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Jamaican Escovitch Fish Recipe


Transport your taste buds to the vibrant flavors of Jamaica with this delicious Jamaican Escovitch Fish Recipe. This traditional dish is bursting with bold spices and tangy flavors that will leave you craving more. Whether you’re a seafood lover or looking to try something new, this recipe is sure to impress.

Origin and History Of This Recipe:

The Jamaican Escovitch Fish Recipe has its roots in the Caribbean, specifically Jamaica. This dish showcases the influence of Spanish, African, and Taino cultures on Jamaican cuisine. The word “Escovitch” is derived from the Spanish word “escabeche,” which refers to a vinegar-based marinade commonly used in Caribbean cooking. This flavorful dish has been enjoyed in Jamaica for generations and is a staple in many households.

Things To Expect In This Post Article:

In this article, we will delve into the history and origin of the Jamaican Escovitch Fish Recipe, explore the ingredients needed to make this dish, walk you through the step-by-step preparation process, and provide tips and tricks for a delicious outcome. We will also discuss the nutritional benefits of this recipe, as well as any health conditions that may require avoiding this dish. Additionally, we will provide serving suggestions and storage instructions to ensure you get the most out of this flavorful dish.

Ingredients List:

  • 2 lbs whole fish (such as snapper or kingfish), cleaned
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper, sliced (optional)
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig thyme

Preparation Steps:

  1. In a large bowl, season the fish with salt and pepper. Dredge the fish in flour, shaking off any excess.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Fry the fish until golden brown and cooked through, about 5-7 minutes per side. Remove from the oil and set aside.
  3. In the same skillet, add the onion, bell pepper, carrot, and scotch bonnet pepper. Cook until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.
  4. In a separate saucepan, combine the white vinegar, water, sugar, salt, peppercorns, bay leaf, and thyme. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Pour the vinegar mixture over the cooked fish and vegetables. Allow the flavors to meld for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Cooking Time & Servings:

This Jamaican Escovitch Fish Recipe takes approximately 45 minutes to prepare and serves 4-6 people.

Personal Touch:

Growing up in Jamaica, Escovitch Fish was a dish that always brought my family together. The aroma of the tangy vinegar marinade mixed with the crispy fried fish was a true delight. I hope this recipe brings a taste of Caribbean tradition to your home as well.

Nutritional Information:

Per serving, this dish provides an excellent source of protein, healthy fats, and essential vitamins and minerals. It is low in carbohydrates and can be a flavorful addition to a balanced diet.

Health Conditions And People To Avoid This:

While this dish is rich in flavor, individuals with sensitivity to spicy foods or those with digestive issues may want to avoid the scotch bonnet pepper. Additionally, individuals with allergies to seafood should avoid this dish.

Nutrition and Benefits To The Body:

The fish in this recipe is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for heart health and brain function. The vegetables provide fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants that support overall health.


Consuming excess oil from frying the fish can lead to an increase in saturated fats and calories. Additionally, the high acidity from the vinegar marinade may not be suitable for individuals with acid reflux or sensitive stomachs. Eating moderate portions is recommended to avoid any adverse effects.

Tips and Tricks:

For a healthier alternative, you can bake the fish instead of frying it. You can also customize the vegetables in the dish to suit your preferences, such as adding bell peppers, squash, or zucchini. Adjust the level of spiciness to your liking by adding more or less scotch bonnet pepper.

Equipment Needed:

  • Large skillet
  • Mixing bowls
  • Saucepan
  • Serving platter

Variations or Substitutions:

If you prefer a different type of fish, you can use snapper, kingfish, or any white fish of your choice. Additionally, you can substitute the vegetables with your favorites, such as bell peppers, tomatoes, or onions. Feel free to experiment with different spices and herbs to suit your taste preferences.

Serving Suggestions:

Serve the Jamaican Escovitch Fish Recipe with steamed rice, fried plantains, or breadfruit for a complete Caribbean meal. Garnish with fresh herbs and lime wedges for an extra burst of flavor.

Storage and Reheating Instructions:

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. To reheat, gently warm the fish and vegetables in a skillet over low heat or in the microwave. Enjoy the leftovers as a delicious lunch or dinner option.


We hope you enjoy making and savoring the Jamaican Escovitch Fish Recipe as much as we do. This traditional dish offers a taste of the Caribbean and is perfect for sharing with friends and family. Don’t forget to share your feedback and tag us on social media with your creations. Happy cooking!

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs):

Q: Can I use a different type of fish for this recipe?
A: Yes, you can use snapper, kingfish, or any white fish of your choice for this recipe. Adjust the cooking time accordingly based on the thickness of the fish.

Q: Is the scotch bonnet pepper necessary for this dish?
A: The scotch bonnet pepper adds spice and flavor to the dish, but you can omit it or substitute with a milder pepper if you prefer a less spicy version.

Q: How long can I marinate the fish in the vinegar mixture?
A: It is recommended to marinate the fish for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. You can marinate it for longer for a more intense flavor profile.

Q: Can I make this dish ahead of time?
A: Yes, you can prepare the fish and vegetables ahead of time and assemble the dish just before serving. The flavors will continue to develop as it sits.

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