Jamaican Ackee and Saltfish

Jamaican Ackee and Saltfish

Jamaica’s favorite breakfast, lunch, or dinner – Ackee and Saltfish is a timeless recipe. The vibrant flavors and colors of this dish are irresistible. Enjoy it with fried dumplings and avocado slices. 

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As a Jamaican, Ackee and Saltish is one of my all-time favorite recipes. 

Did you know that it is the National Dish of Jamaica? 

Ackee, a fruit, is the National Fruit of our country. 

This National Dish is often a breakfast recipe, but other times, it’s for lunch or dinner.

I’m very excited to share this recipe with you guys. As someone who didn’t like ackee growing up, I’ve come a long way with my love for it. 

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I’ve also experimented with cooking ackee and chickpea to see the flavor combination. 

It was one of the first recipes posted on my blog as I experimented with my cooking skills, all while trying to adjust to my new life in the Cayman Islands.

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Why You Should Make This Recipe?

  • Easy To Make: absolutely so easy to make and serve to your whole family. 
  • Make Ahead: invite friends over and serve them some Jamaican vibes with this dish.
  • Healthy Breakfast Choice: a healthy life is a happy life. 
  • Budget Friendly: you might be making this more than you know if you have an ackee tree at home

What is Ackee? 

The ackee fruit, native to tropical West Africa, is known for being the National Fruit of Jamaica. 

Once ripe, the pod opens up, exposing the fruit. 

Ackee and Seashell - TheShyFoodBlogger

The fruit is pear-shaped with a shiny black seed surrounded by a yellowish flesh called the aril. 

The fruit is prepared by parboiling and then cooked with vegetables and saltfish to complete the dish. 

Did You Know? Though ackee is widely popular in the Caribbean, it can be poisonous. 

Unripen ackee can cause serious health risks if not handled correctly. 

To get the best results when using ackee in any dish, ensure that the ackee is fully ripe before picking from a tree. 

A ripened ackee should open up or “smile” to reveal the arils. 

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Once the fruit is ripe, you may pick it from the tree and remove the black seeds and pink flesh before the preparation of cooking. 

Ingredients To Use

When preparing this dish, you must first parboil your ackee if you’re getting it straight from the tree. 

However, you can purchase a can of ackee in the supermarket or grocery near you. 

  • Ackee: – a delicate fruit that is seasonal throughout the Caribbean.
  • Vegetables: – onion, garlic, escallion, tomato, red or green bell peppers
  • Saltfish: –  also known as codfish, should be boiled and the bones removed.
  • Seasoning: – all-purpose seasoning, salt, cumin, thyme, chili powder, scotch bonnet pepper 
  • Vegetable Oil

How To Make Ackee and Saltfish 

Cooking this dish is so quick and easy. Like most Jamaicans or Caribbean folks, my hubby and I love this dish for breakfast or lunch. 

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Sometimes, I like to pre-prep the saltfish from the day before to make things easier in the morning.

  1. In a small pot, boil your saltfish twice to remove the salt used to preserve it. Cool under running water, then remove the skin and bones. Go ahead, flake with a fork, and set aside. 
  2. In a large pan, heat oil on medium flame. Saute onion and garlic for 1 minute. 
  3. Add escallion and stir for another minute. Stir flaked saltfish with sauteed onion. 
  4. Add ackee, tomato, thyme, and bell peppers. Gently fold the ingredients together. 
  5. Season with all-purpose seasoning, chili powder, and cumin. Gently stir to combine. 
  6. Garnish with chopped scotch bonnet pepper and parsley. 
  7. Serve. 
Jamaican Ackee and Saltfish

Serving Suggestions

Enjoy a plate of ackee and saltfish with some fried dumplings and plantains. 

Fun Fact: You can make another dish with ackee and saltfish by combining it with plain rice and a few seasonings to make Seasoned Rice. 

I look forward to dropping that recipe for you guys soon.

You can also try:

  • Rice and peas 
  • Plain rice 
  • Fried or roasted breadfruit 
  • Steamed calaloo 
  • Boiled ground provisions
  • Tostones (pressed green plantains)

Tips For Making Ackee and Saltfish 

Here are some great tips to make the best ackee and saltfish dish:

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  • If you don’t have any ackee tree or fresh ackee, you can use one can of ackee from the grocery store. 
  • Never eat unripened or unopened ackee from the tree. Ackee can be poisonous if not handled correctly.
  • Add your ackee at the end and gently fold it into the pot to prevent breaking it up too much. 
  • Boiling or soaking your saltfish in water helps to reduce the sodium intake in this dish.
  • For a more vegan option, you can omit the saltfish altogether and lightly season to your liking.
Ackee and Saltfish Breakfast

Storage Tips 

Keep any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. 

Reheat on your stovetop in a small pan.

For longer storage time, place in an airtight container and keep in the freezer for up to a month. 

Other Jamaican Recipes:

Thanks for being here and I hope you enjoyed the recipe and content.

Comment below if you made this recipe. You can also take a photo and tag me on Instagram @theshyfoodblogger and hashtag #theshyfoodblogger

Connect and follow me for more content and recipes on Pinterest, Instagram, and TikTok.

~ TheShyFoodBlogger

Ackee and Saltfish - recipe card

Jamaican Ackee and Saltfish

Jamaica’s favorite breakfast, lunch, or dinner – Ackee and Saltfish is a timeless recipe. The vibrant flavors and colors of this dish are irresistible. Enjoy it with fried dumplings and avocado slices.
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Breakfast, Lunch
Cuisine Caribbean, Jamaican
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1-2 cups ackee seeds removed; parboiled
  • 1 cup saltfish flaked
  • 4 stalks escallion chopped
  • ½ cup onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme remove leaves from stem
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose seasoning
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ¼ tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • ½ cup green bell pepper
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper
  • 1 large tomato

Instructions
 

  • In a small pot, boil your saltfish twice to remove the salt used to preserve it. Cool under running water, then remove the skin and bones. Go ahead, flake with a fork, and set aside.
  • In a large pan, heat oil on medium flame. Saute onion and garlic for 1 minute.
  • Add escallion and stir for another minute. Stir flaked saltfish with sauteed onion.
  • Add ackee, tomato, thyme, and bell peppers. Gently fold the ingredients together.
  • Season with all-purpose seasoning, chili powder, and cumin. Gently stir to combine.
  • Garnish with chopped scotch bonnet pepper and parsley.
  • Serve.

Notes

Notes For Making Ackee and Saltfish

  • If you don’t have any ackee tree or fresh ackee, you can use one can of ackee from the grocery store. 
  • Boiling or soaking your saltfish in water helps to reduce the sodium intake in this dish.
Keyword Ackee and Saltfish
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