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fish on a plate

Brown Stew Fish

Jamaican brown stew fish is the pan ultimate fish dish that you have been waiting for. Fresh fish is seared and cooked down in a rich yard style gravy,  so flavoursome and finger licking good. Great to pair with rice or ground provisions.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Jamaican
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 2 people
Calories 678kcal
Author Charla


For the fish

  • 2 whole fish of your choice snapper, parrot etc...
  • 1 ½ tablespoon fish seasoning see notes for recipe link
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon pink salt

For the brown stew gravy

  • ½ red bell pepper sliced
  • ½ orange bell pepper or green will do
  • 1 medium carrot julienne
  • 1 ½ tablespoon homemade browning sauce see notes for recipe (use less if you aren't using my recipe, see notes)
  • 8 sprigs thyme
  • 8 pimento berries
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 2 scallion sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves chopped
  • 3 tablespoon tomato paste important for yielding a thick gravy
  • 2 tablespoon dairy free butter
  • 1 teaspoon fish seasoning see notes
  • olive oil as needed for frying
  • 1 ½ cup hot water


  • Use your hands to add the fish seasoning, black and pink salt to the slashes that you made in the fish. Coat each fish evenly (add more seasoning if required)
  • Grab a large non stick frying pan/skillet and heat the oil until it is hot
  • Add the fish to the frying pan, reduce the heat to medium and sear (brown) both sides (this will take several minutes depending on the size of your fish)
  • Drain off the oil and wipe out any excess crumbs from frying the fish
  • Return the pan to the stove, on medium heat then add 2tbsp of oil then add the onion, garlic, bell peppers, carrot scallion, pimento, thyme, scotch bonnet and tomato paste and stir for 2-3 minutes
  • Pour in the water and mix in the browning sauce and sprinkle in about 1 teaspoon of fish seasoning
  • Finally add the fish and place the butter on top of the fish so it melts in.
  • Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes (baste the fish a few times so the gravy can absorb the fish)
  • Do a taste test, adjust if needed before serving


  • There is no need to marinate the fish for several hours or overnight, you can season the fish and cook immediately or leave it to rest for up to a hour if you wish.
  • I used my homemade seafood seasoning as opposed to the store brought stuff.
  • In respect to frying the fish, use the amount of oil necessary. I'm not an advocate for deep frying so I use as little oil as possible but use what works for you.
  • I used a generous amount of my homemade browning sauce, if you are using the store brought kind then you might need to use about 1 teaspoon to yield the same results.
  • Make sure to really coat the fish with seasoning, the slashes and interior of the fish.
  • Use any meaty fish you want, tails and/or head work too!!
  • Do a taste test of the gravy as you cook it to adjust the seasoning if needed
  • If you don't care for spiciness, don't include the scotch bonnet or use the skin (no membrane)


Calories: 678kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 96g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 167mg | Sodium: 1794mg | Potassium: 2525mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 8216IU | Vitamin C: 105mg | Calcium: 256mg | Iron: 4mg