Ackee and Saltfish is a National Jamaican dish! This recipe is done with BACON! 🙂 Hence, this is a MUST-Try dish! Traditonally this dish is served as breakfast or lunch alongside with boiled dumplings, yam, green bananas. This can also be served with fried dumpling, fried plantain, bake and fried breadfruit.
What is Ackee?
Is Ackee a fruit or a vegetable? Similar to tomato, Ackee is a fruit but it is cooked and used as a vegetable. To me, Ackee looks and tastes like scramble eggs.
Ackee is a tree that produces fruit. Ackee is the National Fruit of Jamaica and is widely found throughout the West Indies and has been naturalized to parts of Central America, Florida, and Hawaii. Important Note if you are eating fresh Ackee: Ackee has to be riped and opened up when you pick it else it is poisonous.
Below are pictures of a REAL Ackee tree which I saw on one of my trip to Kingston, Jamaica:
This recipe uses canned ackees. Ackee is expensive in Canada. In Toronto, Ontario, a can of ackee costs approx $8-9 CAD. You have to be very gentle when handling Ackee as it breaks up easily and become mushy.
Ingredients for Ackee and Saltfish:
- 2 cans of Ackees
- 1 pack of Cod saltfish (boneless, skinless) (300 grams)
- 1 pack of bacon
- 4-5 sprigs of thyme
- 5-6 pimento berries (i.e. All spice)
- 1/2 pint of Grape Tomatoes(cut in half)
- Half Red Pepper (diced)
- 1/2 Red Onion (diced)
- 2 tablespoon of Bacon Oil (oil from the pan when you fry the pack of bacon)
- 1 Scotch Bonnet, chopped finely (optional if you don’t like spicy food)
- 2 cloves of Garlic, minced
- 2 stalks of Scallion to garnish (optional)
- 1 teaspoon of Black Pepper
Instructions to Make Ackee and Saltfish:
1. Soak the cod saltfish in cold water for a couple hours.
2. Drain and replace with a new batch of cold water and let it soak overnight at room temperature.
3. Pour off water and cut the saltfish into 1 inch pieces.
4. After opening the 2 cans of ackee, pour ackee into a strainer to drain the water
5. Cut a pack of bacon into smaller pieces. Fry the bacon. Then remove the bacon from the pan and drain most of the oil and keep 2 tablespoons of the bacon oil to fry this Ackee and Saltfish dish.
6. Use 2 tablespoon of bacon oil in the pan and saute onion, garlic, tomatoes, scotch bonnet pepper, pimento berries and red pepper until tender. (Approximatley 5-6 minutes)
7. Add 4-5 sprigs of thyme.
8. Pour in fried bacon.
9. Add in saltfish, stir and simmer for a few minutes.
10. Pour in ackee and simmer for another 2 minutes. Handle Ackee with care as it is fragile.
11. Add 1 teaspoon of black pepper.
12. Cover and allow it to stand over low heat for about 2 minutes.
13. Toss lightly
You can garnish with scallion (optional). I didn’t use scallion as i ran out of scallion when I made this dish.
In a separate pot, bring water to a boil and add Yam, and dumplings. Boil green banana in another pot as it will stain the yam if you boil everything together.
Enjoy this famous Jamaican dish with boiled Yam, green banana and dumplings !
Ackee and Saltfish can be served with roasted breadfruit. You must be like me and wonder what breadfruit is. Here’s a picture of breadfruit being roasted on the street in Kingston, Jamaica. . It is so good when it is roasted fresh. On my last trip to Kingston, Jamaica, we took some roasted breadfruit home to Toronto from Kingston, Jamaica and freeze it. Then, we fry the breadfruit when we are ready to eat.
Here are some of my suggested recipes that have bacon in the ingredients:
- I also highly recommend this Jamaican dish: Jamaican Pumpkin Soup – Hearty and Savory