Escoveitch Fish

Escoveitch Fish (or Escovitch) is a typical Jamaican dish, packed with bold flavors. Typically red snapper is used but one can use any white fish. Porgies or croakers work just fine and they are both cheaper than red snapper. I like going to stores where I can find fresh fish and have store associates scale and gut the fish for me.

4 whole red snappers (or any white fish like croakers or porgies)
1 lime, juiced
1 tbsp adobo
1 tbsp all spice
1 tbsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp garlic, minced
8 sprigs of fresh thyme
1/4 cup and 1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 flour for frying
1 white onion, thinly sliced
1 bell pepper, julienned
1 large carrot, julienned
1 scotch bonnet pepper, thinly sliced
3/4 cup white vinegar
1 pinch brown sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

  • Clean fish with lime juice and cold running water. Pat dry, with single use paper towel
  • Using a knife, make 2 incisions on either side of each fish.
  • In a small bowl add adobo con pimiento seasoning, all spice, red pepper flakes, paprika and black pepper. Blend spices together and rub generously on each side of the fish. Place 2 sprigs of fresh thyme in the cavity of each fish
  • Heat 1/4 cup oil in a nonstick pan. Sprinkle fish with flour on both sides and fry over medium heat until golden brown (approx. 5 minutes each side)
  • Remove fish from heat and place in a platter lined with paper towel to soak excess oil

  • In another pan, heat oil then saute garlic, onions, peppers, carrots for about 3 minutes. Add scotch bonnet peppers, vinegar, water, salt, pepper and brown sugar. 

  • Cook until liquid had reduced and onion are soft.
  • Spoon mixture over fish and serve


  1. I actually had this dish last night. My Jamician neighbor cooked some for a party he was having and he had me come over to get a plate. I love this recipe with Red Snapper.

  2. Val you have out done yourself with this one! I love red snapper:) What's adobo??? Is it in most grocery stores? thanks

    1. Adobo is an all purpose seasoning from Goya. You''l find it in most grocery store in the hispanic or ethnic food aisle. I usually use Adobo con pimiento, it the one with the red cap.

  3. flour on fried escovich fish never heard of it. i don't like your recipe you need to go back to the drawing board or ask a real jamaican.

    1. Thank you for your comment. Dusting with flour before frying for this dish is actually not unheard off. I have done it with and without flour, however I prefer the look of the fish when flour is used. As much as I place significant importance on flavor, aesthetic appeal of food is at the top of my list as well. I have prepared this dish for a number of people including "real" Jamaicans; All reviews have been positive and I am very satisfied with the finished product.

      Again, thank you for your input and do continue to visit Cooking with Val!

  4. I have seen granny and auntie fry this dish, and yep, we are jamaicans, and I have to say I have never seen that sugar is added to the final dish. How come?

    1. Sugar is only used to regulate the tartness from the vinegar. It's a small amount and it's not used to make the dish sweet.

  5. Those julienned veggies look so good!

  6. This is great. I’ll definitely be back to check out your blog!


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