Ambergris Eats: Three Belize Seafood Recipes

by McNab Editorial Team

Travel  immerses us in new experiences, cultures, and cuisines. Exploring the food scene has become a significant part of travelers’ itineraries worldwide and has made an imprint on the smallest of destinations.  San Pedro, located on the coast of Belize, is a small bustling island spanning just 71.2  km². Apart from its beauty and striking landscape, its flavorful and mouth-watering cuisine has captured the hearts of countless visitors.

San Pedro has become a culinary hub in Belize, as it is home to the most restaurants country-wide. Today the island is booming with locations that offer delightful dishes for all palates, with seafood being a major part of many menus. Sampling flavors of Belize’s most diverse cultures makes for a unique culinary experience.

Flavors of Belize, the definitive guide to Belize’s finest dining experiences, diverse cultures, and local cuisine, shares three seafood recipes from some of the most popular restaurants on the island:

Belizean Coconut Shrimp Curry

Elvi’s Kitchen
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 ounces coconut oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • ¼ cup onion, diced
  • ¼ cup green bell pepper, deseeded and diced
  • ½ cup tomatoes, deseeded and diced
  • 6 cardamom pods, crushed
  • 3 tablespoons curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons Elvi’s habanero sauce, or to taste
  • 2 cups seafood or chicken stock
  • 4 (1 ¾ ounce) packs Coconut Powder
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
Served with

Coconut white rice
Fried, or baked ripe plantain


Season shrimp with salt and pepper. Heat coconut oil in cast iron pot/frying pan. Add garlic, ginger, onion, bell pepper and tomato. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add cardamom, curry powder and habanero sauce; stir well. Add shrimp, stir and add stock and coconut powder. Stir well and add fresh cilantro. Cook for 5 minutes at medium heat. Serve immediately on a bed of freshly cooked white rice and compliment with fried plantains or fried ripe banana.

Ginger Rum Chicken

Caliente Restaurant
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts, butterflied
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 6 tablespoons ginger, grated
  • 1 cup orange squash or nectar
  • 1 cup ginger wine
  • ¼ cup dark rum
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 4 tablespoons water

Blend sauce ingredients and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Thicken with a little cornstarch dissolved in water.

Season chicken and grill until fully cooked, top with sauce, and serve with vegetables, rice, or potatoes.

Serves 4

Fisherman’s Soup

Victoria House
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons minced garlic
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1-1⁄2 cups calamari
  • 1-1⁄2 cups snapper fillet, diced
  • 12 shrimp, medium size
  • 3 cups fish stock
  • 1-1⁄2 cups marinara sauce
  • 1-1⁄2 cups steamed vegetables, diced
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Pinch chili powder
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Cilantro, minced, for garnish
  • Green onion, for garnish

Sauté garlic in olive oil until golden. Add red pepper flakes, calamari, snapper, and shrimp. Add fish stock, marinara sauce, and vegetables. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered for a couple of minutes until the seafood is cooked. Uncover, incorporate the butter, add chili powder, salt, and pepper to taste. Top with garnishes and serve.

Serves 3 to 4

If these dishes don’t leave your mouth watering, I’m not sure what else would! You will, without a doubt, get to the heart of Belize’s culture through an exploration of tantalizing cuisine. 

Written by Vivian Lizarraga. This article was published in October 2019. 
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