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Jamaican Escovitch fish recipe

Jamaican Escovitch fish recipe is a must try! This Escovitch fish recipe is crispy fried fish topped with a spicy pickled vegetable medley. So easy to make and it taste amazingly good. A great dish especially if you like spicy food!

Jamaican Escovitch fish recipe

Escovitch Fish

Escovitch fish is crispy fried fish soaked in a spicy pickled sauce made with lots of white onion, carrot strips, pimento berries (allspice) and scotch bonnet pepper. You can also add bell pepper to the vegetable medley but I did not for this recipe.

Red snapper is the most popular fish use for escovitch recipe but any type of fish can be escovitch. I am using sea bream in the recipe below. I like using this fish because it absorb flavour very well.

Escovitch fish

What You Need For Recipe

There’s not that many ingredients required – part of the Magic of this recipe!!

escovitch ingredients
  • Fresh fish: I am using sea bream but use any fish you like.
  • Scotch bonnet pepper & pimento: Essential to the flavour of the recipe. The amount you use is really up to you. I love scotch bonnet pepper so I use a lot.
  • Carrot, onion, vinegar, sugar: For the escovitch sauce. (Sugar not in photo)
  • Salt and black pepper: To season the fish.
  • Garlic: Add to the frying oil for extra flavour.

How To Prepare Escovitch Fish From Scratch?

So here is how I cook Jamaican escovitch fish:

Escovitch fish direction

After you wash the fish dry it as much as possible. Dry fish fry better so remove as much of the water from the fish. After I wash the fish I usually leave it to rest for some time so that the water drain.

The next steps is to fry the fish. When I am frying the fish, add two whole scotch bonnet pepper, garlic and pimento berries to the oil to add more flavour to the fish.

The carrot and onion is sauté for a few minutes. Try not to cook it more than 5-6 minutes.

How To Store Escovitch Fish?

The best time to eat escovitch is the day after it is cooked because the pickled sauce is soaked through the fish. Then the fish is bursting with flavour.

If you storing it for more than a day, put the fish in the refrigerator. The good this about pickles sauces it that is can store for a long time. I know you will finish the fish before it goes of.

You can reheat escovitch fish but it taste amazing just as it is.

Escovitch fish recipe

In Jamaican, escovitch fish is serve with festival dumpling, bammy or hand dough bread.

More Fish Recipes

  • Steamed Fish

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Jamaican Escovitch fish recipe

Jamaican Escovitch fish recipe

Learn how to prepare Jamaican ecovitch fish recipe with these easy to follow directions.
4.50 from 10 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Jamaican
Keyword: fired fish, Fish, Jamaican Escovitch fish
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 2 Servings
Calories: 157kcal
Author: Lesa


  • 2 lbs Fresh fish
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Black pepper
  • 1 tbsp Brown sugar
  • 4 Garlic cloves
  • 2 Medium onions Slice thin
  • 1 Large carrot Cut into thin strips
  • 4 Scotch bonnet pepper De-seed two and slice. Leave the other two whole
  • 10 Pimentos berries (allspice)
  • 2 oz Apple cider Vinegar
  • Cooking Oil
  • 1 Lime/lemon To wash the fish



  • Wash the fish in water with the juice from the lime/lemon.
  • Drain away the excess water and dry the fish as much as possible, using kitchen paper roll helps a lot.
  • Mix mix the salt and black pepper together to make the fish seasoning.
  • Rub the seasoning all over and into the fish. Cut small deep gashes in each sides of the fish and rub the seasoning into it.
  • To a frying pan, add about a ¼ cup of cooking oil, just enough to cover one side of the fish at a time (you are NOT deep frying the fish). Place on medium to high heat.
  • Cut the garlic cloves in half and drop them into the oil along with 5 grain of pimentos berries and who whole scotch bonnet pepper.
  • Once the oil is hot carefully place fish in. After 2-3 minutes turn the heat down to medium. Fry both sides of the fish until is crispy.

Escovitch sauce

  • Pour away the oil in the frying leaving about 1 tbsp. On low heat, add the onion, the rest of the pimento berries, the slice scotch bonnet pepper, carrot strips and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the vinegar and brown sugar, cook for another 2-3 minutes
  • Pour over the fried fish and leave to absorb the flavour.


  • Use only one scotch bonnet pepper in the escovitch sauce if you can’t take to much of the spice.


Nutrition Facts
Jamaican Escovitch fish recipe
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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  1. 5 stars
    Found you on Instagram and the photos really leave my mouth watering. I love this escovitch fish recipe and making it today, can’t wait to try it!

  2. Great, simple recipe. Loved it!

  3. 5 stars
    Delicious! Thank you!

  4. 5 stars
    This recipe was simple and amazing thank you

  5. Although you didn’t list the amount of vinegar to put

  6. Love the recipe very tasty.

  7. 5 stars
    You are amazing

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