Fish Stew


There a few dishes that always make me happy and this is one of them.   There’s something about simple stewed fish that is simply comforting.   Not too fussy, no special ingredients needed here yet it always delivers.   Here’s a little know fact about me—I HATE frying.   I hate bobbing and weaving trying to avoid the hot oil splatters; just this year I was burnt right between my eyebrow and eye by hot oil so I only fry when it’s absolutely worth it.   And this IS worth it.

Yes, I can make stewed fish without frying the fish first, but I highly recommend doing it this way.   Not only does it add flavor but it prevents the delicate flesh of the fish from falling apart as easily as it does when it isn’t fried.   The fish is lightly dusted with flour then fried until its golden brown and crispy then nestled snuggly in a warm tomato sauce that’s simmered with garlic, thyme, ginger and a single bay leaf.   I don’t know about you but I’m salivating.   I used boneless tilapia filet but snapper will be excellent as well.   I hope you enjoy this as much as I do.

Fish Stew

Ingredients for fish

2 lbs Tilapia filets

1 tbsp + 1 tsp salt

1 cup flour

¼ tsp black pepper

juice of one lime

Oil to fry

Ingredients for tomato sauce

1 large onion, finely chopped

6 cloves garlic, crushed

½ tsp crushed ginger

About 10 sprigs thyme

1 bay leaf

½ scotch bonnet pepper, seeds removed

2 vegetable bouillons

2 cups chopped tomatoes

2 tbsp ketchup

2 scallion, finely chopped

2 ½ cups water

1 tbsp canola oil

To fry fish: Place tilapia filets in a large bowl with juice of 1 lime and 1 tbsp of salt.  Allow to sit for 20 minutes, and then rinse will cool water.   In a large place, place flour, 1 tsp salt and black pepper then stir to combine.   In a large frying pan over high heat, add enough canola oil to deep fry the fish.  While oil heats, dredge fish with flour on both sides making sure to shake off the excess.  Place into hot oil and fry until golden brown and crispy.   Set aside.

To make the sauce:  Place canola oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.   Add onion and sautée until soft, about 5 minutes.  Next add garlic, ginger, scotch bonnet pepper, thyme and bay leaf and cook until the garlic and ginger becomes fragrant, about 1 minute.   Add tomato and cook for 10 minutes or until tomatoes begin to soften.  Next add water, vegetable bouillons and ketchup and bring to a boil.    Lower to a simmer and allow to cook for 15 minutes.   When sauce has thickened just a bit, add fried fish.  Turn the heat down to low and cover the pot.  Cook for 3-5 minutes without stirring.   Remove from heat and garnish with chopped scallion.  Serve over hot rice.







  1. September 17, 2012 / 7:50 am

    back in the days… before being vegetarian, I used to love stewed fish. Actually, I have a Tuno Antipasto recipe I make now with vegetarian tuna that started originally as a stewed salmon recipe my mom taught me how to make. I might have to try this with some “vegetarian fish” some day now…

  2. September 17, 2012 / 10:52 am

    This is gorgeous! I love colorful food. Pinning for sure…

  3. September 17, 2012 / 11:47 am


  4. JehanP
    September 17, 2012 / 11:57 am

    Thanks Laura!

  5. September 17, 2012 / 10:22 pm

    Breading the fish is a nice touch! That really helps the liquid from the sauce to stick and soak into the seafood. It’s also funny that you did that technique. We have a cod soup coming up soon with pan fried fish. Next time, we should try breading it to see how it tastes!

  6. JehanP
    September 18, 2012 / 8:43 am

    Hmm..that sounds good, I do love a fish soup! I will be looking out for that.

  7. September 24, 2012 / 7:26 pm

    oh girl! A burn b/w the eyebrows is not cute! Something worse happened to me! I was deep frying some yucca balls when one of them got some air in it and it exploded open. I happen to have my face near the fryer and it popped in my eyes. Burned my eyelid! Thank God I had a hat on or it would have been worse 🙁 In other news, the stew looks great.

  8. JehanP
    September 25, 2012 / 2:07 pm

    Oh no! That sounds awful! Thank God it didn’t cost any damage.

  9. September 25, 2012 / 4:43 pm

    This fish stew looks tasty, I will have to try!

  10. Alice
    October 1, 2012 / 11:51 am

    I made this over the weekend. It was delicious!!! Thanks so much! this is going to be a regular dish at my house.

  11. JehanP
    October 1, 2012 / 4:03 pm

    I’m glad you enjoyed it Alice.

  12. island gyalgoal
    January 1, 2013 / 3:03 am

    this is one of my all time favorite meal that I have been making for some years, but I add a little Apple cider vinegar to give it nice twang

  13. Rashida
    August 7, 2013 / 8:07 am

    Can we use Cod to replace the Tilapia? I have a weird allergy to some fish but some Im not Im still trying to figure it out. I can eat salmon and cod…

  14. JehanP
    August 7, 2013 / 1:50 pm

    Cod would work just fine.

  15. Stephanie
    August 26, 2013 / 9:19 am

    Can’t wait to make this tonight! It looks delicious. You might want to add the lime to the ingredients list though.

  16. JehanP
    August 26, 2013 / 5:50 pm

    Thanks for informing me of my mistake. I’ve updated it.

  17. August 27, 2013 / 3:27 pm

    I made this last night and it was delicious, and super easy to make!

  18. Stephanie
    August 29, 2013 / 2:43 pm

    This was amazing!

  19. Katherine
    April 26, 2015 / 7:15 pm

    Thanks so much for this recipe! 🙂 I made it yesterday for lunch for my friends and everyone loved the taste. I used whole tilapia steaks because I had them in freezer, next time I will use tilapia fillets as they are easier to eat xxx

  20. FXA
    July 9, 2015 / 9:40 pm

    This is a good recipe – have tried many and this is the best.

    One suggestion is to dust flour over fish with a sifter, then pat it down onto the fish. It spreads more evenly and uses less flour.

  21. JehanP
    July 9, 2015 / 9:49 pm

    Thanks for the tip FXA!

  22. melissa
    March 20, 2016 / 7:30 pm

    Yum! Just tried your recipe and it was delish!

  23. Darryle
    June 25, 2016 / 8:36 am

    I have been very sick for month’s and my mom is here in town she has been pleading for me to eat. I showed her this recipe and she made it for me. Well thanks to you and God’s will I finally had a meal. I even enjoyed it the next morning for breakfast thank you so much !!!