Jamaican Escovitch Fish

One of my passions is cooking and trying our new recipes. One of the dishes that was often cooked by my grandmother when i was growing up in Jamaica was Escovitch fish and I could not get enough.

What is Escovitch?

“Escovitch” is a Jamaican term and is the way of cooking whereby fish is usually fried and then soaked literally with a pickling sauce made from vinegar, pimento, onions, pepper and carrots.

I can remember Saturday and Sundays were day where there were large meals prepared and could not wait to eat. We would eat it with vegetables or with hard dough bread or bammy. Bammy or bami is a traditional Jamaican cassava flatbread descended from the simple flatbread eaten by the Arawaks, Jamaica’s original inhabitants. It is used as a side dish for many Jamaican dishes.

As I work on eating healthier, I go back to what I remember what my family cooked when I was growing up and especially those meals that were made with fish. My son is not a meat eater but he loves fish and I find myself getting creative and testing out new and old recipes with an added twist. He loves escovitch fish so when I prepare it i always prepare a portion for him that is boneless. One of the reasons other than the fish for him loving it is because of the pickled flavoring. He started to love eating his fathers cucumbers and vinegar from his salad when he was about 2 years old. Hence he now loves about everything that has a taste of vinegar. Preparing family meals with fish has been a staple of my new meal plan for our family and working on creating more recipes that I will be sharing.

This is a recipe that I fix often and one of my favorites. Hope you get a chance to try it out yourself and let me know what you think.

Escovitch Fish
Prep Time: 25 Mins
Cook Time: 1 Hrs
Ready In: 1 Hrs
Serves: 6-8
5 lbs snapper, king fish or any white fish
1 large lemon
2 tbsp salt
2 tbsp black pepper
1 large sliced onion
1 large carrot – cut in thin long slices
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cups olive oil
2 Scotch bonnet peppers, sliced and seeds removed (optional)
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup white vinegar


Preparation Instructions:
Clean fish (remove the inside and scale) rinse with lemon juice
You can opt to leave fish whole or cut into 2-3 steaks if the fish is larger.
Pat fish dry with paper towel (cut both sides of the fish, not too deep)
Mix salt and black pepper
Rub the inside and outside of the fish with salt and black pepper
Pour oil in frying pan over medium to high heat
Add garlic to the hot oil
Add 3 fishes (or sliced steaks) to the pan at a time, fry for 5-10 minutes on each side until all pieces are fried
Drain fish on paper towel then put fish in a large shallow dish
Put a sauce pan on medium heat, add 2 tbsp oil (make sure sauce pan has a cover)
Add pepper, carrot and onion to the oil, stir for a minute, then add vinegar and cover the sauce pan for 3-5 minutes
Pour over fish, after 10 minutes its ready to serve
Serve with salad, rice, steam vegetables or with bread

All the best until next time!


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