Wed | Sep 26, 2018

Delicious Fish Back

Published:Thursday | April 9, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Escoveitched fish bits
Curried fish chunks
Jamaican home style fish tea with flakes of fish from fish back.
Curried fish chunks served with white rice, lettuce and cucumber slices.
Fish bits - pieces of fish left over after slicing. For best results, remove the skin before cutting into chunks for frying.
Fish back

fish backs, providing an affordable and healthy protein source for customers. Their processing plants are located along Slipe Road in Kingston and also at their Montego Bay headquarters.

These fish by-products are from its steaking and filleting programme. The company is focused on utilisation of all of the fish and, as a result, has begun using these by-products in the manufacturing of snapper burgers, fish nuggets, fish stix, and many more ready-to-cook products.

The term fish back is the name given to the fleshy frame of the fish, and is the perfect base for preparing soups, stews and stocks. Many home cooks, restaurateurs and caterers use fish back stock to give food a rich and delicious flavour.

Lyn told Food that word got out about the by-products via staff members who introduced it to customers. "Our customers have been inventive and creative with fish back, showing us that it can also be curried, brown stewed, roasted and deep fried. Fish back, fish bits and fish cuts are all highly nutritious and offer customers a heart-healthy, protein packed option."

At $29 per pound for fish back, $59 per pound for fish bits, $149 per pound for fish cuts and $92 per pound for fish heads, why not try the following recipes this week?

Jamaican Fish Tea

2lbs fish back

2 quarts water

2 doz pimento berries

4-6 cloves garlic, mashed

1 pack Maggi Fish Tea

1 large chocho

2 medium-size carrots

2 medium-size Irish potatoes


1 medium-size carrot


Scotch bonnet pepper for


No salt is necessary as Maggi Fish Tea will provide enough. If you like, you can add a few spinners.


1. Wash fish backs in water with lime and place in your soup pot with water, a few pimento berries and three cloves garlic. Let boil till fish is cooked.

2. Strain and place fish backs on a plate to cool and pour stock back into the pot with the rest of the pimento berries and garlic.

3. Peel and cube potatoes, carrots and chochoes and add to stock. Cover and let boil for 20 minutes then add the pack of Maggi Fish Tea and stir.

4. Remove fish flakes from the fish bones and add flakes to the soup. Lower flame and let simmer, stirring occasionally.

5. Wash scallion, thyme and hot pepper and add when vegetables are tender, then simmer for five more minutes and turn flame off.

Serve in your favourite soup bowls/mugs as a meal on its own or as a starter.

Escoveitch Fish Bits

2lbs fish bits

Salt and black pepper to taste

1/4lb flour

2tsp fish seasoning

1 large onion

2 ripe Scotch bonnet peppers

1/4 cup vinegar

1 medium sized carrot

2doz dried pimento berries

Coconut oil for frying


1. Wash fish bits in water with lime juice and dry in paper towel and set aside.

2. Prepare flour, black pepper and fish seasoning by combining them in a bowl then empty into a Ziploc bag and set aside.

3. Heat oil in a frying pan over high heat.

4. Place the chunks of fish in the bag of flour and thoroughly shake so each piece is covered.

5. Dust off excess flour and drop each piece into hot oil, lowering flame to medium, fry until golden brown and drain on paper towel.

Set aside.

For garnish

n Peel and slice one large onion; two medium-size ripe Scotch bonnet peppers chopped and one small carrot julienned.

n Add all ingredients in a small saucepan with half cup vinegar, add about two dozen dried pimento berries, and steam over low heat for about five minutes.Turn off flame and let cool.

n Arrange fish over a plate of lettuce. Arrange the escoveitched seasoning and serve with bread, bammy or on its own.

Curried Fish Chunks



Black pepper

One ounce fresh ginger

1 sprig scallion, finely


1 medium onion, diced

1 sprig thyme, chopped

1/2 Scotch bonnett pepper

finely chopped

1/4 green sweet pepper, diced

1 clove garlic, peeled and


2tbsp coconut oil

2tbsp turmeric paste

1/2tsp jira

1tsp cumin powder

1 heaped tsp curry powder

2tsp cornstarch


1. Wash fish in lime juice and water. Drain then season with salt and black pepper and set aside.

2. Put all diced and chopped herbs and seasonings in a bowl and set aside. Heat oil and add curry, cumin powder, jira and turmeric paste and sautÈe until blended. You can add two tablespoons water to keep from clumping as you stir.

3. Dilute the cornstarch in three tablespoons water and add to saucepan.

4. Add the herbs and seasonings, stir to prevent lumping and cover. Lower heat and cook for two minutes.

4. Add fish, stir the curry mixture and seasoning thoroughly, lower heat and cook until fish is tender.

Serve over fluffy white rice with your favourite vegetables on the side.