June 26, 2017

cameraWatch 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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I’ve been cooking Jamaican food for my family for more than 50 years! Now I'm teaching my daughter Angela and you how to cook my treasured family recipes! I'm happy to be of service and love hearing from you so don't forget to leave a comment below.



  • Reply
    Jeri Ross
    May 5, 2013

    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.

    • Reply
      May 6, 2013

      Yes it’s the same thing.

  • Reply
    May 6, 2013

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

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    May 7, 2013

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

    • Reply Cook Like A Jamaican
      Cook Like A Jamaican
      May 10, 2013

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

  • Reply
    May 11, 2013

    Hello Mrs. Fay,

    I love your recipes and how clear you teach them. I grew up drinking fish tea, but never made it before so I will give it a try. Plus snapper is my favorite fish.


  • Reply
    Knox Ewers
    August 25, 2013

    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.

  • Reply
    August 16, 2014

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

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