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Jamaican Ackee and Saltfish

Jamaican Ackee and Saltfish

Ackee and Saltfish is Jamaican National Dish, that is not only eaten as a breakfast dish, but just about anytime of the day.

It is cooked saltfish with some boiled or canned ackee sautéed in onions, green onion, bell peppers, thyme and other seasoning and herbs.

This is my favorite breakfast meal with some turn roasted Breadfruit or fried Dumplings.

Once you eat this meal, you are good to go for the day.

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What is Ackee?

Ackee is a fruit but is also refer to as a vegetable by other Jamaicans.

When it is ripe, the red pod (outer part) opens up and expose the fruit on the inside, which is yellow with a black head (seed).

Please note that only the yellow part can be eaten, when it is ripened.

It is a delicate fruit and should not be cooked for too long or else it becomes mushy.

Unripe Ackee on the tree and not edible.
The Ackee pod is beginning to open up, exposing the head (black seed).
An Ackee pod is fully open and ripe.
Two ackee starting to open and two others that are fully opened.

Why is Ackee illegal in the US?

Ackee is illegal in the US because only the yellow part when it is ripened properly is edible.

The outer part and the black head (seed) is toxic to human beings. It produces a toxin called Hypoglycin A.

This toxin can put a person into coma or even cause death.

Therefore, the FDA bands fresh/raw Ackee from entering the country of United States. It has to be cooked first.

So unless you have a tree in your back yard like some Floridians here or brings up some cooked ones, your only way to get it is in a can.

For this recipe, I used a can of Grace Ackee I bought at a local Save-a-lot Supermarket.

However, you can find it at any local West Indian store or even on Amazon.

What does Ackee taste like?

Ackee taste like a combination of a creamy and buttery flavor.

People that are outside of the Caribbean describes it as scrambled eggs.

But as a Jamaican, I have to disagree with that statement.

Ackee doesn’t taste nothing like scrambled eggs.

Yes, they are both yellow in color, but that’s the only thing they have in common.

It has no taste without some salt added to the water when it is cooking.

Hence, Ackee easily absorbs the taste of whatever it is cooked with.

Therefore, when Saltfish is mix with Ackee, it brings out the flavor and texture it has.

Ackee and Saltfish with fried breadfruit.

How long should Ackee boil?

Ackee should not be boiled for a longtime or else it will be too soft and mushy.

Add water and salt to a large pot. Place the ackee into the boiling water and let it boil for about 10 to 15 minutes or until tender and not too soft.

Drain and set aside for later. or add it to the saltfish and seasoning immediately.

With the canned ackee, there is no need to boil the ackee.

Just drain and rinse it in a colander or a mesh wire strainer and set aside for later.

The cooked or canned Ackee is only added at the end of preparing your seasoning and saltfish to avoid over stirring which makes it mushy.

Ackee and Saltfish in a white serving bowl.

How long should you boil the Saltfish?

How long you boil your saltfish is your preference.

Saltfish is boiled in some plain water to remove the salt from it.

However, my preference is that once it boiled for the first 20 minutes, discard that water and pour fresh water and boil again for another 20 minutes.

You can repeat another time after the second time, but this depends on the amount of water you used to boil it in or how much salt you want to remove from it.

Otherwise from boiling the Saltfish, it can also be soaked in a lot of water overnight.

This will remove the salt from it.

What to serve with Jamaican Ackee and Saltfish?

Jamaican Ackee and Saltfish is mostly served with Fried Dumplings, Boiled Dumplings or Boiled Ground Provisions.

Ground Provisions includes Yellow Yam, Dasheen, Coco, Sweet Potato, Green Bananas, Irish Potatoes and Cassava.

Plus, some Jamaicans eat it with a Rice dish too.

One of my favorite is to serve it with fried breadfruit.

How to make Jamaican Ackee and Saltfish?

All the ingredients to make Jamaican Ackee and Saltfish Recipe.

Firstly, prepare the saltfish either by boiling it or soaking it overnight in water.

After boiling and breaking up the Saltfish.

Secondly, if it fresh/raw ackee, then clean and wash the ackee and boil it. However, if it is the Ackee in the can, then open the can, drain and rinse it off twice. Set it aside for later.

Thirdly, heat the vegetable oil on medium heat. Add the onions, bell pepper, tomato, garlic, scallion (green onion), thyme, scotch bonnet and saute for a few minutes.

All the herbs and vegetables to make ackee and saltfish recipe.

Fourthly, add the Saltfish and mix together.

Adding the boiled saltfish to the sautéed vegetables and herbs.

Finally, Add the ackee and then the black pepper. Gently toss everything together and then allow the ackee to heat through for a few more minutes. Enjoy.

Adding the canned ackee to the mixture to finalize the ackee and saltfish recipe.
Adding some black pepper.

Jamaican Ackee and Saltfish Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 19oz can Ackee, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2lb Saltfish boiled and deboned
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 of a medium Onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 Roma Tomato, diced
  • 2 stalks Scallion (Green Onions)
  • 3 sprig Thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon Scotch Bonnet Pepper or more
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 4 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil

Instructions

  1. Prepare the Saltfish either by boiling it or soaking it in a lot of water overnight.
  2. If you are lucky to get some fresh/raw ackee, then clean and boil it. However, if you are like me, who is only bless with the can type, then drain and rinse twice. Set aside for later.
  3. In a large saucepan, heat the vegetable oil on medium heat. Then add the onions, bell pepper, roma tomato, garlic, scallion (green onion), thyme, scotch bonnet pepper and saute for a few minutes.
  4. Add the boiled or soaked overnight saltfish and mix together. Allow to heat through.
  5. Add the ackee and gently toss together until fully incorporated.
  6. Allow the ackee to heat through for a few minutes.
  7. Serve with your favorite meal.
A closer look at the ackee and saltfish in a white serving bowl.

Notes:

  1. You can boil the saltfish for 20 minutes first, and then discard the water. Add more plain water and boil for another 20 minutes.
  2. Another method is to soak the saltfish overnight in some water.
  3. If you aren’t able to get fresh/raw ackee, then grab a can of ackee from your local West Indian store.
  4. After adding the ackee, gently toss it in. Avoid over stirring to prevent the ackee from getting mushy.

Additional Jamaican Recipes

Amazon Selection

Please let me know what you think about this Jamaican Ackee and Saltfish Recipe in the comment section below.

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Thanks for stopping by and please come back again.

Blessings and Love always, as you carry on, on your YouNique Journey!

Jamaican Ackee and Saltfish in a white serving bowl.

Jamaican Ackee and Saltfish

Yield: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 4 minutes
Total Time: 54 minutes

Ackee and Saltfish is Jamaican National Dish, that is not only eaten as a breakfast dish, but just about anytime of the day.

Ingredients

  • 1 19oz can Ackee, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2lb Saltfish boiled and deboned
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 of a medium Onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 Roma Tomato, diced
  • 2 stalks Scallion (Green Onions)
  • 3 sprig Thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon Scotch Bonnet Pepper or more
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 4 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil

Instructions

  1. Prepare the Saltfish either by boiling it or soaking it in a lot of water overnight.
  2. If you are lucky to get some fresh/raw ackee, then clean and boil it. However, if you are like me, who is only bless with the can type, then drain and rinse twice. Set aside for later.
  3. In a large saucepan, heat the vegetable oil on medium heat. Then add the onions, bell pepper, roma tomato, garlic, scallion (green onion), thyme, scotch bonnet pepper and saute for a few minutes.
  4. Add the boiled or soaked overnight saltfish and mix together. Allow to heat through.
  5. Add the ackee and gently toss together until fully incorporated.
  6. Allow the ackee to heat through for a few minutes.
  7. Serve with your favorite meal.

Notes

  1. You can boil the saltfish for 20 minutes first, and then discard the water. Add more plain water and boil for another 20 minutes.
  2. Another method is to soak the saltfish overnight in some water.
  3. If you aren't able to get fresh/raw ackee, then grab a can of ackee from your local West Indian store.
  4. After adding the ackee, gently toss it in. Avoid over stirring to prevent the ackee from getting mushy.

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As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 561Total Fat: 40gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 34gCholesterol: 86mgSodium: 3993mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 4gSugar: 3gProtein: 42g

The nutritional information that is provided, is computer generated and therefore it is an estimate. Please do your own research with the ingredients that are listed here, if you have any concern about any specific diet or your health.

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