Jamaican fish tea soup is one of my favourite Jamaican soups. This refreshing fish soup has a thin broth making it the best soup for summer weather. Made with plenty of fish and various solid food, fish tea soup is eaten as a whole meal.
Fish Tea Soup
Why is it called fish tea? It is because the soup bit (broth) is much thinner than other types of Jamaican soups and usually contains fewer ingredients.
Also, according to us Jamaicans, tea is the remedy for every sickness, and we drink fish tea soup when we have a cold/flu.
In Jamaica, the fish tea soup is usually made with doctor fish, although other white fish is also used for this recipe.
Ingredients For Jamaican Fish Tea Soup
Here are the ingredients for making Jamaican fish tea soup:
- Fish: The type of fish you use is up to you. I am using sea bream as it’s what is available to me at this time.
- Provisions: For this particular fish soup, I used Cho Cho (Chayote), yellow yams and pumpkin. The provisions used are really up to you. Green banana also goes well in this soup, which I sometimes use. Remember not to add too many ground provisions to your fish tea soup.
- The essentials: Orka, Scotch bonnet pepper, scallion, onion, garlic, thyme, pimento (allspice), carrot.
- Seasoning: Salt and fish tea soup mix.
One main thing missing from the list of ingredients is the flour for making dumplings. Every Jamaican knows soup isn’t soup within the dumplings. But I personally no longer like plain flour foods.
If you are the type that can’t have soup without dumplings, here is the ingredient for this soup recipe:
- 1 Cup plain flour
- ½ Cup water
Add the flour to a kitchen bowl and, add the water a little at a time. Knead to form a soft dough. Separate into small pieces and make four round flat dumplings and four long ones.
How To Make Jamaican Fish Tea Soup
- Cooking the fish first: Cook the fish in boiling water with the scallion, onion, garlic and salt. You will make a nice fish broth to cook the other ingredients in.
- Debone the fish: Once the fish is cooked, debone it. You want to take care to remove the smaller bones especially if you are serving this to children. Even though I place the fish back into the pot right after deboning, you set the fish aside for later. You don’t want to overcook the fish as I did here. Return the fish to the pot with all the other ingredients and let it cook. That how is it is to cook fish tea soup.
- Make the soup: Add the thyme, scotch bonnet pepper, carrot, yam, Cho Cho, pumpkin and what other ground provision you’re using to the fish broth to cook.
- Seasoning: I’m using Grace Fish Tea Soup Mix. I sieved it because I don’t want the noodle bits in the soup. This step is optional.
- Return the fish: About the minutes before you finish cooking return the fish to the pot along with the okra.
Serving The Soup
In Jamaica, the fish tea soup is usually served as an appetiser at events such as parties, weddings or funerals. At home, the fish soup is served as a whole meal for dinner.
More Soup Recipe:
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Jamaican Fish Tea Soup
- 580 g (1.28 lb) Fresh fish
- 100 g (3.53 oz) Pumpkin Peeled and chopped cut into two inches pieces
- 240 g (8.47 oz) Yellow yam Peeled and chopped cut into two inches pieces
- 160 g Chocho (Chayote) Chopped
- 100 g (3.53 oz) Okra Chopped in two pieces
- 70 g (2.47 oz) Carrots Diced
- 40 g (1.41 oz) Onion Chopped
- 35 g (1.23 oz) Scallion Chopped
- 1 ½ tsp Salt Or to taste
- 2 Garlic cloves Finely chopped
- 3 Sprig thyme
- 1 Scotch bonnet pepper
- 5 Pimento berries (allspice)
- 1 pack Fish tea noodle mix
- 4½ Cups (1.06 l) Water
To Wash The Fish
- 1 Lemons or lime To wash the fish
- 1 tsp Vinegar To wash the fish
- Wash fish with vinegar, lemon and drain.
- In a large soup pot, place the fish with 2½ cups of boiling water, the onion, garlic, scallion and a tsp of salt. Put on medium heat and bring to a boil.
- Add the fish and cook for 10 to 15 minutes until the fish is soft.
- Once the fish cook, remove from the pot and debone the.
- Add the carrot, yam, pumpkin, chocho (Chayote), thyme, pimento (allspice), scotch bonnet pepper and more water to cover the food in the pot – I had 2 cups of boiling water. Cover and bring to a boil.
- If you wish, sieve the soup mix. Combine with four tablespoons of cold water.
- Cover and leave to cook on medium to low heat for 30 to 35 minutes. Halfway through, add the okra and the fish. At this point taste if the soup is season to your liken.
- Once the food in the pot is cooked, remove the scotch bonnet pepper and thyme stems and serve.
- I used more pumpkins in my soup but adjusted the amount in the list above, so you won’t have your soup looking like a pumpkin soup instead of fish tea. Also, my soup could do with more okra, so I adjusted it in the list above.
- Jamaican soups aren’t soup without dumplings. If you wish to add dumplings to your soup, I’ve added an ingredients list above.
- In the picture instruction above, I have added the fish back to the pot right after deboning. But it is better to add the fish later to stop it from breaking apart as much.