Steamed Fish Recipe (Jamaican Style)

Over the years I have developed a special appreciation for Steamed Fish. Maybe it’s because I’ve become somewhat of a pescatarian. Maybe, it’s because there is something special about Jamaican style steamed fish. Whatever the reason; I know that I am just one of the millions of steamed fish lovers roaming around. And if you’re a fish lover like me, the easy to follow recipe below is exactly what you need to recreate this tasty Jamaican classic.

steamed fish mise en place

Though steamed fish can be made using any firm white fish, Snapper is the Jamaican fish of choice. To prepare, the fish is cooked in a buttery sauce laden with fresh vegetables and accented with herbs and spices for a delicious meal. Every cook has his/ her way of preparing this dish but when prepared properly the results is melt in your mouth perfection. Steamed fresh fish, like plenty of other Jamaican foods is rumored to be an aphrodisiac. Aphrodisiac or not, I promise this is one of the most delicious, satisfying meals you will ever enjoy.

Steamed red snapper

Traditional Jamaican Steamed fish can be cooked with any number of fresh veggies but, for authentic flavor onion, garlic, thyme, and allspice are a must. Even though butter is traditionally used to make this dish, I have found that coconut oil adds a delicious exotic flavor to this tasty dish

steamed fish with crackers

For years I heard how good Steamed Fish & Crackers (another Jamaican staple) were. Still, I could never understand what all the fuss was about. Then a few years ago I gave it a try. Pick up a pack of Excelsior hard crackers in your local grocery store, or buy them on and see for yourself. I promise you won’t be disappointed. 

steamed red snapper with ground provisions

Steamed Fish Recipe (Jamaican Style)

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Course: Fish
Cuisine: Jamaican
Servings: 3
Calories: 0kcal
Author: Sian Rose


  • 2 lb. whole fish
  • 1 lime use ¼ C vinegar if lime is not available
  • cold water
  • 3 TB butter substitute coconut oil or olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 TB allspice berries or 1 tsp ground/ powdered
  • ¼ scotch bonnet pepper 3- 4 thin slices, optional
  • 1 med onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 2 sprig thyme
  • 2 stalk scallion
  • 1 med carrot cut up
  • ½ lb Okra ,optional
  • ½ C bell peppers , sliced (optional)


  • Rub fish inside and out with cut lime. Rinse with cold water. In a large skillet melt butter, over medium heat. Add all ingredients except fish. bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add fish. Scoop a generous amount of the cooked sauce over the fish. Cover and let the fish cook for 20 to 25 minutes. Serve with hard crackers, boiled green bananas, ground provisions or over a bed of white rice.


If you are a novice or if you just don’t feel like it… have your fisherman remove the gills and trim the fins for you.


Serving: 0g | Calories: 0kcal | Carbohydrates: 0g | Protein: 0g | Fat: 0g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 0mg | Potassium: 0mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 0g | Vitamin A: 0IU | Vitamin C: 0mg | Calcium: 0mg | Iron: 0mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Some popular Jamaican steamed fish combos include Rice & Peas and steamed veggies, Boiled dumplings,  ground provisions, or fried dumplings just to list a few.  Serve Steamed fish with your favorite Jamaican or other side dishes for a healthy delicious breakfast, lunch or dinner.

steamed fish with pumpkin rice and fried plantain
steamed fish with pumpkin rice and fried plantain

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