In honour of Father’s Day there is only really one recipe I have to share with you. Jamaican Steam Fish. You may be wondering what beautifully tender Red Snapper fillets, perfectly crisp vegetables and aromatic scotch bonnet peppers that fascinate your taste buds have to do with Father’s Day. My dad has a collection of dishes that he cooks to perfection, and Jamaican Steam Fish is probably the one he cooks most often. Since I couldn’t be with him this year, it is even more important that I show him how special he is by dedicating this week’s post to him. Traditionally this dish is prepared using a whole fish and doesn’t include sweet potatoes but I wanted to take this traditional dish and add some finesse to truly emulate my dad. Don’t be intimidated by the list of ingredients, many items are optional and the method is quick and simple. Enjoy your trip to paradise with this Jamaican culinary experience.
Jamaican Steam Fish (Serves 2, Time:25 mins)
2 Red Snapper Fillets (~8oz each)
One sachet of Maggi Fish Seasoning (~1.5 tbsp)
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 onion, diced
1/2 cho cho (also called chayote), peeled and thinly sliced
handful of okra (~10)
1 scallion, chopped
1 scotch bonnet pepper (if you’re afraid of heat leave it whole, if you can handle it chop it)
few sprigs of fresh thyme (~4)
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp butter
salt and pepper
5 grains of pimento (optional)
1/2 sweet potato, cubed (optional)
2 mini bammys (optional) (FYI bammy is made from cassava)
avocado, sliced (optional)
hot water (~2-3 cups)
1/2 cup of milk
Prepare all your ingredients (this is the most time consuming part I promise). Rinse your fish fillets in water and lime juice before adding fish seasoning.
Add sweet potato cubes to a small pot of boiling salted water, cook until tender.
Soak bammy in milk and sprinkle with salt.
In a saute pan, add 1/2 tbsp of olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add onions and garlic, cook until onions are translucent.
Add cho cho to the onions along with enough hot water to cover the ingredients.
After 2-3 minutes the cho cho should begin to appear more translucent, at this point add scallion, thyme, okra, pimento and scotch bonnet, and mix. Salt and pepper to taste.
Cover saute pan for a minute, before adding fish fillets on top of the vegetables and letting it cook covered for 6-10 minutes, until the centre is completely opaque. Make sure to check this pan occasionally, adding more hot water if necessary so that the vegetables do not burn.
Once you have added the snapper, cook bammy in a lightly greased frying pan using the remaining 1/2 tbsp of olive oil. Cover it with a small pot cover and cook for 3-5 minutes on each side.
Note: do not attempt to eat pimento, they are only there for flavour, you don’t have to plate the dish with them.
At Miss Universe one of the questions for our online videos was, if you were a food what would it be? I answered that I would be a banana because it is versatile, in Jamaica we eat it green and we also eat it ripe; I believe, like the banana, I have something for everyone. People probably doubted my belief in the versatility of the banana. Now whilst I was impressed with my on the spot answer, I really love the flexibility of this fruit. In addition to it being long, firm, curved and full of energy – get your mind out of the gutter! Lol – you can do something with it in all its stages.
Bananas - From Green to Ripe
Although you can boil green banana to go with your main meals, use a ripe but firm banana in your smoothies or add them to your cereal, I am going to focus on the very ripe banana. I mean those bananas so ripe the skins are all black and they’re starting to feel mushy. I can never finish all my fruit so when I see these black-skinned bananas, I smile, add them to my zip lock bag and freeze them until I’m feeling for something sweet. The great thing about the three recipes – Deluxe Banana Pancakes, Banana Bread and Banana Fritters – is that they use practically the same ingredients just in different proportions. Try one, or all, and let me know. Enjoy!
Very Ripe Bananas (frozen)
Deluxe Caramelised Banana Pancakes
Total Prep & Cook Time: 30 mins
Serves 2 (Makes 6 pancakes)
1.25 cups all-purpose flour, sifted * 1 very ripe banana (the skin will be black) * 3 tsps baking powder * 1 cup of whole milk * 1 whole egg*
¼ tsp of salt * ¼ tsp cinnamon * ¼ cup of sugar * 1 tsp of vanilla extract * Dash of nutmeg (optional)
1 ripe banana (firm), sliced * ¼ cup of sugar * 2 tbsp dark rum (optional) * 3 tbsp butter, melted
How to make it:
Crush very ripe banana with a fork.
Add all the ingredients for the pancakes and mix through thoroughly, whether with a fork or a whisk, until evenly mixed.
Lightly grease a frying pan, with olive oil or spray, and add pancake mixture to the pan with a ladle, for each pan.
Roll bananas in sugar
In a separate pan add the butter and remaining sugar
Stir until dissolved and then add the rum and bananas.
Bring to boil and then simmer.
Plate the pancakes and drizzle with caramelised bananas.
Prep Time: 20 mins Cook Time: 50 – 55 mins
4 very ripe bananas * 1.5 cups of flour * 2 tsp vanilla * 1 tsp baking soda * 1 tsp baking powder * 2 eggs, beaten * ¾ cup sugar
½ cup butter, melted * ½ tsp salt * 1 tsp cinnamon * 1 tbsp milk * 1/8 cup almonds slivers, chopped (optional)
How to make it:
Preheat oven at 350˚
Crush very ripe bananas with a fork.
Combine with butter, eggs and vanilla and milk
Then add sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and last add flour.
Spray oil on loaf pan and add mixture.
Bake for 50-55 minutes.
TIP: Serve warm with vanilla ice cream and drizzled chocolate
Prep Time: 7 mins Cook Time: 12-18 mins
Makes 9 fritters
2 very ripe bananas * ½ cup of flour, sifted * ½ tbsp vanilla * ½ tsp baking powder * 1 egg, beaten * 1.5 tbsp sugar * 2 pinches salt
½ tsp cinnamon * ¼ cup milk * Sprinkle of nutmeg (optional)
How to make it:
Crush bananas and combine with all the ingredients except flour and baking powder.
Sift flour and baking powder into the mixture and mix evenly.
Spoon mixture into greased pan over medium heat and cook on each side for 2-3 minutes.
Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar (1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1 tsp sugar)