Caribbean Fish Bowl

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Last Updated on May 20, 2020 by Chef Mireille

Caribbean Fish Bowl

Caribbean Fish Bowl is a complete meal with healthy steamed fish, sauteed cabbage, fried plantain and creamy funchi (Caribbean style polenta)

Caribbean Fish Bowl recipe with steamed fish, sauteed cabbage, fried plantain and creamy funchi (Caribbean style polenta)

What people think is Caribbean food when they visit resorts and other establishments that cater to tourists bear little resemblance to the food we eat at home.

Coconut Shrimp and Mango Salmon is not the type of food we eat at home. This is a homestyle Caribbean meal in a bowl. The only difference I made to make the bowl a little healthier is to steam the fish instead of frying it, which would be a more traditional presentation.

The base of this Caribbean Fish Bowl is Caribbean style polenta.

Caribbean Style Polenta

What the rest of the world calls polenta translates into different names on different Caribbean islands. This savory cornmeal porridge was brought to the Caribbean by the African slaves. This is basically our version of African pap or ugali. In Africa, there are many names for this porridge including sadza, kwon, nshima and obusama. In Africa, it can be made from a variety of grains including cassava, millet and sorghum.

In the Caribbean, we only use cornmeal. I have already presented to you the Bajan version known as Coo Coo and the fancy holiday version we eat in Aruba (My mom’s home country) known as tutu. In Antigua and Barbuda, it is known as fungee.

Fish Bowl LR 5

…a little history

Today, it is Antillean funchi. Some of the islands of the Dutch Caribbean, formerly known as the Netherland Antilles until 2010, have a common cuisine known as Antillean cuisine, though there are slight variations from island to island. The three largest islands are Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire, collectively known as the ABC islands or the Leeward Antilles..

The Netherland Antilles also included the SSS islands, aka as the Leeward Islands. This includes barely populated Saba and St. Eustatius as well as the southern part of St. Maarten. The northern part of the island of St. Martin is French.

When Caribbean people refer to Antillean cuisine, they are referring to the cuisine of the Leeward Antilles, or the ABC islands. Funchi is our basic cornmeal porridge, which is often eaten with fish, like this Caribbean Fish Stew.

I did make the funchi a little creamier than is traditional, since I did not make a sauce to go with the fish, which is more common. Without sauce, this creamy funchi did not need it. If you would like it firmer, you can easily reduce the amount of liquid used.

Fish Bowl LR 4

Let’s go over some of the particulars of creating this bowl.

Green Seasoning is the all purpose condiment used to season Caribbean food. As the name suggests, it is a combination of green herbs, garlic, onion and a few other spices. You can find it ready made in Caribbean markets or markets with good International aisles or you can try making it yourself with this recipe.

Really any green condiment can be used like sofrito or chimichurri. Whichever is easiest to source or make, use that one!

The most common vegetable eaten in the Caribbean is cabbage. This fish bowl includes our basic Cabbage Saute, which is served with most meals.

Fish Bowl LR 3

Fried Ripe Plantain is also another common side dish, served with most meals.

Let’s see what else is included to make our Caribbean Fish Bowl

  • Steamed Fish
  • Funchi
  • Fried Plantain
  • Sauteed Cabbage



This is such a healthy no guilt bowl of delicious Caribbean flavors – who can resist!

First start with your base of creamy funchi on the bottom.

Fish Bowl LR 6

Then add everything else on top!

Fish Bowl LR 2
Caribbean Fish Bowl recipe
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Caribbean Fish Bowl

Caribbean Fish Bowl with sauteed cabbage, fried plantain and creamy funchi (Caribbean polenta) is a healthy meal in a bowl!
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Course: Fish
Cuisine: Caribbean
Servings: 4 people


Fish Ingredients:

  • 4 fish steaks about 8 oz. each
  • salt to taste
  • 2/3 cup Green Seasoning
  • ½ scotch bonnet pepper sliced
  • slices of lime
  • sprigs of fresh thyme
  • stalks of parsley

Creamy Funchi Ingredients:

  • 13.5 oz. can coconut milk
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Cabbage Saute Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • ½ Scotch Bonnet pepper finely chopped
  • 1 thinly sliced onion
  • 1 sliced bell pepper
  • 5 cups sliced cabbage
  • sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 grated carrot
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

Fried Plantain Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe plantain skin should be at least 50% black
  • Oil for frying


Caribbean Steamed Fish:

  • Sprinkle the fish with salt.
  • Toss the fish with the green seasoning. Leave to marinate for at least 15 minutes.
  • In the bottom of a steamer, place the lime slices, scotch bonnet, thyme and parsley.
  • Place the fish on top.
  • Add a few more sprigs of thyme and parsley on top.
  • Cover the steamer and steam for 20 minutes, until fish flakes.

Creamy Funchi:

  • Bring coconut milk, 3 cups water and salt to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to low and slowly add cornmeal a little at a time, whisking well after each addition to avoid lumps.
  • Continue to cook on low heat, stirring frequently, until funchi is thickened, about 15 minutes.
  • Add butter and mix to combine.

Cabbage Saute:

  • In a large pot, heat oil.
  • Add scotch bonnet, onion and bell pepper.
  • Saute on high heat until the onion and peppers start to turn golden.
  • Add cabbage and thyme. Toss to combine.
  • Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add carrot, salt and pepper.
  • Saute for another 5 minutes.
  • Add parsley. Stir to combine.

Fried Plantain:

  • Peel the plantain and slice into 1” pieces.
  • Heat enough oil for shallow frying.
  • Place the plantain in the hot oil and fry until golden brown on both sides.
  • Drain on paper towels to absorb excess oil.


Any firm white fleshed fish can be used. Cod was used in this version.
Sofrito or Chimichurri can also be used instead of the Green Seasoning for the marinade.
Did you try this recipe? Leave a comment below.Please follow me on Instagram @chefmireille or tag me #chefmireille with your pics! I’d love to share them!

Ready to make Caribbean Fish Bowl ? – I would love to see your pics! Tag me on Instagram @chefmireille #theschizochef with your delicious photos!


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Reader Interactions


  1. A perfectly balanced bowl, with proteins, carbs and veggies. I love Ugali so am sure would love creamy funchi. The addition of coconut milk must be making it taste awesome.

    • In the Caribbean, we always have fried ripe plantain with savory food. It is eaten in the same bite with all the savories and works to create a multi faceted balanced bite every time 🙂

  2. Wow! What a wonderful combination of dishes. You have assembled an amazing Caribbean thali in a bowl. Each dish sounds so yum and the combination would create so many textures and flavours in a single spoon.

    • absolutely – that is what is so great about Caribbean food – amazingly complex and delicious flavors in every bite when you combine the different dishes together! – Love how you compared it to a thali!

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