In Memory Of Karen Nicole Smith, 1972 - 2016

Steamed Jerk Fish With Plantain.

Why didn’t I appreciate fish and seafood as a lil fella as I do as an adult?! Back then I lived on an island where such food was ah plenty and fresh (I mean FRESH) out of the ocean. Drats! Today when I can get somewhat fresh fish, the price tag creates an inner debate with my wallet about affordability and accountability. BTW watch the video below if you’d like some tips on purchasing fish at your local market.

You’ll Need…

1 fish (about 1 lb)
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon jerk marinade
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 scotch bonnet pepper (optional)
1 scallion
1 ripe plantain
1 lemon (to wash the fish and to top the steamed fish)

Notes.. I used a Porgy fish, but any of your fav fish will work.. I do recommend something with a mild flavor so the Jerk marinade shines though. If doing this recipe gluten free, please ensure that the jerk marinade you use is gluten free to meet with your gluten free dietary requirements. I used a scotch bonnet pepper for additional heat, it’s optional or you can use a spicy pepper you like or can source. A habanero pepper is a great option, with it’s fruity type of heat!

Trim the ends off the plantain and discard. Then cut into 3 pieces (about 2 1/2 – 3 inches long). Using a pairing knife, run a cut (thickness of the skin) across the length of each piece. This will make it much easier to peel when your done steaming and it’s cool to touch.

Trim, scale (if your fish monger didn’t already) and wash the fish with cool water and 1/2 of the lemon (or lime) juice. Now give it 2-3 shallow cuts across the belly of the fish (watch the video below). This will allow for faster/even cooking, but more importantly… to get the marinade to go deeper into the flesh of the fish.

In a bowl, place the olive oil and the store bought (or homemade jerk marinade) jerk marinade.. that’s it! Mix.

Salt and pepper the fish, then coat the fish with the marinade, including the belly cavity and into those cuts we made earlier.

I used a bamboo steamer I purchased a while back at the local Asian market. Place a piece of parchment paper (or banana leaf) down, then the fish went on top of that. This is then followed by the pieces of plantain on the side, along with the sliced scotch bonnet pepper (optional – I LOVE Spicy!) into the cuts in the fish we made. Finally I placed a scallion on the fish and closed the steamer basket.

Basically all you do is place some water into your wok, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and place the steamer basket on top of it.

If you wanted you can place sweet potatoes, broccoli or basically any vegetable in another basket above (or below) this one.

Depending on the size of your fish, it can take between 20 and 30 minutes to cook. Be careful when opening the steamer basket or risk getting burn with that steam.

As you remove it off the heat, hit the fish with some lemon juice (remaining 1/2 lemon) to brighten it up further.

Watch the video below for a tip if you don’t own a bamboo steamer basket as I used.

Simple, quick and TASTY! The flavors of the jerk and the fish itself will shine though. Toss in some sweet potato and along with that plantain, you’ll have a boss meal yea. Drop me your comments below, tag me on Instagram and don’t forget you can now get my cookbook – The Vibrant Caribbean Pot, 100 Traditional And Fusion Recipes @

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1 Comment

  1. Ricardo Butler
    August 11, 2021 / 12:36 pm

    Damn that is good!!

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