In Memory Of Karen Nicole Smith, 1972 - 2016

A vintage “Trinbagonian” fish broth. The cure for hangovers?

trini fish broth recipeThe love for fish broth (fish soup) I inherited from my uncle B. After a weekend of partying he’d usually make this soup as he claims it’s the best “thing” for a hangover and as his sidekick, I’d be very involved. Though it’s been years since I last had this, I’d have to say that I did his recipe justice. One sip and I was taken back to the age of 6 or 7.

I’ve got to mention a couple things before we start… 1. Though macaroni is an integral part of this dish, I have no love for pasta so I don’t include it im my preparations. But feel free to add any of your favourite “noodle” type pasta near the end of cooking. 2. I used sea bass in my recipe, since this dish is usually made from ‘cheap” fish. The problem with using such a fish is that you will encounter many tiny bones (be careful when eating). My suggestion would be to get any fillet of fish (fresh and from the ocean) so you’ll avoid having to worry about the tiny bones.


You’ll need…

1 fish (about 1 1/2 lbs) I used a sea bass.(cut into pieces)
4 cups fish stock
2 cups water
2 potatoes (cut in 8’s)
3 green cooking bananas (peeled and diced)
1 green onion (scallion) (chopped)
5 small okras (chopped)
1 onion (diced)
3 cloves of garlic diced
2 baby bok choy
1 tablespoon oil
1/4 hot pepper (use 2 pimentos if you have, if not use your favourite hot pepper)
1 tablespoon GoldenRay butter
1 lime
Macaroni (or you fav noodle type pasta)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon green seasoning
1 tomato
1 carrot
1 stalk celery
3 tablespoon cilantro (chopped)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Lets start off by preparing the fish. Cut the fish into serving size pieces, wash and season. To season all we’ll use is the green seasoning, salt and tomato. Now set aside to marinate as we get other ingredients ready.

fish soup recipe

seasoning for fish broth

Chop and dice all the vegetables, including the potato, carrot, bok choy, onion, garlic, celery, okra, green banana (I’ll post a short video on how to peel green bananas in a future post) and hot pepper. In a soup pot, add the oil and heat. Then start by adding the onion, then the garlic and cook for a few minutes. Now you can add the rest of the vegetables that we chopped and diced.

Remember to take off the stems off the okra and discard.

okra for fish broth

okra

ingredients for fish broth

This is what the green banana will look like after it’s been peeled and diced…

green banana for fish broth

Here’s how to chop the celery and bok choy.

fish broth

fish soup

trini fish broth

Now we can add the 4 cups of fish stock, the 2 cups of water and worcestershire sauce into the pot with ALL the vegetables. Allow to come to a boil then cover and reduce to a simmer for about 15 minutes. After it’s been simmering for the 15 mins we can now add the fish, the butter and cilantro.

trinidad fish soup

This is what GoldenRay butter looks like if you’re not familiar with it.

trini salt butter

goldenray butter

Let this all cook for another 10-15 minutes or so on a gentle heat. The last 7 minutes is when you can add the macaroni if you wish. You have a couple options with the finished dish. You can squeeze the lime juice directly into the pot or you can slice it and allow your guests to squeeze it themselves in their soup bowl. You can also top this with some chopped cilantro and additional hotsauce.

caribbean fish soup recipe

Tips.

Since we seasoned the fish with salt, used fish stock (contains salt) and added the golden ray (also known as salt butter) you probably won’t need to add any further salt. But do taste at the end and add accordingly.

After you’ve added the pieces of seasoned fish, try not to over-stir the pot or you risk the fish breaking apart.

Final tip for the day… add a couple drops of Angostura bitters near the end for an extra layer of flavour.

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32 Comments

  1. Dave Lord
    September 18, 2015 / 4:41 pm

    I just finished this recipe and let me tell you boss, I added some pepper sauce to it man what a dish my boi.

    Thanks a million

  2. Lena
    March 21, 2015 / 9:17 pm

    Hi Chris I made your Hearty Pumpkin Pigeon Peas and Christophene Soup it is awesome.I never thought a soup made in such a short time could be so good.I have also become a lover of Cilantro.

  3. Astrud Bryan
    January 7, 2015 / 6:26 pm

    Thanks, Chris. I’ll try your version this weekend.
    Try Jamaican fish tea soup you’ll enjoy it.
    You Can cook banana in its skin-add to soup almost at the beginning/middle of coking, with tip of oil. if you peel it cut banana last minute before you cook it & place in the pot, with a bit of oil the color won’t turn too dark.

  4. Carol
    December 27, 2014 / 5:42 pm

    Thanks for that lovely black cake recipe . It was the best ever . I have been recommending your site to everyone , Trinis and the less fortunate! You are awesome . All the best for 2015!

  5. yolande quimpert
    September 27, 2013 / 1:09 pm

    hi Chris am looking at some of your mouthwatering recipe’s and somehow your broth is missing the real Dominican broth, thats our trade mark i dont see any cabbage, cristophene, or in dominica we say white boys aka dumplings, in Dominica u cant have broth without the above, please try it out its gonna be wicked.

  6. Mahalia Turpin
    May 1, 2013 / 8:03 pm

    Mahalia

    I love a good fish broth but i don't use red butter/Golden Ray but something called roccoo let me know if you know it and i can organise some for you next time you are inTrinidad……………

  7. DON
    April 21, 2013 / 8:39 am

    HI Chris that fish broth looks really good we call that broiled fish we use Grouper we cook yellow Grits with johnny cake!!!!!!!!!

  8. rowena
    January 21, 2013 / 3:40 pm

    HI Chris,__I absolutely love fish broth, especially from the ladies @ the Shed…. we don't get access to much sea fish here but I have used fresh salmon in my broth, as well as stell head trout, I have also used crabs legs, and sea scallops in a pinch._In addition to your ingrediaents I use sweet potatoes, eddoes,, yam.__I do have the problem of green figs turning my broth gray, so I boil then separately and have it available as a condiment. Keep up the fantastic work!

  9. Brenda
    December 6, 2012 / 7:04 pm

    Just love reading these recipes, it reminds me of the good old days of my mother's cooking. Can't wait to be in Trinidad for christmas. Must have some fish broth.

  10. Frances
    July 18, 2012 / 3:08 pm

    Hi Chris,

    Thanks so much for the recipe, it looks sooooooo good!! I'm definitely trying it this weekend.

  11. Dolores
    May 8, 2012 / 8:12 am

    Chris, can' t wait to try this, since my daughter has been asking for this soup. Is there any chance of a Caribbean Pot food stand at this year's Caribana, you know like corn soup, roti, etc. WE BROOKLYN TRINIS WANT REAL FOOD, LOL.

  12. bill
    May 6, 2012 / 8:58 am

    A little different then cental carib. Its also known to b good for da back.

  13. angela
    April 6, 2012 / 3:52 am

    Bok choi is patchoi, Bok Choi is Chinese which is where the vegetable dominates.
    Packchoi is a regional pronunciation, all good love the versatility of it.

  14. Christopher Ramirez
    September 24, 2011 / 5:28 am

    this is a real deal, make a big pot on Saturday morning after a late Friday night, lol

  15. pierre vidal
    April 18, 2011 / 6:34 pm

    my gran use to do this recipe (she from dominica) and she use to do long dumplings in it but this reminded of her cooking so big up

  16. Cheri
    March 16, 2011 / 2:50 pm

    I know what you call bok choy as patchoi

  17. Jerry Singh
    November 29, 2010 / 3:47 am

    Where can I purchase Golden Ray Butter in the United Kingdom?

  18. Doonwati
    August 28, 2010 / 6:38 pm

    Hi Cris,
    I love Fish Broth very much and I usually make mines with King fish. I make it at least once a week, I do it just like you do the only difference is instead of potatoes I put eddoes and instead of bok choy I put cabbage and a few macaroni. You must try it and see if you'd like this. I think the eddoes and macaroni gives it a better flavour.
    Keep up the good work and God Bless!!!!!!!!

  19. Cheryl
    August 5, 2010 / 1:52 pm

    Yummm! This looks and sounds wonderful, gonna make it for my husband this weekend. We’ve both being burning the candle at both ends for a few weeks now, and deserve a ‘treat’!

  20. Desiree John
    April 23, 2010 / 6:16 pm

    A few dumplings must be added to the broth, On Dominica, In the Commonwealth West Indies, a broth must contain DUMPLINGS

  21. sheahan
    March 23, 2010 / 9:07 pm

    christ this is de hang over cure big up

    • admin
      March 26, 2010 / 10:22 am

      Sheahan.. ent! Thanks for stopping by and commenting

      Chris…

  22. Jean
    March 8, 2010 / 9:59 am

    Chris this was my dad’s favourite to have on a saturday, mom made it with snapper or bonito maybe carite. Good old days
    Thank you.

  23. Theresa
    March 4, 2010 / 9:53 am

    Yeah Elaine is right, it’s also a Vincie favourite-a staple perhaps. We like to use eddoes instead of potatoes as well. It’s one of the easiest dishes to whisk up in a lime and you don’t have to wait for the hangover either, you can prevent it with this dish.

    • admin
      March 4, 2010 / 4:50 pm

      Theresa, glad to have you here and commenting. That’s the beauty of the Caribbean as a region.. our culture, food and traditions as so similar.

      happy cooking

      chris…

  24. Elaine williams
    February 25, 2010 / 1:53 pm

    Chris fish broth is not only a trinbagonian dish It’s also a Vincie dish[that’s one of my husband’s favorite] once or twice a week I have to cook this for him

    • admin
      March 4, 2010 / 12:30 pm

      Elaine thanks for commenting. Maybe I should change the title of the post 🙂 Our culinary culture in the Caribbean is one that's shared and enjoyed throughout the region. Can you offer any tips or variations?

      happy cooking

      chris….

  25. Nikki
    January 4, 2010 / 6:34 am

    I don’t have a hangover but I’ve craving Fish Broth lately. I can’t wait to try this!

  26. July 18, 2009 / 6:09 am

    Thank you for the information on fish broth I need to do one for my class.

    This method and steps will help me a lot.

    I hope I can share my imaginative recipes on the internet.

    • laura
      July 24, 2012 / 5:40 pm

      Hi Chris love your recipes on fish broth

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