Ackee and Saltfish is the celebrated National Dish of Jamaica and is much-loved for breakfast, lunch or dinner, it’s easy to prepare and a pleasure to eat…
If you are on a visit to Jamaica you will be able to use fresh Ackee in this recipe, but if you are out of the region you can make use of canned Ackee which is widely available in Caribbean food stores.
When using fresh Ackee make sure the red pods have burst open revealing the black seeds and yellow fruits, so the naturally occurring poisonous gas is expelled from inside. Pull the yellow fruits from the open pods, remove the black seeds and pink lining from the Ackee and you are ready to cook and enjoy it.
This dish can be eaten at anytime of the day and can be enjoyed with many accompaniments, such as, fried dumplings, breadfruit, hard food, pear (avocado), fried plantain, white rice or rice and peas…. Enjoy!
You will need:
- a large bowl to hold the Ackee
- a chopping board and sharp knife
- 2 pots (saucepans) with covers
- a Dutch Pot or large frying pan
Throughly wash your hands and scrub underneath your nails if you can. Gather all your ingredients and cooking implements together and put them on the counter top so you have everything within reach and you will also save time and make it easier for yourself.
- 1 pack Saltfish
- 12 Ackee pods (or more if liked) or 1 tin
- 1/2 Green Pepper (Sweet Pepper)
- 1 Onion
- 2 tomato
- 1 peg Garlic
- 1 sprig Thyme
- Black pepper to taste
- little sugar (to boil saltfish)
- ¾ Cup Cooking Oil, or enough to cover bottom of pot
Serves 4 people – Takes about 40 minutes to prepare (if using fresh Ackee) and another 20 minutes to cook; if you want to feed more people, just increase the quantities to enjoy this delicious Jamaican food…
- Wash off the saltfish in clean water and place in a pot (saucepan) cover with water, add a little sugar and set on to boil. Leave to boil for about 10-15 minutes, drain the water off and repeat the process until majority of salt is removed, but before saltfish tastes too ‘fresh’ – If you prefer and have more time you can leave the saltfish to soak in clean water overnight instead of boiling it
- Flake saltfish and set aside
- If using fresh Ackee prepare for cooking by removing them from the pods, twist off and discard the shiny black seeds cutting away any remnants and discard the pink lining, lightly rinse – If using tin Ackee, drain from tin and set aside
- Place (fresh) Ackee into salted boiling water for about 20 minutes and carefully drain (do not boil tin Ackee)
- Set on the dutch pot and add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan
- Wash and Chop seasoning add to heated oil and lightly fry
- Add flaked saltfish to the seasoning stir mixture to lightly brown saltfish
- Carefully add the Ackee to the mixture and turn over to keep Ackee intact
- Add black pepper to taste
- Warm mixture through and serve with an accompaniment– Enjoy!
- ! Please remember that the pot and any remaining oil will stay hot for a long time – Move away from the front of the oven and leave somewhere where children cannot pull it over them until fully cooled
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