Jamaican brown stew fish recipe

Jamaican brown stew fish recipe

Jamaican brown stew fish is a delicious fish dish that you will love to try. Often made for Sunday dinner as an alternative for Jamaican fried chicken and serve with rice and peas.

Jamaican brown stew fish Sunday dinner

Jamaican brown stew fish is one of many ways fish is cooked Jamaica. Seasoned well with Jamaican herbs and spices, then fried before it is stewed down with all the ingredients.

Jamaican brown stew fish fried

A great tip to get all that flavour into the fish is to marinate the fish for at least 30 minutes, fried the fish in oil with garlic, pimento, scotch bonnet pepper or and thyme.

There are variations to this recipe, sometime bell pepper is not included, I have added it here. Sometimes okra is added, I didn’t use any there. You will also see the recipe with browning or soya sauce but I don’t use that when making brown stew fish, although I would use browning when making brown stew chicken. Just my taste. Ketchup or corn starch is often use to help thicken the sauce but I don’t cook with either.

As I like to cook with a lot of scotch bonnet pepper because I love the flavour it adds to the dish and I also love spicy food, I always suggest that you you reduce the amount of peeper you use are remove it all together from the recipe.

Now that’s out of the way, let us cook!

Jamaican Brown Stew fish

Jamaican brown stew fish recipe

Khaydean Powell
Spicy and full of flavour, the Jamaican brown stew fish recipe is the perfect Sunday dish. Season with Jamaican herbs and spice this dish is simple delicious.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Jamaican
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 515 kcal


  • 1 Snapper fish Each cut in half
  • 2 Stalks scallion Chopped
  • 2 Large tomato Diced
  • 1 Bell pepper Chopped
  • 2 Sprigs fresh thyme
  • 6 Garlic cloves 3 Crushed & 3 chopped in big slices
  • 1 Onion Chopped
  • 2 Scotch bonnet pepper 1 de-seeded and finely chopped, leave the other whole.
  • 10 Pimento berries (allspice)
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Browning Or thick soya sauce
  • Grapeseed oil But any oil of your choice
  • 1/2 Cup Water

Wash the fish

  • 1 Lemon/lime
  • 1 tsp Vinegar


  • Using the juice from the lemon/lime and the vinegar, wash the fish in some water and removed any fish scale that on the fish. Drain any excess water from the fish and dry the fish.
  • Mix about 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of black pepper together and rub all over and into the fish.
  • Pour enough cooking oil in a frying pan at high heat. Once the oil is hot enough, add the scile garlic, the whole bonnet peppers and half the pimento berries to the oil. Add the fish to the pan.
  • Turn the fire down to medium. Let the fish fry on both the sides until it gets a golden brown colour.
  • When the fish is all fried, remove the pan from the fire. Remove the burned pepper, garlic and pimento barries. Pour way the oil leaving about a tablespoon in the pan. Return to the fire on low heat.
  • Add the chopped tomato, bell pepper, onion, crushed garlic, chopped scotch bonnet pepper, scallion, thyme and the rest of the pimento berries. Sauté for about 3 ½ minutes.
  • Add the half-cup of water, the browning/thick soya sauce, and two pinches of salt, stir. Cove the pan and leave to simmer for about 5-10 minutes.
  • Has the water starts to reduce and becoming a gravy add the fish. Cover the pan and let it simmer for another 5 minutes (about 2 1/2 minutes in turn the fish over).
  • Turn the fire off, your bown stew fish is ready to serve.


Using 2 scotch bonnet peppers may be a little spicy for some so instead of using one whole peeper in the gravy, use half, quarter or exclude the pepper altogether. 
Jamaican brown stew fish goes best with hard food or rice and peas for Sunday dinner.
Keyword brown stew fish, Jamaican brown stew fish recipe

Khaydean Powell

My name is Khaydean and I am the founder of Jamaican foods and recipes. I am a food enthusiast and I am here sharing with you my love for food. Born Jamaican living in the UK and wants the world to learn about Jamaica's culinary culture.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Barry

    I am about to make this meal for my Daughter who is a Ja-merican and had this meal in Nagos head (did I spell that correctly?) a few years ago and love and is always asking me to make it. I am planning to add Ketchup to sweeten it a little. Is that a good Idea?

    1. Khaydean Powell

      Sorry for the late reply. Ketchup is use a lot by Jamaicans in gravy and recipes like the one above, to give it a little sweet taste. So adding it is very Jamaican. However, make sure to reduce the amount of tomato you use when you plan on using ketchup.

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