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Sip It up...for the New Year #41
December 31, 2007

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Sip It Up

Since we will celebrate the last day of the holiday season, New Years’ Day, it is only fitting to wish you a Happy New Year and hope you will be successful in all your endeavors for the coming year…Nuff Success. Yah Mon!

And, I hope you made your Jamaican Christmas Cake and drink lots and lots of sorrel and, or eggnog. The holiday season is the time to ‘eat till you belly buss’ and then some, you know what I mean.

Anyway, I usually encourage you to make our traditional New Years’ Day soup (Gungo Peas) because it is not only delicious, but it is also a change of pace out of the Christmas season; a kind of finality to merry making and a fresh start to future good times, at least for a year.

However, I am going to ask you to change from the traditional New Years’ Day dish to one of our basic fish dinner. Even though you might not try this tomorrow, you may want to include it some time this week in your Jamaican cooking.

Before I get to that though, I am going to be the bearer of some not-so-good-news for the coming New Year. I will have to postpone the twenty-four hours emergency cooking help for the coming year. I will let you know when Mavis and I will resume this service in the future.

That said, we Jamaicans have been at the forefront in the English-speaking Caribbean when it comes to creating new foods and naming them, too. Of course, this is not an attempt to upstage our fellow islanders, but over the years, I have noticed that Jamaica has created, or recreated, some of our basic dishes through either renaming or changing some ingredients.

One such dish with which I am fascinated is the Jamaican Steamed Fish. A traditional healthy alternative to the fried fish, this is the choice for all ‘article dons’ and the like, if you will.

So, enjoy this little variation on steamed fish for the New Year, cool?

Sip It Up

2 lb. fish (Cleaned)

1 cho cho (Christophene) ( thinly sliced)

2 carrots (thinly sliced)

1 sprig thyme


4 Okras

Black Pepper

¼ Scotch Bonnet Pepper


Fish Seasoning

Pumpkin (thinly sliced)

Jamaican Water Crackers

Wash and clean the fish with a solution of vinegar and water. Wash the vegetables in cold water. Add enough water to about half the skillet and bring the water to boil. Now put the vegetables, except the okra, and salt into the boiling water. Taste the water to see if you have enough salt in the pot…add salt to taste.

Turn the fire to medium and allow the vegetables to boil until they are soft. Add the okra, fish seasoning, thyme, and butter to the pot.

Allow the ingredients to cook for ten minutes, while stirring the pot to blend in the seasonings. Now, add the fish to the pot, turn the heat just below medium, and allow the fish to simmer. While the fish is simmering, periodically use a spoon to pour the gravy onto the fish…do this for about five minutes. Now cover the pot and wait for another ten minutes.

Remove the pot cover and place the water crackers on top of the fish and around the pot in a circular style. Cover the pot again and wait another three minutes. Reduce the heat to low, and then serve the Sip It Up on a large plate.

Yah Man!


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