A quick, comforting pepper fish stew with fresh corn, creamy potatoes, and yellow yam chunks in a refreshing cilantro, lime, and jalapeno broth.
Feels Like Home: Pepper Fish Soup
The broth in this pepper fish stew is so flavorful with its fresh herbs, peppers, and citrus juice. It's tasty, super easy, and quick to make, so I plan to make this more often. It’s also a one-pot meal with everything I love, and reminds me of home.
I remember sitting in my grandma’s kitchen while she cooked a big pot of grouper and potato soup. She lived in the Bahamas for a few years and picked up their Bahamian Boiled Fish recipe.
Bahamian Boiled Fish
I recall a dish that contained chunky white potatoes and meaty grouper with a broth made from the thick bones of the fish. The broth had a peppery kick with loose dark thyme leaves pleasantly floating. Also, my grandma was a huge seafood person, and I witnessed her drying her fish and cooking whole fish or crab at least twice a week.
I love fish so much that I wanted to become a Poissonnier, the fish chef, like Eric Ripert! A chef dedicated to cooking such a slice of delicate meat that some hate due to bad experiences and wanted to make it right! But life happened, and that route didn’t. Hahaha. Psst... this is my blog's first post! Okay, let's continue.
If you are a big fan of fish dishes, you must try my most popular dish, Air Fryer Branzino with Lemon Potatoes and Vegetables recipe. And if you love Korean instant ramen, aka ramyeon, then Sweet and Spicy Seafood Neoguri with Mushrooms, Spinach, and Fried Egg will be just right for you!
- White or Yellow Yam
- Yukon Gold Potatoes
- Vegetable or Fish Broth
- Garlic Cloves
- Ground Cumin
- Fresh Corn
- Meaty White Fish Fillets (Snapper, Grouper, Tilapia or Cod)
See the Pepper Fish Yam Stew recipe card for quantities.
Busy Folks: Become a better home cook with tips to help you cook more efficiently on Cook's Notebook tab. You'll also find more detailed steps for the instructions above.
- Yam - If you have trouble finding some at your local market, try yuca or double the potatoes.
- Jalapeno - Use chili peppers according to your heat preference. Also, you can try Serrano or Habenero. In addition, the white flesh, the pith, of the jalapeno holds the heat. You can either remove the pith and seeds or leave them in to control the heat level to your preference. You can learn about food pairings of Chili Pepper and the Scoville Scale under the Notebook tab.
- Vegetarian - Omit the fish and fish broth. Instead, use vegetable broth and add your favorite tropical tubers. I highly suggest mixing yam, Yukon potatoes, and Boniato. Boniato is a sweet yam popular in the Caribbean—the taste profile will be complete with peppers and sweet corn.
- Restricted Diets- This dish is gluten-free, egg-free, and dairy-free.
Chili Pepper Substitutions
Here are a few complimenting Peppers for the Fish Pepper Stew recipe, in order from mild to hot.
- Green Anaheim - New Mexican, should be roasted and peeled before use, giving a smoky characteristic. It has heat but is milder than poblanos but not as hot as serranos. Tricky: when you find a hot one, they can be hotter than poblanos. So much fun! Sigh.
- Poblano - ancho is bigger but not as hot, milder with a great flavor
- Serrano - hotter than jalapenos and smaller in size
- Habanero - a super hot chili with a distinctive flavor; I would combine this with poblano peppers. *Habenero peppers might change the taste of this recipe a little, so only use it if you are used to eating this pepper and know the flavor outcome.
- Chicken - Replace the fish broth with low-sodium chicken broth. Add an 8 to 10-ounce chicken breast with the tubers and simmer until cooked with an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, remove the chicken and let it rest for 5 minutes. Then shred. Add back to the soup when you add the blended herb mixture.
- Kid-friendly - keep an eye on the chili pepper amount - serve based on your family's heat tolerance.
- Large Dutch Oven - to cook the pepper fish stew. Dutch ovens are great for soups, especially enameled cast iron ones, like the Lodge 6 Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven with Lid. For example, this is great for even cooking and versatility - they can go in the oven.
- Food Processor - to blend the herbs, peppers, and garlic. I use the KitchenAid 3.5 Cup Food Chopper, especially for quickly chopping herbs to make green seasoning blends like in this recipe to boost the flavor of your meals.
- Refrigerator - To store in the fridge, place in a 2-inch shallow pan to cool down quickly. Then, store in an air-tight sealing container. The soup will last for up to four days.
- Freezer - I do not recommend freezing this soup since it will change the texture of the potatoes and yams due to ice crystals forming when the moisture in the vegetables and soup expands during the freezing process.
Fish Stew Cooking tip
Prevent Overcooking - Add the fish last, as the fish pepper stew recipe instructs to prevent the fish from overcooking. Varies fish cook for various amounts of time, but the rule of thumb is about 3 to 6 minutes for large chunks of fish in simmering liquid.
Frequently Asked Questions
The yellow and white yam is native to Africa. This tuber mostly comes in a cylinder shape with rough brown and stringy skin. The interior can also be white or yellow, with slightly different tastes.
You will mostly find this tuber in West Indie, Caribbean, Latin or African markets. You might also be lucky to find it at a big chain supermarket.
When selecting the yam, pick one free of rotten spots and firm to the touch with no flesh cracks. In addition, if the yam is already presented cut (some stores will cut it into 6-inch pieces), be sure not to buy the end pieces may be more bitter.
Uncut yams can be stored in a cool, dry place for a long. Refrigerating yam can cause changes to the starch, which will eventually change the taste and is not recommended. Use a sharp knife, not a peeler, since the skin is thick. Also, oxidation may occur within a few minutes of being cut, just like a potato.
Looking for seafood recipes like this? Try these:
Looking for seafood recipes like this? Try these:
- Cook chicken to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C).
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food that previously touched raw meat to prevent foodborne illness from contaminated uncooked meats.
- Wash hands after touching raw meat to prevent cross-contamination.
- Don't leave food at room temperature for extended periods; this can breed bacteria.
- Never leave cooking food unattended to prevent burns and fires.
- Use oils with a high smoke point to avoid harmful compounds.
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
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