Ackee and saltfish…yum!
The Jamaican national dish is a combination of ackee, the fruit native to Jamaica, and saltfish, salted cod.
Sound yummy? Or maybe just interesting?
Here’s the recipe:
2 dozen ackees, or 2 20oz cans ackee
1 tsp salt
1/2 lb saltfish (salted cod)
1/4 cup coconut or vegetable oil
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 sweet pepper (bell pepper) chopped
1 large onion, chopped or in rings
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 hot pepper, diced (optional)
1/4 tsp ground pimento (allspice) or a few whole pimento grains
Remove ackees from pods. Clean, wash and drain. Place ackees in boiling water (enough water to cover ackees) with salt, and boil for about 15 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside. If using canned ackees, there is no need to boil them. Simply drain off the liquid.
Wash saltfish thoroughly. Place in a pot with enough cold water to cover saltfish. Boil uncovered for 15 minutes. Throw off the water. When cool enough, separate the saltfish into small pieces, discarding skin and bones. If fish tastes too salty, wash it again.
Heat the oil over medium heat and add tomatoes, sweet pepper, onion, hot pepper, garlic and pimento. Add saltfish and ackee, and stir lightly. Heat thoroughly, especially if using canned or frozen ackees. Add black pepper to taste.
Variation: Use crispy bite sized pieces of bacon or corned pork as a substitute for, or in addition to saltfish.
You can be flexible with this ackee and saltfish recipe. Use whatever vegetables and seasonings you have on hand, that you think might go well with the two main ingredients.
Serve with boiled green bananas, dumplings (fried or boiled), roast breadfruit, bammy, bread, or even white rice.