Natalie's Trinidadian fish stew

Natalie's Trinidadian fish stew

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(22 ratings)

Ready in 40 minutes, plus 1 hour marinating


Serves 2
This dish of Caribbean sunshine is perfect for sharing with friend - make sure you marinate the fish in lemon and lime to get a really zingy taste

Nutrition and extra info

  • Easily doubled


  • kcal388
  • fat19g
  • saturates2g
  • carbs17g
  • sugars5g
  • fibre2g
  • protein35g
  • salt0.31g
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  • 2 limes, juice and grated zest of 1, the other halved for serving



    The same shape, but smaller than…

  • 1 skinned white fish fillets, such as cod or hoki, about 175-200g/6-8oz each
  • 2 lemons, juice only



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

  • 2 x 15g packets fresh thyme (you need a lot for the aroma)


    This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…

  • ¼ tsp white pepper



    Also known as capsicums, bell peppers, sweet peppers or by their colours, for example red and…

  • 1 tbsp dark rum
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, cut into thin rings



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • a handful of fresh coriander, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 beefsteak or 3 normal tomatoes, sliced



    A member of the nightshade family (along with aubergines, peppers and chillies), tomatoes are in…

  • 2 tsp dark muscovado sugar
  • shake of Angostura bitters, optional
  • basmati rice or boiled potatoes and steamed vegetables, to serve


  1. Pour the juice and scatter the zest of the first lime into a shallow dish big enough to fit the fish in one layer. Swirl the juice around so it covers the entire surface of the dish. Lay the fish on top and pour over the lemon juice.

  2. Strip the thyme leaves off the stalks and crush them with a pinch of salt and the white pepper using a pestle and mortar to make a rough paste. Tip the thyme paste over the fish and gently massage it in, taking care not to break up the flesh at all. Pour the rum over and give it one last rub. Cover and leave to marinate out of the fridge for about 1 hour.

  3. Heat the oil in a wide shallow pan with a lid. Throw in the onion rings and cook for 4-5 minutes until they begin to soften. Tip the coriander, garlic, tomato slices and sugar in with the onions, stir and cook for about 3-4 minutes until the tomatoes begin to release their juices and everything smells sweet.

  4. Lift the fish from its marinade and nestle it in the pan among the onions and tomatoes. Pour over the marinade, 3 tbsp of water and the Angostura bitters, if you are using it.

  5. Cover the pan and gently cook for 6-8 minutes until the fish flakes easily and the onions are softened but still have some bite to them. Season with salt and pepper. The authentic Trinidadian dish is tangy-sweet with lots of thyme flavour and very limey, so taste the sauce and if you want more tang, squeeze over the remaining lime. Serve with basmati rice or boiled potatoes and steamed vegetables.

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Comments, questions and tips

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10th Aug, 2019
V tasty & easy to make. Ended up using double quantity of marinade to ensure all fish soaked & gave great limey flavour
24th Feb, 2017
Served with baked plantains and also added a chilli for some heat. Yummy but my friend complained about there not being enough cod...
7th Mar, 2012
Ting a ling knife and fork fight the plate on this one
10th Jul, 2011
Cooked this last night ansd we really enjoyed it but definitly needs potatoes to go with it as it's not really filling by itself. Also made Sly's Honey Mule cocktail, which was AMAZING!!
17th Mar, 2011
Gorgeous, had with hot and spicy sweet potatoes and green beans, definitely a keeper!
23rd Jan, 2011
The first time I cooked this dish, it was far too acidic for my liking, with the lemon and lime flavours overwhelming everything else. I have since cooked it again, but this time I used a single lime and a single lemon, compensating with 5 tbsp of water instead of 3. This was much better and I will cook this again!
5th Jun, 2010
Served it with hot and spicy sweet potatoes and green beans. Loved it. I used much less sugar than the recipe said and only 1 lime. Didn't seem to need anymore.
14th Apr, 2010
Delicious, will definitely cook again.
12th Apr, 2010
I made this for monday supper, l used lemon instead of lime and half a tin of chopped tomatoes. I did it for my husband and me we found it was really lovely definately do it again.
31st Mar, 2010
It was nice but it definitely needs some side dishes as it's not filling enough as a main course by itself.


6th Feb, 2020
I've just realised I have no thyme! Can I substitute with a different herb?
goodfoodteam's picture
10th Feb, 2020
Hello, thanks for your question. You could try using fresh oregano, this is the closest herb in texture and flavour.
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