How To Cook Fish In The Oven Jamaican Style?

Jamaicans love their fish. They are often served with rice or peas, but sometimes they like to serve them with other sides such as plantains, yams, or breadfruit.

How to cook fish in the oven Jamaican style? There are several recipes for baked fish Jamaican style. However, they have the same characteristics: spicy and flavorful

In this blog post, we will discuss the characteristics of Jamaican-style food as well as several recipes for cooking and baking fish Jamaican-style.

Jamaican Cooking: What Is It?

jamaican jeck chicken leg
Jamaican jerk chicken legs. Credit: canva

What is Jamaican cooking? The answer is simple, it’s a fusion of African and Caribbean cuisines.

In Jamaica, you will find many influences from Africa, Europe, and Asia. The food that we eat today has its roots in the slave trade. 

Jamaica was colonized by the British in 1655 and remained under British rule until 1962 when it became an independent nation.

During this time, the culture absorbed some aspects of English cuisine along with other cultures. For example, the traditional Jamaican meal consists of three main courses: soup, meat or chicken, and vegetables.

However, some dishes include seafood such as conch stew, jerk pork, and curried goat.

What type of food is Jamaican?

The best way to describe Jamaican food is that it is a blend of African and Caribbean cuisine which means mixed-up cooking.

You will find that Jamaican food is very spicy and flavorful. Many people say that it tastes like a combination of Indian, Chinese, and Mexican food.

Jamaican food ingredients

When it comes to ingredients, Jamaicans use what they can get locally. There are no imports allowed into the country. Therefore, most of the food items available at your local grocery store are imported. Some common Jamaican ingredients include:

  • Allspice – used for seasoning
  • Baking powder – used for baking
  • Black pepper – used for seasoning

What is Jamaican food known for?

Jamaican food is famous for being spicy and full of flavor. This is because it uses lots of spices and herbs.

Many of these foods have been passed down through generations and are still enjoyed today.

Some popular Jamaican recipes include:

  • Conch Stew
  • Curried Goat
  • Fish Curry
  • Jerk Pork
  • Mofongo
  • Pineapple Upside Down Cake
  • Spicy Rice and Peas
  • Sticky rice pudding

Why is Jamaican food so unique?

The reason why Jamaican food is so unique is because of its history. When Jamaica was colonized by Europeans, it was not a single ethnic group but rather a mixture of different groups.

This created a new kind of food that blended together with various flavors and styles.

For example, the Creole dish called Mofongo contains both West African and Spanish ingredients.

How to Cook Fish in the Oven Jamaican Style?

escovitch fish
Escovitch fish with white rice and salad. Credit: canva

What are the characteristics of fish dish Jamaican style?

There are two types of fish that are commonly eaten in Jamaica: fresh and dried. Fresh fish includes grouper, snapper, mackerel, and barracuda. Dried fish includes saltfish, dumplings, and jerked meats.

Fresh fish is often served with coconut milk, onions, tomatoes, and peppers. Jerk seasonings are added to give it a stronger taste.

Dried fish is usually cooked with ginger, garlic, and curry leaves. These ingredients are then combined with water and simmered over low heat.

How do I make Jamaican-style fish?

To make Jamaican-style fish, first prepare the marinade. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Add the fish and let it sit for about 30 minutes.

Afterward, place the fish on a rack in a shallow pan. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes per pound. The fish should be flaky and moist when done.

If you want to add more flavor, sprinkle some lime juice on top before serving.

What kind of fish do you for cooking Jamaican-style?

Any type of fish can be prepared this way. However, if you are looking for something special, try using black snapper, red snapper, or grouper.

Red snapper has a milder flavor than other fish. It also cooks faster than grouper.

Recipes

black snapper
Black snapper. Credit: canva

Baked Fish Jamaican Style Recipe

Ingredients

  • 5 fish (I used black snapper), scraped, gutted, washed with vinegar and water, drained
  • 1 tsp. of each
  • Maggie fish season, Maggie all-purpose & Maggie Jerk seasoning
  • Ground black pepper
  • Salt
  • 1 stalk scallion, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 Scotch bonnet, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced
  • 1 small sweet pepper, sliced
  • 1 carrot, peeled, sliver
  • A small amount of butter, 

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Pat dry fish with a paper towel. Make two slashes on both sides of each piece of fish.
  3. Combine the Maggie all-purpose seasoning, black pepper, salt, fish season, and Maggie jerk seasoning, then use to season the fish. Rub the mixture inside each fish and the slashes on both sides of each fish.
  4. Place the fish in a roasting pan. Butter each piece of fish.
  5. Place the sliced onion, hot and sweet peppers, garlic, and scallion on the fish. Place the sliver carrot on the fish as well.
  6. Marinate the fish for at least 15 minutes to allow the fish to soak up the flavors from the mixed spices and herbs.
  7. After 15 minutes, put the fish into the preheated oven and bake for 50 minutes to an hour, to make sure that the fish will not be undercooked.
  8. Remove from oven after 50-60 minutes. 
  9. Serve and enjoy.

Escovitch Fish – Jamaican Style

Ingredients

  • 3 limes
  • 4 slices of fish about 1.5″ thick (firm fish like kingfish or even tilapia)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 carrots (julienne)
  • 1 red bell pepper (julienne)
  • 1 green bell pepper (julienne)
  • 2 sprig thyme
  • 1 hot pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • A small piece of ginger, grated
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt
  • 1 chayote (optional)
  • 1 onion

Instructions

For the fish:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Wash and clean fish. Place fish in a large bowl with enough water to cover fish.
  3. Put the juice and squeezed limes into the water. Add salt and onion powder and leave to soak for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove fish from water and season with salt, black pepper.
  5. Heat a dutch pot with enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan for frying.
  6. In a shallow dish, place flour, salt, and black pepper. Remove any excess liquid from on fish and cover fish with flour mixture.
  7. When oil is hot, fry fish to a golden brown on each side.
  8. Remove the fish from the pot and place them in the preheated oven.

For the vegetables:

  1. Add oil to the bottom of the pot. Then saute garlic, ginger, and bay leaf.
  2. Add veggies (peppers, carrots, onions, and any other veggies you are using). Saute for another 2 minutes.
  3. Add water and thyme and leave to simmer for about 10 minutes so that liquid reduces.
  4. Add vinegar and salt to taste.

Assemble:

  1. Remove fish from the oven and top with vegetables and sauce.
  2. Serve and enjoy.

 FAQs

How long should I cook my fish in the oven?

The time depends on what kind of fish you’re cooking. The rule of thumb is to check your fish before it’s done baking.

If you can see through the flesh easily, it’s probably done. If it’s still opaque, keep checking every few minutes until it’s cooked. You’ll know when it’s ready because the flesh will flake easily.

How long should fish be cooked?

Fish needs to be cooked properly to ensure safety. Generally speaking, if you see the eyes bulge out, the flesh flakes easily, and the skin turns white, the fish is done.

However, there are exceptions to this rule. For example, some types of fish need longer than others. So, it’s best to use a digital thermometer to test the temperature of the fish.

What temperature should fish be baked at?

You want to make sure that the internal temperature reaches 145°F or higher. This ensures that all harmful bacteria have been killed off.

To find the correct temperature, insert a probe into the center of the fish. It should read between 135°F and 140°F.

Is it better to bake fish in glass or metal?

Glass pans tend to conduct heat more efficiently than metal ones. That means they won’t overcook as quickly.

But, if you do choose to use a metal pan, make sure it has a non-stick surface.