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.
Fish Tea Recipe (Fish Soup)
- 2 lb whole fish
- 3 qt water
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 TB allspice berries
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 sprig thyme
- 3 stalks scallion, thinly sliced
- 1 Chayote
- 2 med potatoes, diced
- 4 fingers green bananas, sliced
- 2 med carrot, sliced
- 1 pk Fish Tea Soup Mix, optional
- 1 whole scotch bonnet pepper, optional
- Make sure that the fish is thoroughly cleaned and that all scales and gills are removed. Wash in cold water with lime juice. Place the fish in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add water, salt, pepper, allspice, and garlic to pot. Cover and let the 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 you are using fish filet, skip this step. If using whole fish, remove the fish from the pot and separate the flesh from the bones. Discard the bones and return the fish to the pot. Add all the remaining ingredients, except the scotch bonnet to the pot. Stir well. Use the spoon to break the fish into smaller chunks if necessary. Add more water if needed. Add the pepper and cover the pot. Simmer for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, until vegetables are cooked. Add more salt and pepper if needed. Serve while hot.