Fish tea, as we Jamaicans call it, is unlike most other Caribbean soups. Fish Tea is a light refreshing soup that has a thin broth, a few root vegetables, fresh herbs and fish. Most other Caribbean soups have a thick stew-like consistency. Use any whole fish or fish filet to prepare this refreshingly delicious soup. If you’re using whole fish; I recommend a meaty fish like snapper, tilapia, or Doctor fish that has lots of meat and large bones which makes it easier to separate the meat from the bones. The recipe below is for an authentic Jamaican Fish ‘Tea’ Soup. A similar version of this fish soup is served in Trinidad and Tobago.
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Fish Tea Recipe (Fish Soup)
Unlike most other Caribbean soups Fish Tea is really a starter more than a meal. A few veggies some fresh herbs and a firm meaty fish are all you really need to create this light refreshing Jamaican soup.
- 2 lb. whole fish
- 3 qt. water
- salt and pepper to taste
- About 10 allspice berries pimento seeds
- 2 lg. cloves garlic chopped
- 1 sprig thyme
- 3 stalks escallion chopped
- 1 cho cho Chayote
- 2 med potatoes chopped
- 4 finger of green bananas chopped
- 2 med carrots chopped
- 1 pk Fish Tea Soup Mix optional
Make sure that fish is thoroughly cleaned and that all scales and gills are removed. Wash in cold water with lime juice. Place fish in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add water, salt, pepper, allspice and garlic to pot. Cover and let fish simmer for 15 minutes. While the fish cooks prepare the remaining ingredients. Vegetables can be peeled or washed and cut into small pieces with the skin on. If using fish filet, skip the next step.After fish is cooked remove from pot and separate the flesh from the bones. Discard the bones and return the fish to the pot. Add remaining ingredients to the pot. Stir well. Add more water if needed. Simmer for an additional 15 minutes, until vegetables are cooked. Add more salt and pepper if needed. Serve while hot.
For Trinidadian flavor add 1 stalk of celery, 3 - 6 okras and ¼ cup chives