Authentic Jamaican Escovitch Recipe with Red Snapper


Authentic Jamaican Escovitch Recipe with Red Snapper
Region / culture: Jamaica | Preparation time: 30 minutes | Cooking time: 30 minutes | Servings: 4



Escovitch is a traditional Jamaican dish that features fried fish topped with a spicy vinegar-based sauce and pickled vegetables. This dish is bursting with flavor and is a favorite in Caribbean cuisine.


Escovitch has its roots in Spanish cuisine, as the word "escabeche" comes from the Spanish word for marinade. The dish was brought to Jamaica by Spanish settlers and has since become a beloved part of Jamaican culinary tradition.


How to prepare

  1. In a 3- to 4 qt (3.78 liter) enameled or stainless-steel saucepan, combine onions, carrots, green peppers, bay leaves, red pepper, salt, and a few grindings of black pepper.
  2. Pour in the vinegar, 2 tbsp of the oil, and the water. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  3. Reduce the heat to low, cover tightly, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender but not falling apart.
  4. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 4 tbsp of oil in a heavy 10- to 12-inch skillet over moderate heat until a light haze forms above it.
  5. Add a few fillets at a time and cook them for 2 or 3 minutes on each side, or until delicately browned.
  6. As they brown, transfer the fillets to a large, shallow heatproof serving dish.
  7. Arrange the vegetables evenly and attractively on top of the fish.
  8. Pour the hot vinegar mixture over the fish.
  9. Serve immediately or cool to room temperature, cover tightly, and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.


  • Use a different type of fish, such as snapper or mackerel, for a unique flavor.
  • Add additional spices, such as allspice or thyme, for a more complex flavor profile.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

Make sure to slice the vegetables thinly to ensure they cook evenly and absorb the flavors of the marinade.

- Use a high-quality white wine vinegar for the best flavor in the marinade.

- Be careful not to overcook the fish, as it can become tough and dry.

Serving Suggestions

Serve Escovitch with rice and peas, fried plantains, or festival (a sweet fried dough) for a complete Jamaican meal.

Cooking Techniques

Be sure to fry the fish until it is golden brown and crispy on the outside.

- Simmer the vegetables in the marinade until they are tender but still have a bit of crunch.

Ingredient Substitutions

You can use any firm white fish, such as cod or haddock, in place of red snapper.

- Substitute apple cider vinegar for white wine vinegar if desired.

Make Ahead Tips

Escovitch can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. The flavors will continue to develop as it sits.

Presentation Ideas

Serve Escovitch on a large platter garnished with fresh herbs, such as parsley or cilantro, for a beautiful presentation.

Pairing Recommendations

Escovitch pairs well with a crisp white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc, or a cold beer.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat gently in the microwave or on the stovetop until warmed through.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of Escovitch contains approximately 300 calories.


Each serving of Escovitch contains approximately 10 grams of carbohydrates.


Each serving of Escovitch contains approximately 15 grams of fats.


Each serving of Escovitch contains approximately 25 grams of proteins.

Vitamins and minerals

Escovitch is rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C from the peppers and carrots, as well as omega-3 fatty acids from the fish.


Escovitch contains fish and may not be suitable for those with seafood allergies.


Escovitch is a nutritious dish that is high in protein and healthy fats, making it a great option for a balanced meal.


Escovitch is a flavorful and vibrant dish that is sure to impress your family and friends. With its spicy marinade and pickled vegetables, it is a true taste of the Caribbean. Enjoy this dish as a main course or as part of a larger Jamaican feast.

How did I get this recipe?

The moment I found this recipe is etched in my memory forever. It was a warm summer day, and I was visiting my friend Maria in her small village on the coast of Jamaica. Maria had always been an incredible cook, and I often found myself in awe of her culinary skills. On this particular day, as we sat in her kitchen sipping on some homemade lemonade, Maria suddenly jumped up from her seat and exclaimed, "I have the perfect recipe for you to try, my dear!"

Curious, I followed Maria to her pantry, where she rummaged through a pile of old recipe cards until she finally found what she was looking for. With a mischievous twinkle in her eye, Maria handed me the weathered card and said, "This is my grandmother's recipe for Escovitch. It's a traditional Jamaican dish that has been passed down through generations in my family. I know you'll love it!"

I eagerly studied the recipe, taking in the ingredients and instructions with a sense of excitement. Escovitch was a dish I had never heard of before, but the combination of flavors and spices intrigued me. I thanked Maria profusely for sharing her family recipe with me and promised to give it a try as soon as I returned home.

When I got back to my own kitchen, I wasted no time in gathering the necessary ingredients to make Escovitch. The recipe called for fresh fish - preferably snapper - which was to be marinated in a mixture of vinegar, onions, peppers, and spices before being fried to perfection. The dish was then topped with a tangy sauce made from pickled vegetables and served alongside fried plantains and rice.

As I worked my way through the recipe, I couldn't help but think of Maria and her family traditions. I imagined her grandmother in her own kitchen, passing down this cherished recipe to her daughter, who in turn shared it with Maria. And now, here I was, continuing the legacy by preparing Escovitch in my own home.

The aroma of the fish frying in the pan filled the air, mingling with the scent of onions and peppers. I could already tell that this dish was going to be something special. As I plated the Escovitch and garnished it with the pickled vegetables, I felt a sense of pride and accomplishment wash over me. I had successfully recreated a traditional Jamaican recipe that had been lovingly passed down through generations.

When I took my first bite of the Escovitch, I was immediately transported back to Maria's kitchen in Jamaica. The flavors were bold and vibrant, with a perfect balance of heat and acidity. The fish was tender and flaky, and the pickled vegetables added a refreshing crunch to each bite. It was a dish unlike anything I had ever tasted before, and I knew that it would become a staple in my own repertoire of recipes.

From that day forward, Escovitch became a beloved dish in my household. I would often make it for family gatherings and special occasions, sharing the recipe with anyone who showed an interest. Each time I prepared the dish, I couldn't help but think of Maria and her family, and the bond we shared through our love of food and cooking.

As the years passed, I continued to experiment with the Escovitch recipe, adding my own twists and variations to make it truly my own. But no matter how many times I made it, the dish always reminded me of that fateful day in Maria's kitchen, when I discovered a culinary treasure that would forever hold a special place in my heart.

And so, whenever I prepare Escovitch, I do so with a sense of gratitude and reverence for the traditions and memories that have been passed down to me. It is a dish that not only nourishes the body but also feeds the soul, connecting me to my past and the wonderful people who have influenced my culinary journey. And for that, I am eternally grateful.


| Carrot Recipes | Green Bell Pepper Recipes | Jamaican Meat Dishes | Jamaican Recipes | Onion Recipes | Red Snapper Recipes | White Wine Vinegar Recipes |

Recipes with the same ingredients