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Jamaican Fried Snapper Recipe

This fried snapper dish is a traditional Jamaican fish recipe called “escovitch.” My grandmother made it the day before church so we could serve it on the big potluck table after the service.

jamaican fried fish escovitch recipe

Jamaican Fried Snapper is a popular dish in Jamaica that is made with fresh snapper, which is marinated in a mixture of herbs and spices, then fried until crispy and golden brown. Here’s a recipe to make Jamaican Fried Snapper at home:


  • 1 whole snapper, scaled and cleaned
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
  • Vegetable oil for frying


  1. Rinse the snapper thoroughly and pat it dry with paper towels.
  2. Using a sharp knife, make three diagonal cuts on each side of the fish, and then season it with salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme, paprika, and cayenne pepper.
  3. Rub the seasoning mixture all over the fish, making sure to get it into the cuts as well.
  4. Allow the fish to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, or overnight if possible.
  5. Heat vegetable oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.
  6. Dredge the fish in flour, shaking off any excess, and then carefully place it in the hot oil.
  7. Fry the fish for about 6-8 minutes on each side, or until it is golden brown and crispy.
  8. Once the fish is fully cooked, remove it from the oil and place it on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil.
  9. Serve the Jamaican Fried Snapper hot with your favorite side dishes, such as rice and peas, plantains, or a fresh green salad.

Enjoy your delicious Jamaican Fried Snapper!

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