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Jamaican Escovitch Fish


Fried Fish Seasoning

  • 2 Snapper Fish whole, medium
  • 2 King Fish sliced, large
  • 1/2 tsp seasoning Salt or seafood seasoning/all-purpose seasoning
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 Scotch Bonnet Pepper sliced, optional
  • 1/2 Juice from Lemon
  • 1 1/4 cup Cooking Oil canola, sunflower, peanut or safflower oil

Escovitch Dressing

  • 2 Yellow Onion medium, sliced
  • 1 Carrot medium, julienned
  • 1/2 Orange Bell Pepper julienned, or any colour
  • 1/2 Red Bell Pepper julienned, or any colour
  • 1/2 Chayote large, julienned
  • 1/2 Scotch Bonnet Pepper seeds removed and sliced
  • 6-7 Whole Pimento Seeds
  • 1/4 cup White Vinegar
  • 3 tsp Granulated White Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Salt more or less to taste
  • 1 tsp Oil from pot used to fry fish


Prep and Season Fish
  1. Prepare your fish (clean/scale); pat dry. On one side of the fish, make 2 slits (ensuring not to cut the fish in half). Season with all purpose or seasoning salt, salt and black pepper. Marinate overnight or a few hours ahead, and refrigerate – ensure you get the seasoning in-between the slits.
  2. Using a large, non-stick skillet, heat cooking oil and scotch bonnet pepper on high heat. Fry fish for about 5 minutes on each side. Do not flip until it can freely move (a crisp exterior should have formed on the fish). Remove fish from oil and place on wire rack to drain excess oil; set aside.

Escovitch Dressing

Prep your vegetables and set aside. In a medium sized saucepan, add scotch bonnet, chayote, carrot, bell peppers, onions, vinegar, pimento, oil, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat then allow to simmer for about 3 minutes or until liquid has been absorbed.

Additional Notes:

Air Fryer Method – preheat airfryer to 400°F (200°C) and place seasoned fish in the air fryer basket for about 14-16 minutes turning at the halfway point. If using whole snapper or fish, cut the fish in half to fit in basket if too large.