If you love seafood, you will likely love Jamaican steamed fish. It’s the type of dish that you can always tweak by adding in different ingredients that you are in the mood for, with each cook. The fish is cooked in a spicy coconut sauce with carrots, peppers, and kombucha squash. It is seasoned lightly but there are still some flavor packers in this dish that accompany the fish nicely. All-spice berries, onions, tomatoes and garlic bring big flavor to this dish making it a delicious filling treat.
How to cook
Steamed fish can be had with rice, dumplings, ground provisions or boiled bananas. Jamaicans might be the only ones in the Caribbean who cook it with water crackers. Water crackers are extremely hard crackers baked with no added fat like other crackers. They are very tough but they break down to a soft, dough-like texture when they are heated and wet. We enjoy them in tea, porridge and in our steamed fish. In this dish, the crackers soak up the delicious coconut sauce and become the perfect carby side with the fish.
For Jamaican Steamed Fish and crackers, you will need:
- Cutting board
- Sharp knife
- Large skillet
- Wooden spoon
- 2 Yellowtail snappers (or any fish you like)
- 2 scallions (diced)
- ½ of an onion (diced)
- 7 sprigs of thyme
- 1 plum tomato (diced)
- 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
- ½ of a green bell pepper (julienned)
- 1 whole scotch bonnet pepper (sliced thinly)
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 cup of coconut milk
- 1 cup of water
- ¼ of a Kabocha Pumpkin (sliced thinly)
- 1 large carrot (julienned)
- 8-9 okra (diced on a bias)
- 6-8 Excelsior water crackers
- @Maggijm fish tea packet
- 1 tsp fish and meat sauce/pickapeppa sauce
- 10 Pimento berries
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Clean any extra scales on the snappers. Rinse and pat dry fish. Score the fish by cutting into the flesh making two parallel slits on each side. Season with fish seasoning and black pepper on both sides and on the inside cavity of the fish. Set fish aside.
- Sauté garlic, onion and scallions until translucent in 2 tbsps of oil. Add in bell peppers, tomatoes, hot peppers and thyme and sauté for about 2 mins on medium-high heat. Use a wooden spoon to keep stirring so that the veggies cook evenly and do not burn.
- Once the veggies become translucent, add coconut milk and let the milk come up to a boil. Add in 1 cup of water, maggi seasonings, pimento, salt and cracked pepper and the fish and meat sauce. Cook seasonings in milk for about 2 minutes.
- To enrich the sauce even more, add in pumpkin, carrots and okra and let them partially cook for about 3-5 minutes.
- Remove veggies from the pan and set aside on a plate or in a small bowl so that they don’t overcook.
- Add the fish to the skillet once you have removed the veggies. Let the fish cook in the coconut sauce on one side for about 3 minutes and then turn gently with a spoon. You will be tempted to add more water. DONT! You are making steamed fish not fish soup. After turning the fish add the crackers to the sauce.
- After adding in the crackers, put the veggies back into the skillet. Cover and allow the fish to cook for another 4-5 minutes. The crackers will soak up the coconut sauce and the fish will completely cook through. Do not overcook the fish and veggies. The fish will break apart and the veggies will become too soggy if overcooked.
- Serve hot.