Easy to Make Jamaican Brown Stew Fish

brown stew fish

Stew fish is a delicious and popular Caribbean dish, especially in Jamaica where it is enjoyed by locals and tourists alike. The whole fish is cooked in a rich and flavorful sauce that brings out the best in any fish of your choice. In this article, we'll teach you how to make brown stew fish using a simple and easy-to-follow Jamaican brown stew fish recipe.

Traditionally, snapper is the fish of choice for this stew recipe. Whole snapper, king fish, red snapper, and parrot fish are all excellent options to use. However, feel free to use any fish of your choice, as the key to this dish lies in the mouthwatering sauce that envelops the fish. The beauty of this recipe is its versatility, allowing you to experiment with different types of fish and discover new flavors.

This Jamaican brown stew fish recipe is perfect for those who want to try something new and exciting in the kitchen. It's a great way to introduce your taste buds to the vibrant and rich flavors of the Caribbean. 

So, are you ready to learn how to make brown stew fish and embark on a culinary adventure?

Read on to find out how you can recreate this scrumptious dish in the comfort of your own home. Your taste buds will thank you!

How to Make Jamaican Brown Fish Stew: Step-by-Step Guide

Jamaican Brown Stew Fish is a flavorful dish that combines tender fish with a rich and spicy gravy. It's perfect for a special occasion or just a delicious weeknight meal. Follow this step-by-step guide to create your own mouthwatering Jamaican Brown Fish Stew at home.


  • 2 lbs whole fish or filet (snapper, kingfish, red snapper, or parrot fish)
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper, seeds removed and minced
  • 1 tablespoon fish seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon browning sauce
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme or 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Optional: rice and peas for serving

Tools Needed:

  • Wood cutting board
  • Knife
  • Large skillet or frying pan
  • Tongs or spatula
  • Paper towel


  1. Prepare the fish: If using whole fish, clean and scale the fish, then pat dry with paper towels. If using filets, rinse and pat them dry as well. Season the outside of the fish with fish seasoning, salt, and black pepper. Set aside for at least 15 minutes to allow the flavors to penetrate the fish.

  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, carefully place the fish in the skillet and fry on each side for 3-4 minutes, or until golden brown. Be sure not to overcrowd the skillet; fry the fish in batches if necessary. Once cooked, remove the fish from the skillet and place it on a paper towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil.

  3. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of oil from the skillet, then return it to medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, scallion, and garlic to the skillet, and sauté for 3-4 minutes, or until the vegetables begin to soften.

  4. Stir in the scotch bonnet pepper, thyme, and 1 tablespoon of fish seasoning. Continue to sauté for an additional 2 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.

  5. Add the browning sauce, ketchup, and 1 cup of water to the skillet, stirring well to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for 5-7 minutes, or until the gravy begins to thicken.

  6. Carefully return fish to skillet, spooning some of the gravy over the top of each piece. Cover the skillet and allow the fish to simmer in the gravy for 10-15 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through and the flavors have melded together.

  7. Taste the gravy and adjust the seasoning with additional salt and black pepper if necessary. If you prefer a thicker gravy, you can mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water, then stir it into the gravy and simmer for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until the desired thickness is reached.

  8. To serve, plate the fish and generously spoon the gravy over the top. Jamaican Brown Stew Fish is traditionally served with rice and peas, but feel free to pair it with your favorite side dish. Enjoy the burst of Caribbean flavors in every bite!

This Jamaican Brown Fish Stew recipe is a great way to bring the taste of the islands to your dinner table. With its rich and spicy gravy, tender fish, and vibrant vegetables, you'll be transported to the shores of Jamaica with every bite. Don't forget to share your culinary masterpiece with friends and family, as they'll surely be impressed by the delicious flavors and presentation.


Jamaican dishes require a lot of cutting and preparation, but don't let that intimidate you - our premium walnut cutting boards can turn this task into a pleasure. Whether you're slicing, dicing, or chopping, make it a delightful experience. Let's embark on a culinary journey with our Jamaican Brown Stew Fish recipe. Enjoy the robust flavors of Jamaica and impress your loved ones with not just your cooking prowess but also your presentation skills. Ready to elevate your Jamaican cooking experience?

 Mevell Wood Cutting Board

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Useful Tips When Making Brown Stew Fish

Useful Tips When Making Brown Stew Fish

Creating a perfect Jamaican Brown Stew Fish can be both a fun and rewarding experience. To ensure your fish turns out flavorful, tender, and crispy, follow these useful tips:

  1. Season the fish well: Make sure the fish is seasoned both on the outside and inside of the fish and inner cavity. This will ensure that the fish absorbs the flavors of the seasoning, making it more delicious and flavorful. Don't be afraid to use your hands to rub the seasoning into the fish, as this will help the flavours penetrate more deeply.

  2. Pat the fish dry with a paper towel: Before frying, pat the fish dry with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture. This will help the fish to sear and become crispy when fried, giving it a delightful texture.

  3. Use the right cooking oil: Choose a cooking oil with a high smoke point, such as vegetable or canola oil, to prevent the oil from burning and imparting a bitter taste to the fish. Set the heat to medium, ensuring the oil is hot but not smoking before adding the fish.

  4. Sear the fish: Place the fish carefully in the hot oil and sear for a few minutes on each side until golden brown. This will lock in the flavors and give the fish a crispy exterior. Be sure to use a spatula or tongs to gently turn the fish to avoid breaking it.

  5. Remove fish from oil and place on a paper towel: After frying, remove the fish from the oil and place it on a paper towel-lined plate. This will help to drain any excess oil and keep the fish crispy.

  6. Add the fish when the sauce is ready: To ensure the fish remains tender and juicy, add the fish to the sauce only when it has reached the desired consistency. Spoon sauce overtop of fish to ensure it is evenly coated and absorbs the flavors of the sauce.

  7. Use pimento for an authentic flavor: Adding pimento, also known as allspice, to your sauce will give your Brown Stew Fish an authentic Jamaican flavor. Pimento is a key ingredient in many Caribbean dishes and will add a unique and delicious taste to your stew.

  8. Add ketchup for a touch of sweetness: Adding ketchup to the sauce not only helps to thicken it but also adds a touch of sweetness that complements the spicy flavors of the dish. Adjust the amount of ketchup to suit your personal taste preferences.


In conclusion, this Jamaican Brown Stew Fish recipe is a fantastic way to introduce your taste buds to the vibrant flavors of the Caribbean. With its rich and spicy sauce, tender fish, and versatile nature, it's a dish that will impress both family and friends. Washing the fish and using a wood cutting board for preparation ensures the freshness of your fish, while the recipe itself can be adapted to almost any type of fish.

So, gather your ingredients, place your fish on that trusty wood cutting board, and embark on a culinary adventure with this and other Jamaican recipes.

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