Bring me back to the beach! Let me soak up the sun, play on the beach, romp endlessly in the cool blue/green waters, and then stuff my gob with proper Jamaican escovitch fish with some festival and bammy! Well, one can only dream! In fact, I can dream of some of the things but I absolutely can cook myself some of the beach food and dream up the rest of it. Check out too, this recipe for festival which you can make yourself.
So shall we make ourselves some escovitch fish? Yes, we shall! Choose the fish carefully. And you can prepare it whole and with the bones or fillet or even halved or quartered. Typically in Jamaica, the fish would be whole, head and all. That’s the real deal. Now on to the fish!
Escovitch Fish Ingredients:
700g fish of choice, cleaned and dried then seasoned with salt and black pepper
1/4 cup oil
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1/2 yellow bell pepper, cut into strips
1/2 green bell pepper, cut into strips
1 large onion cut into rings
1 carrot cut into strips
1/2 cho cho (christophene) cut into strips or half courgette peeled and cut into strips
1 dozen pimento (allspice)
1/4 cup vinegar
1 scotch bonnet pepper cut into very small pieces (add the seeds only if you love extra spicy)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
3 tbsp oil
Fry the fish on both sides until very crisp and firm. Remove from the pan.
Whilst the fish is being fried, in a saucepan or another frying pan sauté all the vegetables for about 3 minutes on medium heat stirring occasionally. Add the pimento, salt, and sugar and cook for a further minute. At this point turn the flame to high and add the vinegar. This will allow the tart taste to evaporate and infuse the vegetables with a lovely flavour.
Cook for a minute or two then spoon the escoveitch sauce over the hot fish. Don’t worry if there is not much ‘sauce’, it’s in the vegetables and it will seep into the fish itself.
Oh. If you do get to make Jamaican escoveitch fish, please let us see your photos by tagging us on Instagram (@joleisacreed) and we will be sure to share your pics.
Jo and Leisa
To taste this on the beach in Jamaica is one thing, but to actually make it yourself so that you are able to share it with others is a big bonus!
Other Jamaican recipes you’ll find easy to make
Festivals go well with escovitch fish and you can be sure to find them being sold on the beach in Jamaica.
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