I got a WhatsApp message today from my dear friend Sharon in New York. It was images of her dinner. It did not take long for me to convince her to share the recipe with you. This is the finished product of what she made.
Fish is a staple in Jamaica, heck, I grew up eating the stuff from birth. Its nutritious (they say its brain food in Jamaica), its easy to prepare and while growing up, it was not too pricey. All that has changed now, well the pricing part of it. But the rest remains the same.
Its not the easiest of piece of protein to prepare as you have to gut it, remove the scales, then clean it up. usually the grocery store will take the guts out for you and lightly remove the scales. But you still have to finish it up once you get home.
But enough of that, here what Sharon was up to today.
- One Yellowtail snapper (fish)
- Seasoning for Fish (Garlic Powder, Onion Power, Fresh Onion, Garlic, Black Pepper)
- Bell Peppers
- Hot pepper
- Pimento seeds
- One Onion
- Four to Six Excelsior water crackers
Cooking Time: About 20 minutes
Now as with any Jamaican cooking, the ingredients are never exact; this is just what she used to make this particular dinner. Basically, use as much f the seasoning as suits your taste.
Remove any extra guts and scales from the fish. Cut off the edge of the tail. Wash with water and lime juice, then apply the seasoning. Ensure that you rub in the seasoning inside and outside the fish. Do not cut off the head, although I know you want to. O.K. fine, if you don’t like the fish “looking” at you, you can cut it off. I don’t eat the head per se, but there is some amount of fish that you can eat that is near the head. Plus you get some extra fish flavor. If you like, you can cut it off and boil it and make what we call Fish Tea. But that’s a whole other recipe that we will do at another time.
This is all done in one pot (frying pan). After all the vegetables are prepared:
- Peel and dice the pumpkin
- Cut off the stem of the okra, the tip
- Peel and dice the potatoes
- Cut the bell peppers into strips lengthwise
- Take off the skin and slice the onion thinly; add as much onion as you desire
Place all the items in a plate and wash them thoroughly. With Jamaican cooking, you MUST wash everything a few times before putting them into the pan, it’s just how its done, so just do it.
Now let’s start cooking:
- Place the empty saucepan on the stove with a medium flame
- Add a little oil and some water right away; ensure that the oil is not hot when you add the water as the oil will splash and burn you, and we don’t want that.
- Now, add the fish and items you’ve washed in the plate
- Cover and cook on medium flame for 10 minutes.
After about 10 minutes or so of cooking, place four to six crackers around the fish, re-cover and continue cooking on low flame; add enough water to ensure that the contents are just about covered. Stir if necessary but be careful not to crush the fish.
If you’d like you can eat with some white rice or you can just eat it as it is.
Have you ever cooked this item? Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below.