Jamaican Ackee and Saltfish

Ackee and Saltfish with callaloo

Ackee ans Saltfish is the national dish of Jamaica. I was fed so much of this pungent breakfast during training that I swore off it afterwards. That didn't last very long. Ackee is an odd ... fruit? The wikipedia article on ackee can fill you in better than I can, but in short, the scientific name comes from a pirate, it's originally an African plant, and it's very poisonous if harvested incorrectly. It's related to lychees, but is better described as being similar to avocado.

Here's a recipe (sourced here) for the popular breakfast (or dinner):

1/2 lb Saltfish (dried, salted codfish) SOAK OVERNIGHT.
1 (drained) can of ackees (or about 12 fresh)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
4 Scallion (or spring onions), chopped
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 tbsp of butter
1 Scotch Bonnet or habanero, chopped
1 small tomato, chopped
1 sprig fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme
2 Slices of bacon, optional

Simmer the saltfish for 20 minutes, then shred and remove any bones.

Melt the butter in a frying pan and stir fry the onion, black pepper, sweet pepper, chilli and thyme for about 3 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and flaked fish and stir-fry for another 10 minutes

Add the ackee and stir gently for another 5 mins, until the ackee is cooked.

Goes great with fried or boiled dumplings, and boiled green banana

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