Jamaican cuisine contains a fusion of spices, cooking techniques, flavors, but also trends from the native people on the island of Jamaica, together with British, Indian, Spanish, Irish, Chinese, and Africans who have resided on the island. Another influence comes from the crops imported into the region from tropical Southeast Asia.
Jamaican cookery involves numerous dishes from the many cultures brought to the island with the arrival of various aliens. There is a wide diversity of seafood, tropical fruits and meats that are readily available on the island.
In case you are thinking about what you can eat on a trip to Jamaica, you surely have a variety of options. For the unadventurous, you can find fries, pizza, or burgers. But since you are in a foreign country, you should leave aside what you already have at home and try something else.
For breakfast, we suggest ackee and saltfish, or fried dumpling or bammy. You can also try a broiled banana or boiled yam. For lunch, you have options such as cheese, patty, and coco bread. For dinner, you can try curried goat or chicken, pork, fish or chicken, rice, and peas, or fried plantains.
What you can also do, is to equip yourself with the right spinning rod and reel combo, then put on your fishing sunglasses and take a fishing trip, as we have prepared a few Jamaican fish recipes you might want to try, even if you haven’t planned a visit to this region.
Herb crusted salmon
This recipe is a tasty salmon dish soaked in a creamy sauce of tomato, coyote, apples, and a mixture of strong spices. You can enjoy this food even more with a Papaya, Mango Slaw as a sweet and appetizing topping.
First, put the salmon in a container and season with olive oil, ground cumin, ground coriander, marjoram, red pepper flakes, and kosher salt. Cover the bowl and store it in the refrigerator to chill.
Next, heat some oil in a large frying pan, over medium temperature. Place the salmon in the pan and cook until it becomes golden brown. Place the fish on paper towels.
Moving forward, saute garlic and onions in the pan for about a minute, stirring continuously, not to get burned. Now, add apple and chayote and saute for two minutes, then add rum to deglaze the frying pan. After reducing the temperature, come in with tomatoes and season with spices. Cover the vessel, and simmer for another ten minutes, after which drop some minced parsley over the combo.
Last, add the salmon with the pan-seared side up, and cook for five more minutes. Remove the food from the heat and serve while fresh. Enjoy!
Jamaican Escoveitch Fish
Escoveitch is a sauteed or cold sauce made of onions, carrots, pimento seeds, and peppers, all saturated in vinegar. Usually, it is used to sprinkle over filleted or whole fried fish. It is recommended to get snapper, parrot, or Kingfish for this Jamaican sauce.
To start this dish, you need to prepare some parts one day ahead. Clean and scale the fish, then season with salt and pepper to taste, and store it in the refrigerator.
On the next day, set the oven to high temperature and pour oil into a pan. Dry the fish with a kitchen paper towel and put it in the container. Fry on each side for approximately five minutes. Shift the fish on a paper towel to drain the oil.
For the sauce, you need to start by cutting and chopping the vegetables. Add vinegar and oil to a pot and bring it to a boil. Join in with the red and green bell peppers, carrots, pimento seeds and a little salt and allow everything to simmer for about a minute, after which add the onion. Cook until the onion becomes transparent, then add scotch bonnet pepper and give it a last stir.
After laying the fish on a serving plate, spoon sauce on top.
Jamaican fish tea
Although this sounds like something you would regularly drink from a cup, this recipe is actually for a fish-based soup loaded with pieces of tasty goodness for each bite.
You do not need a particular type of fish for this recipe.
First, if the fish has scales, remove them by running a knife blade against the orientation of the scales. Then clean and soak it in water and lemon or lime juice.
In a stewpan, bring water to a boiling point, put in the fish and cook for about 30 minutes. Afterward, take the fish out and debone it.
Next, chop a green banana, garlic, potato, and scallion, and put everything in a pan, with a whole scotch bonnet, or habanero pepper, season with salt and pepper to taste, and add the fish, as well. Cook for another half hour and voila! We recommend using a bowl, not a cup, even if the name of the dish suggests otherwise.
On a side note, it is recommended not to cut the pepper before adding it to the soup, as it may become inedible because of the heat factor. Also, you should never touch your eyes after handling peppers.