Prepare the fish by scaling, gutting and washing thoroughly in lime or vinegar water. (Go check out my YouTube Video to learn how to scale and clean fish at home!)
Drain all the liquid from the fish and pat them dry with thick paper towel.
Season the fish with salt and black pepper.
Wash and prep the fresh seasoning and vegetables then set aside.
Wash and prep the okra then set aside in a separate bowl.
In a large, wide skillet, heat the cooking oil on medium-heat for 1 minute.
Add the curry powder and stir with a large wooden spoon for 1 minute.
Add the diced pumpkin, chopped onions, garlic, thyme, pimento, scotch bonnet, bell peppers, carrots and irish potato, then cover the pot and let them cook on medium-high heat for 2 minutes.
Do not add the okras at this point. The okras are added later on in the recipe.
Use a large spoon to spread the sautéed vegetables and seasonings evenly in the pot to form a 'bed' for the fish. Add the butter to the center of the pot and let it melt.
Use tongs to lay the fish side by side on the bed of seasoning and vegetables, then add ½ cup coconut milk. Cover the pot to let the fish steam on medium heat for 2-3 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine the dried and powdered ingredients listed above for the 'Steam Fish Seasoning Mix'. (This 'made from scratch' Steam Fish seasoning gives you a healthy and flavourful MSG-free dish.) If you have a packaged 'fish tea soup mix' that does not contain MSG, you may use it instead of this mix.
Sprinkle the 'steam fish mix' evenly over all the fish.
Add a ¼ - ½ cup of water to the pot, cover it and let the fish steam for 5 minutes.
Stay close to the pot during the cooking process and keep the heat between medium and medium-low.
After 5 minutes, spoon the hot liquid in the pot over the top of the fish, to help cook the fish evenly. (Go check out my YouTube video for a demonstration of this technique.)
Cover the pot and let the fish steam for 10 minutes more.
Check the pot every 3-5 minutes to ensure the liquid hasn’t dried out.
When the liquid runs low, add another ¼ cup of water and lower the heat.
After about 10 minutes, add the okra and crackers to the pot and spoon some of the liquid in the pot over them. Cover the pot and steam for 5 minutes.
Total cooking time is approximately 30 minutes depending on the size of the fish. If you use sliced Kingfish, the fish will cook sooner.
Stick a fork in the center of the fish to test if it is completely cooked. The fish is fully cooked when the flesh is 'white' all the way down to the bone.
Serve your delicious Jamaican Steam Fish with your choice of rice, ground provisions, bammy or festivals.
Bless up & enjoy it!
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