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 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.


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.

fresh clean red snapper
though snapper is the #1 fish of choice for many Jamaicans when cooking steamed fish any firm ocean or fresh water fish can be used to prepare this hearty, healthy dish.
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 add a delicious exotic flavor to this tasty dish


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 dish for a healthy delicious breakfast, lunch or dinner.


steamed red snapper with ground provisions
steamed red snapper with ground provisions

steamed fish and 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 Fish Recipe (Jamaican Style)

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


  • 1 lime
  • 2 lb. whole fish
  • 2 C. water
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • Okra optional
  • 2 med carrots cut up
  • ¼ scotch bonnet pepper optional
  • 1 lg. onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 stalks scallion


  • 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, cover and let cook for another 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.

steamed red snapper with pumpkin rice, fried plantains and salad
steamed red snapper with pumpkin rice, fried plantains and salad





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