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Caribbean Jerk Fish Bowls make a filling and flavorful dinner. Fresh Caribbean jerk seasoned fish tops a tomato sauce mixture served with quinoa and pan fried plantains. 

A white bowl with Caribbean Jerk Fish, quinoa, tomato sauce, and fried plantains topped with chilies on a blue counter.

WHAT IS A CARIBBEAN JERK FISH BOWL

These flavor packed bowls contain Caribbean Jerk seasoned fish, a fresh tomato sauce, fluffy quinoa, and and fried plantains. Their name comes from the jerk seasoning used to flavor the fish. 

WHERE DID JERK COME FROM?

Jerk is a style of cooking that originated in the Caribbean, specifically in Jamaica. It refers to the method of rubbing meat with a hot spice mixture and then cooking the meat over an open flame for a long period of time to dry out the meat. 

Now days we use the word jerk to refer to the seasoning used on the meat being cooked. There are many different styles of jerk seasoning but they can all mostly be described as having a hot and savory flavor. 

WHY WE LOVE THIS RECIPE

I love this recipe because it was inspired by a similar street food I used to eat growing up in Africa. The dish was a grilled red snapper served with a spicy street tomato sauce and a side of attiéké, similar to couscous. Every bite of this Caribbean Jerk Fish Bowl reminds me of this dish.

This flavorful dinner recipe makes a complete and balanced meal. Carbs, protein, vegetables, and fruit come together in these jerk fish bowls. Not to mention, this complete meal comes together in about 40 minutes making it a quick dinner recipe for your busy weeknights. 

Also, try making this recipe as a quick meal prep for lunches. Simply portion the fish, quinoa, tomato sauce, and plantains into your meal prep containers to get some of your lunches covered for the week. 

HOW TO MAKE CARIBBEAN JERK FISH BOWLS

INGREDIENTS

Seasoned Fish– fresh mahi mahi is seasoned with Caribbean Jerk Spice, cumin, olive oil, and lemon for a hot and savory flavor. 

Tomato Sauce– fresh sliced tomatoes, onion, tomato paste, and olive oil complete this simple tomato sauce.

Sides– quinoa, plantains, and chili peppers top off this filling dish!

STEPS

Begin by making the quinoa. To prepare the quinoa bring 2 cups of water to boil in a sauce pan, add 3/4 tsp salt and 2 tsp of olive oil to the water and bring to a boil. When the water is at a boil, add the quinoa and let it cook until the water goes down a bit. 

Cover and simmer on low for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and give it a stir. Allow the quinoa to rest, covered, until ready to serve.

While the quinoa cooks you can prepare the plantains. Peel and slice the plantains in a diagonal cut called a bias, this allows you to have longer wider cuts. Fry the sliced plantains in a non-stick skillet and lay on a paper towel to drain until ready to assemble your bowls.

Next, prepare the tomato sauce. Begin by thinly slicing the onion and the tomatoes. In a non-stick skillet heat 2 tsp olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and caramelize. Next add the tomatoes, tomato paste, and salt. Let them cook on low heat, covered until the sauce thickens up. This should take about 5-7 minutes. 

Marinated mahi mahi fillets on a wooden counter.

To prepare the Caribbean Jerk Fish, pat the fish dry with a paper towel and marinate with the jerk spice, olive oil, cumin, and lemon. Heat a large non-stick skillet, at least 12-inches or large enough to fit the 4 fish. Pan sear the fish on medium heat for 5-7 minutes per side until fully cooked.

To assemble your bowls, place quinoa, plantains, and some of the tomato sauce around the bowl. Top the tomato sauce with your jerk fish and garnish with chili peppers as needed. 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHAT IS CARIBBEAN JERK SPICE?

While there is no one specific recipe for jerk seasoning it typically includes a mix of flavors from chilies, thyme, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, garlic, and onion.

I used a pre-made Caribbean jerk spice that you can get at your local grocery store, or you can make your own. Check out my Sauces and Seasonings Board on Pinterest for some easy homemade jerk seasoning recipes. 

CAN YOU USE OTHER FISH IN THE RECIPE?

While I used Mahi Mahi in this Caribbean Jerk Fish Bowl recipe. If you can’t find Mahi Mahi at the store, cod, red snapper fillet, sea bass, tilapia, and really any white fish should work fine.

WHY SHOULD I RINSE THE QUINOA?

Quinoa naturally contains a coating called saponin. This coating gives the quinoa a bitter and soapy flavor. By rinsing the quinoa you are removing the saponin and thus removing the bitter flavor. Many packaged quinoas typically come pre-rinsed but it never hurts to give it a second rinse. 

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OTHER SIMILAR RECIPES

5 from 2 votes

Caribbean Jerk Fish Bowl

Caribbean jerk seasoned fish top a flavorful tomato sauce and are served with fresh quinoa and fried plantains in this filling recipe.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

Quinoa

  • ½c. Quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 c. Water
  • ¾ tsp. Salt
  • 2 tsp. Olive Oil

Tomato Sauce

  • 1 Small Onion, sliced
  • 2 Large Tomatoes, sliced
  • ¾ tsp. Salt
  • 2 tsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Tomato Paste

Caribbean Jerk Fish

  • 4- 8 oz Mahi Mahi Fillets
  • 2 Tbsp. Caribbean Jerk Spice
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • ½ tsp. Cumin
  • ½ Lemon, juiced

Sides

  • 2 Large Plantains, peeled, slice, fried
  • Fresh Chili Pepper

Instructions 

  • To prepare the quinoa, bring 2 cups of water to boil in a medium sized sauce pan. Add in salt and oil and bring to a boil. Once boiling add the rinsed quinoa and cook until the water goes down a little. Next, cover the and reduce to a low simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, stir then cover until you are ready to serve.
  • To prepare the plantain peel and slice the plantains length wise in a bias cut. Fry the slices in a pan and then move to a paper towel to drain.
  • To prepare the sauce, slice the onion and the tomatoes. In a non-stick skillet heat the oil over medium heat and caramelize the onions. Then add the tomatoes, tomato past, and salt. Let them cook on low heat until the sauce thickens up. This should take about 5-7 minutes.
  • For the fish, pat them dry with a paper towel and marinate them with the Caribbean jerk seasoning, cumin, olive oil, and lemon juice. Heat a large 12 inch non-stick skillet over medium heat. Place the fish fillets in the skillet and pan sear for 5-7 minutes on each side until fully cooked.
  • Assemble the bowls and garnish with fresh chili peppers as desired.

Notes

In place of Mahi Mahi you could also use cod, red snapper, sea bass, tilapia, or other white fish. 

Nutrition

Calories: 278kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 42g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 166mg | Sodium: 953mg | Potassium: 1011mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 465IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 3mg
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5 from 2 votes (1 rating without comment)

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4 Comments

  1. This helped me so much because my mom is at work a lot and I don’t know how to cook. So this really helped me. Thank you so much for making this.