How To Cook Fish In The Oven Jamaican Style?

When it comes to cooking fish in the oven Jamaican style, the main characteristics involve marinating the fish with a blend of aromatic spices and herbs, and then baking it with a medley of tropical fruits and vegetables.

This approach aims to create a harmonious balance of sweet, spicy, and savory flavors, capturing the essence of Caribbean cuisine.

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

Whether using whole fish or fillets, mastering this method promises to deliver a taste of the sunny shores of Jamaica right in your own kitchen.

Jamaican Cooking: What Is It?

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 the fish dish Jamaican style?

There are two types of fish that are commonly eaten in Jamaica: fresh and dried. Fresh fish include grouper, snapper, mackerel, and barracuda. Dried fish include 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.

black snapper
Black snapper. Credit: canva


Baked Fish Jamaican Style Recipe


  • 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, 


  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


  • 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


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, and 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 the fish with flour mixture.
  7. When oil is hot, fry the 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.


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