June 28, 2017

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

I am one of eight children in my family. So my mother was a very busy mother! During my formative years there were usually four kids at home, since my eldest brother had left Jamaica to go to university in Washington, D.C., and the other ones hadn’t come along yet. Still, my mother could always be counted on to cook a quick meal and this one is one her speedy favourites because it takes not time at all to pull together.

The key here, as always, is to use the freshest ingredients — check out my tips for choosing the best fresh fish. To make this easy and delicious dish I used snapper in the video, but you can use fillets and just about any type of fish instead. If you prefer not to use butter for sauteing, I suggest using olive oil or using half and half for a lighter sauce. Once the fish is in the pan it will take 5 minutes on each side and you’re done! Now, all you have left to do is enjoy.



3 to 4 small whole snapper (or your choice of whole fish or fillet)
Clean, wash and season fish with Salt and Black Pepper


1/2 cup Butter or Olive Oil
1/2 cup Red Bell Pepper, slice
1/2 cup Green Bell Pepper, sliced
1 small Onion, sliced
1/2 large Tomato, sliced
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp Hot Pepper Sauce
1 large sprig Thyme
1 Tbsp Tomato Ketchup
Juice of 1/2 Lime
1 cup hot water

1. Heat butter or oil in frying pan on Medium-High; sautee bell peppers, onion and tomatoes
2. Add salt, black pepper and hot pepper sauce to pan; stir
3. Add thyme, tomato ketchup, lime juice and 1/2 cup of hot water; stir
4. Place fish in pan and; add 1/2 cup hot water and spoon vegetables and sauce over fish
5. Cover pan, reduce heat to Medium and cook for 5 minutes
6. Turn fish and cook covered for 5 more minutes, or until done
Serve with steamed rice and a green salad

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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
    July 27, 2012

    Thanks Mrs. Faye! That looks delicious! It’s like Escovitech fish without your clothes getting all smelly from the frying! Lol! Going to fish market this a.m. 🙂

  • Reply
    genise greene
    July 30, 2012

    My mom was Jamaican and she passed before i got her homemade recipes. I am glad I found you.

  • Reply
    October 6, 2012

    What kind of hot pepper sauce do you use? Can you post a recipe for making hot pepper sauce from scratch?

    • Reply Cook Like A Jamaican
      October 13, 2012

      Hi Colette,
      I’ve never made hot pepper sauce before, but I know I can get my hands of a good recipe so stay tuned. I use several hot pepper sauces including Matouks. Just look for one with scotch bonnet peppers and you can’t go wrong. Blesings, Fay

  • Reply
    January 17, 2013

    Excellent, tasty and simple recipe. Truly enjoyed preparing this recipe.

  • Reply
    April 25, 2013

    I did this and every1 loved it thank you so much ,,,,

  • Reply
    April 26, 2013

    I cooked this a few weeks ago and I’m cooking it again tonight. My family enjoyed this so much. Next week its the pork chops. Thanks Ms Fay

  • Reply
    May 19, 2013

    Nice, simple and tasty. Can’t believe the fish cooked so quickly.

  • Reply
    June 24, 2013

    Thank you for the wonderful recipe! My guests just loved it 🙂

  • Reply
    November 18, 2013

    I am a totally inexperienced cook so I feel very intimidated by cooking a whole fish with the head and everything. What exactly do I need to ask for or do to prepare this fish? Do I just ask the store to scale it and that’s it? Do I need to ask them to cut something off or take something out of it? Or is there some special prep? Do I have to wash it? My boyfriend is Jamaican so I’m sure he would appreciate the whole fish but I don’t want to mess it up.

    Thank you

    • Reply Fay & Angela
      Fay & Angela
      May 26, 2014

      Hi Tina,
      Buy the fish at a fish market and ask them to prep it for you. They will gut, scale and wash it for you. Just rinses it again before cooking it. Fay

  • Reply
    March 30, 2014

    Tried this dish and it was delicious, the children loved it. One of my favourites.

  • Reply
    March 30, 2014

    Ms. Fay – how yu goin’ to cook steam fish and leave out the okra?! C’mon ….. As a matter of fact, some “purists” would also call for some tough crackers!….good times!

  • Reply
    May 7, 2014

    Greetings Ms. Faye,

    You have the best recipes on your site and the steps are super easy! You have really helped me to tweek my recipes to perfection. Thank you so much! I am trying this dish today for the second time. The first time I tried it with cod fillets and it was a hit! Today I am trying it with tilapia and swai fillets as requested by my mom. Wish I had snapper bust I’m going to give a try anyway!

    Thanks again!

  • Reply
    June 3, 2014

    Hi Ms. Fay, you are the grandmother I never had a chance to meet, I appreciate you so much! Taking out your precious time to share with us your delicious recipes. Thank you Ms.Fay

  • Reply
    June 17, 2014

    Thanks very much for the few tips on the steam fish

  • Reply
    July 4, 2014

    Okay, I’m trying this tonight! I’ll let you know how it goes!

    • Reply
      July 7, 2014

      AMAZING! I got the seal of approval. The Mister said, “it taste like a Jamaican dish, from di rice straight dung!” But then again, Ms. Faye never fail me, Thx!

  • Reply
    August 22, 2014

    I’m going to prepare this tonight but I’m wondering about the name of the dish: Steamed Fish. Where does the steaming come into play? I see a lot of frying, but no actual steaming, unless I missed something.

    • Reply Fay & Angela
      Fay & Angela
      August 24, 2014

      Hi Soni,
      Yes, this dish is made in a frying pan but the fish is not fried. It is placed into the simmering sauce and the pan is covered to steam the fish.

  • Reply
    October 13, 2014

    I tried this recipe for the first time over the weekend. Had some fresh fish that my hubby caught and decided to do something different instead of frying. I started out making only two because I wasn’t sure how the recipe would come although it looks delicious. I also discarded the heads. I ended up making six more the very next day. Yummy. LOVED THIS RECIPE

  • Reply
    February 28, 2015

    Awesome recipe! This has quickly become one of my family’s favorite dishes!

  • Reply
    May 9, 2015

    Thanks! I recently made the fish and it came out really well! I eat it with grits in the morning for breakfast. I gets me out of bed!

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