What is Jamaican Salt Mackerel?
Jamaican Salt Mackerel is loved by just as many who despise not only the taste but the smell.
Just like Salt Fish (also known as bacalao or salted pollock), Salt Mackerel is SALTY. Salt Mackerel is another name for pickled fish as the fresh mackerel sits in a salty brine until sold to consumers or ready to be cooked. The saltiness is what makes the dish unique. It is possible to buy fresh mackerel but mackerel has their season.
Mackerel is a relocating fish and it swims in enormous sandbars close to the surface. Throughout the colder times of year, mackerel live close to the seabed off the southwest shore of Norway, and in this period they eat practically nothing. This progresses between April and May, when the mackerel swims to the middle of the North Sea to reproduce.
Being that mackerel is seasonal, it became a custom to preserve the fish until it is ready to be eaten. Fresh mackerel should be cooked and eaten within 24 hours of purchase while salted mackerel can last month once properly brined or salted.
What is Jamaican Rundung?
Jamaican Rundung is one of the most simple and inexpensive dishes made by Jamaicans. The main ingredient in Jamaican Rundung is freshly dried coconut.
The best way of extracting the milk from the coconut flesh is to blend with water before straining the coconut milk from the trash. The fresh coconut milk is then seasoned and flavored with natural spices. These spices are commonly used in Jamaica but the possibilities are endless. Spices such as: allspice berries (pimento), scallions, thyme, scotch bonnet and whatever you may find on your spice rack.
Jamaican rundung is naturally Ital or vegan as we know it today but the most popular addition for Pescatarians as well as meat eaters is Salt Mackerel.
How to Clean Salt Mackerel?
When cooking Jamaican Salt Mackerel, there is no need to add salt. The aim is to get rid of the excess salt.
There are three methods of removing the salt content from the salt mackerel as well as the smell.
Jamaican Salt Mackerel is a traditional dish, perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Salt mackerel, also known as pickled or brined mackerel, has a strong yet salty taste which adds the unique flavor to the dish.
Unlike fresh mackerel, salt mackerel or brined mackerel can be store for a longer time which enhances the flavor and increases the shelf life of the Jamaican Salt Mackerel Dish.
Place salt mackerel in a pot and cover with cold water.
Bring to a boil on high heat then strain.
Add cold enough cold water to cover the salt mackerel again and repeat the straining process once the water comes to a boil.
Place salt mackerel in a pot with water and a small amount of white vinegar and bring to a simmer for 10 minutes
Strain and run under cold water
Soak salt mackerel overnight
Start with boiling hot water and allow the water to cool overnight.
Cleaning Salt Mackerel
There are many pin bones in salt mackerel, which may be hard at times to remove in the cleaning process. Most times there is still meat attached to the salt mackerel bones. This is not the best dish for children for this reason.
When removing the pin bones, you may use a pair of tweezers or a small knife. The pin bones will be easy to find by gently rubbing your finger along the middle of the fish. No matter how many bones you remove, you will not be able to remove them all.
Other than removing the salt mackerel bones, there is an unappealing slimy skin. You may remove the slimy salt mackerel skin by gently rubbing the knife of your finger on the skin to wipe it off.
What is Jamaican Salt Mackerel Served With?
Jamaican food is versatile. Jamaicans sometimes share the same meal for breakfast, lunch or dinner depending on the day. A dish like Jamaican Salt Mackerel will pair well with some boiled hard food, or as Jamaicans call it, “Food”. “Food” is the name given to all ground provisions and simple starches such as yams, potatoes, boiled dumplings, boiled chocho and much more.
Salt Mackerel Taste and Texture
Salty is obvious when it comes to the taste of salt mackerel. However, once the excess salt is removed you will end up with a dry and flaky fish. When cooking salt mackerel, cooking oil is important as the cooking oil helps to soften the dryness of the fish.
In comparison to fresh mackerel, you may think salt mackerel is spoiled fish. It has an acquired taste, a taste that you hate for ever or love once in a while.
Jamaican Salt Mackerel
- 2 Whole Salted Mackerel, Boiled and Cleaned
- 1 Large Onion, Sliced
- 6 Garlic Cloves, Chopped
- Scotch Bonnet, to Taste
- ½ Teaspoon Black Pepper
- 3 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
- Heat vegetable oil on medium heat.
- Saute sliced garlic, scotch bonnet and onions until soft.
- Add cleaned salt mackerel and stir to combine.
- Sprinkle with black pepper and cook for another 3-5 minutes of low heat
- Serve with your favorite Jamaican side dish.
Sat. Fat (grams)
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