How To Make Jamaica’s National Dish

How to make Jamaica’s national dish – ackee and saltfish

Ackee and saltfish is Jamaica’s national dish. It’s full of flavor, delicious, tasty and so versatile you can eat it for breakfast, lunch or dinner.


Serves 4

1 Can of ackee, drained or 1 dozen fresh ackees
1/2 lb saltfish
3 tablespoons oil
1 medium onions, sliced
1 sprig fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme

2 cloves of garlic
1/4 scotch bonnet pepper skin finely chopped up
1 small tomato, chopped
3/4 teaspoon tomato paste
1 sweet pepper chopped
1/2 tsp black pepper

4 Scallion (or spring onions)

Soak the saltfish in a container of water for a minimum of eight hours. This will remove most of the salt.

Boil saltfish in water for 20 minutes which will allow for further removal of salt as well as make the saltfish tender.

Remove the saltfish from water and allow to cool.

Remove all of bones and skin then flake the flesh of the saltfish.

Heat oil in a frying pan. Add the onions, thyme and scotch bonnet pepper, tomato, tomato paste, and green peppers. Stir for a few minutes. Add the saltfish. Stir. Simmer for 5 minutes, then add the can of drained ackee or the dozen fresh ackees. Do not stir because this will cause the ackees to break up. Cook for a few more minutes then sprinkle with black pepper.

Best served with bammy, roast breadfruit, fried or cooked dumplings, or cooked bananas, or yams.

Nigel Bell, Readers Bureau, Fellow

Edited by Jesus Chan

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