Jamaican Escovitch Fish and Festival with Pickle Sauce

1 Mins read
Scroll to recipe

Chef Samantha George cracked the code on how to make the perfect Hellshire Escovitch Fish and Festival Jamaican Style. Check out the recipe below and be sure to follow Chef Sam on social media for more tasty recipes.

Escovitch Fish and Festival with Pickle Sauce

Escovitch Fish and Festival with Pickle Sauce



  • Mixing Bowl

  • Skillet

  • Stove


  • 1 large fish (dressed and thawed)

  • salt

  • black pepper

  • garlic powder

  • vegetable oil

  • 1 medium onion

  • 1 small carrot

  • 1 medium turnip

  • 3 stalks escallion

  • 1 green scotch bonnet

  • 1/2 cup vinegar

  • 1/2 tsp pimento

  • Festival

  • 2 cups all purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup refined cornmeal

  • 3 tbsp sugar

  • 3 tsp baking powder

  • 3/4 tsp salt

  • 1 pinch of nutmeg

  • 1 cup water

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla



Make Festival Dough

Sift all festival ingredients into a mixing bowl.
Mix water and vanilla, then Pour in half the liquid mixture into the flour mixture and mix till it all comes together, while adding small amounts of water as necessary.
Knead for 10 minutes to develop gluten in the dough. The dough should be supple and elastic, not stiff and dry.

Make Escoveitch Sauce (Pickle)

Cover with damp cloth or plastic wrap and let rest for at least 30 minutes before shaping and frying.
Julienne vegetables, onions and pepper and place into a bowl.
Add aromatics and vinegar to it and stir.
Place contents into a large jar and cover. Can be eaten immediately or left at room temperature to marinate overnight.

Fry Fish

Bring a skillet large enough to hold your fish to high heat.
While the pot is heating up, use a paper towel to dab fish to remove excess moisture.
Make three scores on each side of fish with a sharp knife.
Generously season the inside and outside of the fish with salt. Sprinkle on onion powder and black pepper.
Set aside momentarily for frying.
Pour in enough vegetable oil to shallow fry the fish. Let the oil come up in temperature.
When the oil is searing hot, gently lay the fish tail in hand down and away from you into the hot oil so as to avoid hot oil from splashing up on you. You should hear a lot of sizzling.
Let the fish fry and crisp up for about 5-8 minutes on that side. Then use a spatula and a tong to gently flip to the other uncooked side for another 5-8 minutes.
Once fish is just cooked through remove from oil and set aside on a cookie wrack to drain excess oil.
Be careful not to overcook your fish as the flesh will become too dry and rubbery.
You may keep fish warm in your oven on the lowest temperature, until you festivals are done frying.

Making Fry Festivals

Bring the same pan the fish was fried in back up to medium heat.
Add more oil if needed to almost submerge the festivals for deep frying.
Oil your hands then divide the dough into golf ball sizes then roll them lengthwise.
Take the log shaped dough and flatten them a bit.
Place them gently into the hot oil, one after the other, and let them fry over reduced heat. Be careful not to over crowd the pan.
You should see air pockets forming on the surface of the festival dumplings.
Keep stirring them occasionally to ensure they are cooked from all the sides and they have turned golden brown.
Take them out and let them rest of a metal wrack to drain excess oil.
Serve them hot with your Escoveitch Fish and slices of sweet pineapples! DO Enjoy!
427 posts

About author
Browse the best collection of Jamaican recipes from around the web by local and international chefs.
You may also like

Pineapple Ginger Brown Sugar Glazed Christmas Ham

3 hours Cook
Get ready to transform your holiday feast into a culinary spectacle with Jacqui Tyson’s Pineapple Ginger Brown Sugar Glazed Christmas Ham. Infused… Save Please login to bookmark Username or Email Address Password Remember Me

Sunvalley Jerk Festive Oxtail

1 Mins read
Embark on a flavor-packed journey with the Sunvalley Jerk Festive Oxtail recipe, a culinary masterpiece that will tantalize your taste buds and… Save Please login to bookmark Username or Email Address Password Remember Me

Coconut Buttermilk Ranch Basa Fish Fillet

1 Mins read
Try this Coconut Buttermilk Ranch Basa Fish Fillet served with Jamaican Bammy on the side by Chef Deandra Younsang. Save Please login to bookmark Username or Email Address Password Remember Me

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *