Jamaican Escovitch Fish Recipe

Jamaican Escovitch Fish Recipes: Fish prepared escovitch style is seasoned, fried and marinated with a peppery vinegar-based dressing made colourful with julienned bell peppers, carrots and onions. And, everyone knows this dish tastes better the next day. Even though it’s eaten year-round, no God fearing Jamaican would be without fried king fish or red snapper on Good Friday. For me it’s the highlight of the Easter holidays.


4 whole red snapper
Salt and pepper
1 cup cooking oil


1. The day before, clean and scale fish. Season with salt and black pepper and refrigerate.
2. Set stove to High and add cooking oil to pan. Dry fish with paper towel and pan
fry for about 5 minutes each side.
3. Take fish out of pan and place on paper towel to drain oil

Escovitch Dressing


½ each, green and red bell pepper, julienned
1 carrot, julienned
1 small onion, sliced in rings
3 Tbsp cooking oil (you can use leftover oil from frying fish)
2/3 cup vinegar
10 pimento berries (optional)
½ tsp salt
1 tsp hot pepper sauce
½ scotch bonnet pepper, seed removed and chopped


1. Cut and chop vegetables and put aside.
2. Put vinegar and oil into a saucepan and bring to a boil
3. Add carrots and let simmer for about a minute
4. Add pimento seeds, if using, salt and pepper sauce
5. Add red and green bell peppers a simmer for a minute
6. Add onion and simmer for about 5 minutes or until the onion is transparent
7. Add scotch bonnet pepper and stir
8. Place fish into serving dish and spoon dressing on top

Serves 4

Video Lesson: Click below to watch us make this recipe step by step.

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Escovitch Fish
Comments (26)
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  • Miranda Smith

    Just wanted ro say Thank you Ms. Fay for sharing your wonderful recipes. I am american, but married to a Jamaican man. I can impress him with some of these wonderful recipes.

    Do you have a recipe for preparing Jerk Pork?

    Thank you again.


  • Keisha

    Hi Ms. Fay!

    I just found your site and love the videos and tips! What kind of Pepper sauce are you using? I cant tell from the video. Walkerswood?

  • a. little

    I’m married to a wonderful Jamaican, who loves his Jamaican Home Cooked meals. I’ve tried many times to make this dish for him and he would always mention either his mother’s cooking or the restaurant called Cool Runnings from Miami. But this time after he tasted your version that I made on saturaday, he said this taste like Cool Running. Oh, how pleased I was to hear that. So thank you so much for sharing all your recipes. I will be back to try more of your recipes. God Bless.

  • Don Anthony

    Made it tonight – out of this world! Just like I remember it last time I was in Mo Bay back in 1985. What a dish! Thanks Fay!

  • N Kelly

    Faye, let me say Miss Faye here, you would never know just how much you have given me the confidence to cook. I have always said, before i get married, i want to be able to cook and am learning like dickhans..man, your videso are off the hook and your cooking style and technique are marevelous. I am so elated to be apart of these videos watching your cooking just like everyone else. Thanks Fay, oh, Miss Faye for sharing to we novices…i am extreemly thankful. Let me say, on behalf of all your fans out there, we want to sincerely thank you from our hearts for what your doing. Keep up the good work and continue to share with us ideas, skills, your videos, recipees and last by no means least, your love. FYI, i am yet to be married, but that’s ok..i cook until God blesses me with that special beautiful person inside, someone. Again, we all say a big thank you!

  • Bobette Crittenden

    Hey there Fay,

    I used your recipe for Jamaican Escovitch Fish Recipe with a little twist, i.e. for Halibut instead of Snapper and it was absolutely tasteful. Thank you so much for all your dedication and motivation!

  • Angela


    Thank you so much for this recipe. It’s my first time trying to make it and I had no idea it was this easy. The flavor was perfect. I used King Fish and it tasted just like my grandmother’s.



  • Melanie

    I’m so grateful that I accidentally fell upon your website. I love Jamaican food! Whenever I tried to get a recipe I was always told it was a family secret. I never understood this since I shared many requested recipes.
    Fay you are a blessing from above. Thank you!

  • Michelle Parson

    Hi Fay,

    my daughter and I both love your website. We were talking over the phone as she was doing you pumpkin and chicken soup recipe. I love escovitch fish and it featured at our last M & M’s pop-up restaurant. As bob Marley says, everyone do dem tings a likle weh different and I use lime juice together with cider vinegar in my dressing. I loved your presentation. Some people forget about that when they cook. As you know we eat with our eyes and nose before we put the food in the mouth. Keep it up Fay, keeping our heritage, for those living in the Diaspora, alive.

  • Les Lee

    I just happen to run into this site while surfing for good Jamaican cooking that my mother and wife use to prepare for our family…you just happen to fill that bill. Thanks for your input…May these recipes live on for ever.

  • Giovanna Samuels

    Love this recipe, I will be making this tomorrow for good friday.

  • Simone

    Loving your recipes, I’m English and my partner is Jamaican, our 2 kids love West Indian food, 🙂

  • Ms Linda

    I am new to your site and welcome the wonderful recipes. Married to a picky Jamaican, your recipes help to make food authentic in taste and preparation. Thank You

  • Marcelle

    Ms. Fay made this dish last night for Good Friday with Festival and plantains…I am from the Miami/Bahamas my boyfriend is here from Virginia he enjoyed, this dish…I am trying to teach him worldly dishes…Thank you, Ms. Fay for bringing Jam Down to my kitchen.

  • Andrea

    Absolutely scrumptious! We are having bammy and breadfruit along with the escoveitch fish for Easter (Resurrection) morning brekkie! Thanks for this authentic recipe.

  • Gary

    Thanks for the recipe! Had some mackerel to get rid of and gave this a try. Came out awesome!

  • Tiffany

    Hello Ms Fay
    My family is Jamaican and so is my husband. I grew up on these dishes but never learned how to cook them. Found this site 1 year ago and have been using it since. Such great recipes. My husband loves it when I make anything from this site. Thank so much for creating this site!
    Many blessings
    Mount Vernon NY

  • Elyse

    Thank You Ms. Faye so much for this recipe. It came out GREAT and my family LOVED LOVED LOVED It!

  • Carol

    Hello Faye. I was wondering, could this be made in batch and stored in the fridge? I’m from England and love your receipes you make them so easy to follow. Thank you

    • Fay & Angela

      Hi Carol,
      Oh yes, escovitch can be made ahead. I actually like it better the next day when it’s had time to soak up the pepper dressing. Enjoy!

  • Msrhiki

    I also wanted to know what to use if you are having a hard time finding the pimento berries. When you make it the night before, do you just pour all dressing on top? Lastly, if you double fish amount do you double the dressing amounts also? I am about to make this now as I cook for the week on Mondays…I can’t wait!!!

    • Fay & Angela

      Hi Msrhiki,
      If you can’t find dried pimento berries don’t worry. You’ll still get great results without them. Yes, double the fish, double the dressing recipe. Blessings, Fay

  • Ebum

    Hello \’s. Fay!!I just wanted to give a big thanks to you for posting your recipes! I\’ve never made escovitched fish before but have always enjoyed it. Your way gave me the confidence to try it today and it came out AWESOME!! I can\’t wait until tomorrow so I can eat some after everything has settled in overnight!! I will be joining your mailing list so I can see when you post recipes. I\’ve been ill so my fiance has been doing all of the cooking but my son is now old enough to eat all of the dishes that I grew up on and with your help I will make those and more!! Thank you for giving confidence back to an out of tuned cook?!! Blessings….

  • Olive

    I Really Thank You For This Recipe Because Red Snapper Is My Favorite Fish….I Have A Question: Does It Have To Be White Vinegar Only, Or Can I Use Apple Cider Vinegar Too?
    Thanks Ms. Fay…I Envy Those Who Lives In Your Household 🙂

  • Cook Like A Jamaican

    Hi Olive,
    The traditional ingredient is white vinegar. Apple cider vinegar does has a different flavour, but it shouldn’t make much difference. Let me know how it turns out. Blessings, Fay


    I use Apple Cider Vinegar, Plus I like garlic, thyme, and bay leaf so I add to veg and saute , squeeze lime juice over final sauce pour over fish,,,, yum.. I am a pretty good Jamaican cook… My mother taught me well…She is gone now. I joined this sight as somethings like the patty, and black cake she never made so, I wanted to know how to make them… Ingredients to use..but putting all together is a synch for me…I am a great cook ya know…lol……..