Jamaican Style Steamed Fish with Crackers Image

by Contributed

Steamed fish with crackers is a truly traditional ground roots Jamaican meal. As an island nation, Jamaican cuisine features an abundance of seafood favourites, but this recipe is at the top of most lists. The spicy dish features fresh provisions and a plethora of herbs and seasonings, simmering down to a savoury sauce that is not only delicious, but rumoured to enhance the libido.

Any fish can be used but a firm white salt water fish (traditionally red snapper) is preferable.

However, not just any cracker will do. Excelsior Water crackers; locally known as 'tough crackers,' have been made in Jamaica for over 100 years. The tasty snacks are known for their crispiness as well as their ability to stay fresh through long hot summers and damp hurricane seasons. Their unique texture allows them to absorb liquid without falling apart, thus they are often dipped in coffee and tea.

As a side dish to steamed fish, the crackers take on a texture similar to dumplings as an indescribably delicious delicacy.  One taste and you'll be hooked!

1. In a dish, sprinkle lime juice over fish, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate overnight if possible.

2. Melt 2 tbsp. of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.

3. Lightly sauté onions, bell peppers, and half of the garlic, peppers, ginger, pimento and thyme. 

4. Remove fish from marinade and place in the skillet over vegetables. Reduce heat to low, cover and leave to cook for 10 mins. 

5. Add irish potato and okra.

6. Add the remaining garlic, ginger, pimento, green onions and thyme over fish and remaining 2 tbsp. Butter. Cover again, and cook, basting occasionally, until fish is cooked through, about 10 more minutes.

7. Two minutes before fish is done, add crackers and cover. 

8. Serve while warm.
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