Levi Roots’ Jamaican Coconut Baked Fish Parcels and Wild Rice recipes

“This dish is easy,” says legendary musician and expert chef Levi Roots. “You don’t have to do any basting or turning, just make the parcels up and leave them to become delicious.” Try Levi's Jamaican Coconut Baked Fish Parcels on the barbecue and eat with his Wild Red and Brown Rice Salad with Roasted Pumpkin dish. Follow both recipes below for a simply perfect feast this weekend...

Levi Roots Jamaican Coconut Baked Fish Parcels recipe


Serves 4

1 tbsp groundnut oil

1 onion, peeled and finely sliced

1 red pepper and 1 green pepper, seeded and sliced

2 red chillies, seeded and finely sliced

1.5cm cube of fresh root ginger, peeled and grated

2 x 160ml tins coconut cream

juice of 2 limes

2 tbsp soft light brown sugar

4 fish fillets, about 180g each, such as salmon, sea bass, haddock or cod

2 tbsp roughly chopped coriander

salt and pepper


1. Heat the oil in a frying pan and sauté the onion and peppers until just softening. Add the chilli and ginger and cook for another 2 minutes. Stir in the coconut cream and heat until warmed through, but don’t boil. Stir in the lime juice, sugar and salt and pepper. Taste – there should be a nice balance of sweet and tart.

2. Make four double-layer foil packages by cutting out eight squares of foil big enough to hold one fish fillet. Pull the sides of each square up so you are half way to making a parcel and divide the coconut cream mixture between the packages. Set a fish fillet on top and season well. Scrunch the edges of the foil together to make a well-sealed parcel but don’t wrap too tightly – the fish needs room to steam.

3. Set the parcels on the barbecue and cook for about 12 minutes, depending on the type and thickness of the fish. Check for doneness by carefully unwrapping one of the parcels – the fish should be cooked through and no longer look ‘glassy’. Serve the fish in their parcels, opening them up to reveal the contents. Sprinkle over the coriander and serve immediately with lime wedges.

Rice is particularly good with this dish, so try this Wild red and brown rice salad with roasted pumpkin recipe by Levi Roots

“This is especially good late in the summer when you know autumn is on the way. The colours are really something and it’s perfect with barbecued pork dishes,’ says Levi.


Serves 8

For the dressing

3 tbsp cider vinegar

½ tsp Dijon mustard

2 garlic cloves, crushed

½ tsp soft light brown sugar

180ml extra-virgin olive oil

For the rice

1 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, peeled and finely chopped

1 cinnamon stick, halved

5 allspice berries, crushed

½ tsp ground ginger

¼ tsp chilli flakes

500g mixed brown basmati, red and wild rice

1 litre light chicken or vegetable stock

1 bay leaf

2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

50g pistachios, chopped

For the pumpkin

750g sweet pumpkin or squash, peeled, seeded and cut into wedges or chunks

75ml olive oil

2 tablespoons clear honey

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar


1.Make the dressing so that it’s ready when you need it – just put all the ingredients in a jam jar and give it a good shake. For the rice, heat the oil in a pan and gently sauté the onion until soft and pale gold. Add the cinnamon, allspice, ginger and chilli and cook for about one minute to release the fragrance.

2.Pour in the rice, stir to coat in the oil and then add the chicken stock and bay leaf. Bring to the boil, turn down the heat and briskly simmer until the rice is tender and the stock is absorbed, about 45 minutes. (These types of rice never soften in the way white rice does.) Keep an eye on the liquid to make sure the rice doesn’t dry out or burn.

3. When ready, immediately toss with two-thirds of the dressing. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Put the pumpkin or squash in a roasting tin. Mix the oil, honey and vinegar together and drizzle over the pumpkin. Roast for about 20 minutes, or until the pumpkin is completely tender and slightly caramelised. Add the pumpkin to the rice salad with the parsley and pistachios. Serve immediately or at room temperature.

Recipes taken from Grill it with Levi: 101 Reggae Recipes for Sunshine and Soul (Ebury Press)

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Emily Peck, Editor

View all posts by Emily Peck, Editor