Jamaican Sauteed Saltfish

Sauteed Saltfish and Tomato

Sauteed Saltfish and Tomato is a quick Caribbean breakfast ready in 15 minutes. Flaked codfish sauteed with aromatic veggies and herbs and served best with fried dumplings or boiled food. 

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Lately, I have been trying to find easy, quick breakfast ideas to make on weekdays. 

While I do have a soft spot for some Americanized breakfast ideas, I always enjoy making something more from my culture.

One day, I asked my husband about the foods he ate for breakfast growing up. 

And if you didn’t know, my husband and I are Jamaicans, and though we grew up in the same country, our lives were a little different. 

So, he told me about how his dad would cook saltfish with tomato for breakfast, and that’s when that little eureka moment kicked in.

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I don’t remember having this dish growing up. But it reminded me of another easy Jamaican breakfast recipe, Jamaican Salt Mackerel Rundown. 

Throughout this post, you’ll see how I interchange between saltfish and codfish. The name saltfish is how Jamaicans describe salted cod. 

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Why You Should Make This Recipe?

  • Easy To Make – once you have desalt your saltfish, the rest is easy. 
  • Quick Breakfast Idea – you can have this quick recipe ready for breakfast in 10 minutes or less. 
  • Versatile Serving Options – goes well with a variety of sides.
  • Budget Friendly – if you like to shop on a budget, add this to your grocery list for next time.

What is Saltfish? 

Salt fish is cod fish preserved by drying and salting. 

This type of cod has been produced over centuries and is a staple diet within many parts of the West Indies and the world. 

Whitefish is mainly used to make saltfish, and you can now get saltfish bone-in or boneless. 

Jamaican Sauteed Saltfish and Tomato

Of course, the bone-in is cheaper, but boneless saltfish is much easier to handle if you’re like me and can’t bother to go through the process of removing the bones. 

I’ve even found a recipe from a fellow food blogger on how to make a low-sodium version of saltfish

Which is better for those with health issues or who want a healthier alternative. 

Ingredients To Use

Our main ingredient, saltfish, is crucial in this recipe. 

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The other ingredients are seasonings and vegetables, which you will use to help bring out the flavors of this dish. 

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  • Saltfish – bone-in or boneless cod fish works best in this recipe. I also mention a low-sodium version above. 
  • Aromatics – thyme, escallion, onion, garlic
  • Vegetables – tomato, bell pepper, scotch bonnet pepper
  • All-Purpose seasoning
  • Oil
  • Water

Did You Know?

In the Caribbean, especially Guyana and Trinidad, a sweet bread called “bake” is served with sauteed saltfish.

Bake is new for me as I only knew about it when I got older and started learning more about Caribbean cuisines. 

The sweet bread called bake reminds me of what Jamaicans call festival or fried dumplings with brown sugar in the dough. 

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How To Make Sauteed Saltfish and Tomato

This quick breakfast recipe is perfect any time. 

Most of the work goes into rehydrating and desalinating your cod fish, but it’ll be well worth it as the flavors are unmatched once done right. 

Jamaican cooked saltfish with boiled green banana and irish potato

Steps For Boiling Saltfish:

  1. You’ll need to boil your saltfish before moving into the next steps of this recipe. 
  2. In a pot, add saltfish and water and place over medium heat. Bring to a boil. You may need to change the water once or twice to get as much salt from the fish. 
  3. Once you’ve boiled your saltfish, allow it to cool in an ice bath or cold running water. Flake your saltfish by separating the fish from the bones and then into small pieces to set aside. 

Steps For Sauteed Saltfish and Tomato:

  1. Place a large skillet over medium heat and add oil. Add chopped onion and garlic to hot oil and saute for 1 minute. 
  2. Add flaked saltfish, chopped tomato, escallion, bell pepper, and thyme to sauteed onions. Stir for 1-2 minutes. 
  3. Add ketchup, scotch bonnet pepper, and all-purpose seasoning to sauteed veggies. Stir to combine. 
  4. Remove from heat and serve. 

Serving Suggestions

As I continue my journey into the culinary world, especially within the Caribbean, I always enjoy how Caribbean folks know how to make a great meal. 

saltfish cooked and served with fried over dumpling

This delicious and easy saltfish recipe goes great with almost anything. 

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  • Boiled green banana, potato, yam, dasheen, etc.
  • Fried Dumplings
  • Bake, yes bake – a Caribbean sweet bread
  • Roti
  • Flatbreads
  • Fry-Over Dumplings

Tips For Making sauteed Saltfish

Here are some tips to help you when making this recipe:

  • When boiling your saltfish, always taste-test a piece of the fish to ensure it reaches your desired level of desalinating. 
  • To help remove as much salt from your salt cod, you can soak it in water overnight before boiling it the next day. 
  • If you don’t want to go through the steps of removing bone from the saltfish, you can check your local store for boneless saltfish or salt cod. 
  • You can check out a low-sodium version of saltfish to use in your recipe, which I mentioned above, for a healthier alternative. 

Storage Tips

Store your leftovers in an airtight container in your refrigerator for 2-3 days. 

I usually make this recipe in small batches for my husband and me, so I don’t know much about a longer storage time.

Other Saltfish Recipes:

Sauteed Saltfish and Tomato

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

Sauteed Saltfish and Tomato

Sauteed Saltfish and Tomato is a quick Caribbean breakfast ready in 15 minutes. Flaked codfish sauteed with aromatic veggies and herbs and served best with fried dumplings or boiled food.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Caribbean, Jamaican
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup saltfish flaked codfish
  • 1 large tomato chopped
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 2 stalks escallion finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper julienne or sliced
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp all-purpose seasoning
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper seeds removed
  • 2 tsp ketchup
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 cups water

Instructions
 

Directions For Boiling Saltfish

  • You’ll need to boil your saltfish before moving into the next steps of this recipe.
  • In a pot, add saltfish and water and place over medium heat. Bring to a boil. You may need to change the water once or twice to get as much salt from the fish.
  • Once you’ve boiled your saltfish, allow it to cool in an ice bath or cold running water. Flake your saltfish by separating the fish from the bones into small pieces to set aside.

Directions For Sauteed Saltfish

  • Place a large skillet over medium heat and add oil. Add chopped onion and garlic to hot oil and saute for 1 minute.
  • Add flaked saltfish, chopped tomato, escallion, bell pepper, and thyme to sauteed onions. Stir for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add ketchup, scotch bonnet pepper, and all-purpose seasoning to sauteed veggies. Stir to combine.
  • Remove from heat and serve.

Notes

Notes For Making Sauteed Saltfish and Tomato

 
  • If you don’t want to go through the steps of removing bone from the saltfish, you can check your local store for boneless saltfish or salt cod. 
  • You can check out a low-sodium version of saltfish to use in your recipe, which I mentioned above, for a healthier alternative. 
Keyword Saltfish and Tomato, Sauteed Saltfish
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