Jamaican Fish Tea Recipe

Watch our step-by-step video for this recipe below

Jamaican Fish Tea is what I’d describe as a light soup or a broth soup. That’s because “real” Jamaican soups are thick, hearty and more like a stew. Also, unlike other Jamaican soups, fish tea can be made in less than an hour! Traditionally fish tea is made with small inexpensive fish like herring or sprat, but you can use any fish you like.  In the video above I used red snapper because it’s a fleshy fish that doesn’t have a lot of bones.
My version of fish tea is a little heartier than what I grew up with. When I was young we’d be lucky to have carrots and cabbage in ours. But if we had more vegetables we’d put more in the pot. So, this recipe is my ideal version of fish tea … full of vegetables and flavour!

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes

2 medium whole fish or 4 small
8 cups Water
3 Green Bananas, sliced
2 Cho Cho (choyote), sliced
1 large Carrot, sliced
1 small onion, sliced
1/2 Green and Red Bell Pepper, sliced
2 Scallion stalks (green onion)
Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste
2 to 3 sprigs Fresh Thyme
1/4 tsp West Indian Hot Pepper Sauce
1 Scotch Bonnet Pepper
1 Tbsp Butter or Margarine

1. Remove fish heads and set aside. Filet fish and set flesh aside.

2. Place the fish heads and bones into a stock pot; add 4 cups of water and bring to a boil for 10 minutes.

3. Strain fish stock and discard heads and bones; add 4 cups of water and bring to a boil.

4. Add green bananas, cho cho and carrot to fish stock and bring to a rapid boil.

5. Add onion, bell peppers and scallion; add salt and black pepper to taste, fresh thyme, hot pepper sauce and stir

6. Place scotch bonnet pepper and fish fillets on top of soup and simmer on Medium High for 10 minutes

7. Stir in butter or margarine and simmer for 5 minutes

Serves 4


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Fish teagold plussnappersoup
Comments (7)
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  • Jeri Ross

    Is there a comparable vegetable to the Cho Cho (choyote) if I cannot find it? Your soup looks delicious and want to try it. Thank you.

    • Iriedee

      Yes it’s the same thing.

  • Mimi

    I enjoy your recipes. Especially because you use fresh ingredients and the directions are easy enough for anyone to follow.

  • mgornall@sky.com

    Mrs Fay.
    Good evening from England, Lancashire.
    Do you peel the Cho Cho before slicing it?

    • Cook Like A Jamaican

      Yes, I peel them before slicing them for the soup.

  • Knox Ewers

    On Mamma Fay. You remind me so much of my own sweet mother. Thank you so much for this website and all your recipes. You must be an angel. I love you.

  • Montana

    thank you so much for sharing this delicious recipe. i will call your name when i stirring my pot