Jamaican Escovitch Fish paired with Bammy – tart, spicy, and slightly sweet sauce and vegetables topped on perfectly fried red snapper.
After making Bammy featured here it was only natural that I follow up with Jamaican Escovitch fish – a spicy variation of ceviche – the two are most often eaten together.
Despite the exotic name and list of ingredients, Escovitch is straightforward dish and has a delightful unique taste because of the combination of spices and malt vinegar. Malt vinegar contains malted barley, which has a complex flavor and a sweeter taste.You may use any red wine or balsamic vinegar.
If you are not familiar with Ceviche, it is a South American process of cooking fish or seafood using vinegar. I am going to be honest and say that, I am not a big fan of ceviche. I would definitely eat it when I go out to eat with friends but nothing that I crave or would want to recreate at home. But this Jamaican variation is right up my alley, I would say it is sautéed ceviche – in other words, it is cooked with heat instead of using only vinegar.
This whole white fish (I cut mine because it was a bit too big) is fried and then drenched with escovitch sauce; made from vinegar, onions, bell pepper, carrots, and scotch bonnet pepper. I took the liberty and adding garlic, ginger, bay leaves, thyme and Worcestershire sauce.
If you are trying to eat healthy then use very little oil when frying the fish and finish cooking in the oven or better yet place on the grill. The sauce makes this dish. You may leave out the scotch bonnet pepper as a whole if spice isn’t your thing or if you are a heat seeker then slice and use.
Watch How To Make It
Jamaican Escovitch Fish
- 2 pounds whole red snapper about 2-3 fish or any white fish – cleaned and scaled.
- Salt and pepper or any seasoning of choice
- 1 lime or lemon
- ½ cup vegetable oil or more as needed
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic about 2 garlic cloves
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- 1 yellow medium onion thinly sliced
- 1 medium carrot Julienne
- ½ red bell pepper thinly sliced
- ½ yellow bell pepper thinly sliced
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 1 Scotch bonnet pepper pierced or replace with ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon Jamaican all spice
- 1- tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- ¾ cup malt vinegar sub red wine vinegar
- Freshly ground white pepper
- Rinse fish; rub with lemon or lime, seasoned with salt and pepper or use your favorite seasoning. I used creole seasoning. Set aside or place in the oven to keep it warm until sauce is ready.
- In large skillet heat oil over medium heat, until hot, add the fish, cook each side- for about 5-7 minutes until cooked through and crispy on both sides. Remove fish and set aside. Drain oil and leave about 2-3 tablespoons of oil
- Add, bay leave, garlic and ginger, stir-fry for about a minute making sure the garlic does not burn
- Then add onion, bell peppers, carrots, thyme, scotch bonnet, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, all spice-continue stirring for about 2-3 minutes. Add vinegar, mix an adjust salt and pepper according to preference. Let it simmer for about 2 more minutes.
- Discard bay leave, thyme spring and serve over fish with a side of this bammy. You may make the sauce about 2 days in advance.