime halved


  • Use the lime pieces to rub the cavity and outside of each fish then rinse off and pat dry.
  • Use a knife and slash each fish (not too deep) both sides diagonally then use your hands to generously apply the seafood seasoning to the cavity and all over the outside of the fish. I used roughly just over 1 tablespoon of seasoning and set aside.
  • Melt some coconut oil on medium heat in a large skillet then add the fish and proceed to fry the fish for 10-15 minutes per side (turning frequently) until crispy (larger fish will take longer to cook through, see post).
  • Remove the fish from the pan onto a paper towel to absorb the excess oil
  • Prepare the escovitch sauce by adding the bell peppers, carrot and onion to the oil on medium heat (add more oil if needed to make ⅓ cup worth).
  • Saute the vegetables until translucent then stir in the vinegar, pimento, thyme and coconut sugar.
  • Increase the heat to high for 1 minute then reduce to low and over the pan with a lid before allowing the vegetables to steam for 5 minutes.
  • Serve by topping the fish with the pickled vegetables.


  • Some people like to make their escovitch fish days in advance and leave the fish to pickle for indepth flavour.
  • If the exterior of the fish, cooks too quickly, then simply reduce the heat to low.
  • I highly recommend using my homemade seafood seasoning.
  • I highly recommend serving this with Jamaican Festival if possible.
  • You can use fish steak or fillets to make this recipe - either is fine
  • Pimento berries is also known as allspice
  • Scotch bonnet is optional or use a chilli/habanero pepper instead
  • Coconut sugar is used to make the recipe low GI sweetener.
  • The amount of oil you used is subjective, you shouldn't need more than ¾ cup, for medium sized fish.


Calories: 335kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 48g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 84mg | Sodium: 176mg | Potassium: 1230mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 3844IU | Vitamin C: 80mg | Calcium: 119mg | Iron: 2mg