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Steamed Fish with Okras

by JJ Gumbs

So it's Mother's Day! Happy Mother's Day!

Everyday should be Mother's Day, but we're grateful for this designated day, because we do get so busy sometimes we forget to pamper our mothers. Mothers are God's gift to the world. When we’re young they read bedtime stories to us, darn our tattered socks, launder our soiled clothes, and a myriad of other things, including cooking our meals even when we are not so young.

So, since this day has been set apart for all mothers, it now gives us an opportunity to make up for all the other times we did not show our moms the love and attention we know she deserves. But what can you cook for Mom? You would like to cook something special for your mother that is not only delicious, but healthy. Also something you know she will love. Well how about some steamed fish with okra? Yummy! Mom loves fish. But you've never cooked fish before.

Not to worry, we're here to help you prepare the most delicious steamed fish you will ever taste in your life. Your mom will not only love the entree, she will love the delicious sides of steamed veggies and the glass of chardonnay you will serve with it to give your Mom the best Mother's Day dinner she's ever had. And don't forget the fruit cocktail for dessert. But that you can buy at your favourite food store.

Here then is the recipe for steamed fish with okras served with Jamaican water crackers and steamed veggies.


2 medium sized fishes (already scaled, gutted and cleaned)

1 bowl of water

1/2 cup of water

1/2 cup vinegar

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup of chopped escallion

1 large onion (chop 1/2 finely, and the other 1/2 in thin rings)

1 scotch bonnet pepper, chopped fine

3 cloves of garlic, chopped finely

3 bell peppers (different colors)

1 tbsp fresh rosemary

1 tsp fresh ginger, chopped fine

1 cup cherry tomatoes

1 cup broccoli

1 cup of trimmed okras

1 cup string / green beans

1 cup baby carrots

1 bag of Jamaican water crackers

1 stick of margarine

2 - 3 tbsps olive oil

3 tbsps pineapple juice


Pour vinegar in the bowl of water and place fishes in it. Rinse well, then dry with a paper towel.

Using a sharp knife, make two diagonal slits on both sides of fishes--not too deep.

Combine 1/2 garlic mixture, with ginger, 1/2 escallion, and rosemary.

Sprinkle over fishes and rub into the flesh then place in fish cavities.

Set aside.

Place medium-size skillet with 1/8 cup of water on low flame

Place fishes (head to tail) inside the skillet.

Add 1/4 of the margarine in the fish cavities.

Place the onion rings, 1/2 the bell peppers, 1/2 scotch bonnet pepper, and 1/2 the margarine on top of fishes.

Cover pot and allow to steam -- approx. 10 - 15 minutes

Pour margarine mixture over fishes as they cook.

While fishes are steaming:

Place okras in another skillet, with remainder of water and remainder of escallion and margarine over medium heat.

Saute until okra is bright green, but still firm

Pour margarine and escallion mixture over okra as it cooks -- approx. 10 minutes.

When done, remove escallion, before pouring okras over fishes.

Add crackers.

For steamed vegetables:


Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit

Toss bell peppers peppers, onions, tomatoes, broccoli, string beans and baby carrots

Drizzle with olive oil and pineapple juice.

Add garlic, salt, scotch bonnet pepper, onions and rosemary.

Toss again, then place veggies in a baking pan according to preference (for color coordination, you can place tomatoes between broccoli and string beans. Then add bell peppers with onions evenly spread over them.

Top with remainder of seasoning and place in the oven.

Bake for 15 minutes or until broccoli and carrots are done. Doneness is relative to taste.

Serve fishes in Mom's favourite dish with steamed veggies on the side.

The whole process including preparation takes approximately 30 - 45 minutes.

Happy Mother's Day!

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