Although it is called Fish tea, this dish is actually a hearty soup that offers perfect comfort especially on a rainy day. Growing up in Jamaica we used the whole fish when making fish tea. This mean you were constantly looking out for bones while you were eating the soup. I now use Fish fillets. Fish tea includes green bananas, onions, carrots, “cho cho” (choyote), and pepper. Fish tea is very simple to make, yet also very flexible, so you can choose to incorporate any and all of your favorite vegetables to give the dish your own signature flavor. Here is my Jamaican Fish Tea Recipe.
- 2 medium-sized whole fish (preferably fillets)
- 2-3 Green Bananas, sliced
- 2 Cho-Cho (choyote), sliced
- 1 Carrot, sliced
- 1 onion, sliced
- 2 Scallions, (green onion)
- 1/2 Green and Red Bell Pepper, thinly sliced
- 2 to 3 sprigs Fresh Thyme
- 1/4 tsp West Indian Hot Pepper Sauce
- 1 Scotch Bonnet Pepper
- 1 tablespoon Butter or Margarine
- 8 cups Water
- Salt and Black Pepper as per taste
- Cut the fish fillets and remove the fish fillets and keep it aside.
- Pour some water in a stock-pot and put the fish heads along with bones and bring it to a boil.
- Once the stock looks ready, remove the fish head and bones. Pour some more water in it and continue to boil.
- Add in the sliced bananas along with cho-cho and sliced carrots. Stir it gently.
- Mix in the other vegetables – onions, scallions and bell peppers; and sprinkle some salt and black pepper in it.
- Add in the thyme and pepper sauce and continue to stir.
- Arrange the bonnet pepper along with the fish fillets over the soup and let it cook over reduced flame for 5-10 minutes.
- Once done, slide in some butter and cook for another 5 minutes. Stir and serve hot.
Photo: Xavier Murphy