This Ackee and Saltfish recipe will take you to the core of the Jamaican roots. Ackee and saltfish is the national dish of Jamaican. This ackee and saltfish dish is currently known worldwide and enjoyed by many people.
There is at least one Jamaican aisle or grocery store in every foreign country that I have been to and I have been lucky enough to find both ackee and saltfish.
Delicious is an understatement when it comes to trying to describe this Ackee and Saltfish recipe.
What is Ackee?
Ackee is a term derived from the West African term "Akye Fufo". The Ackee tree was brought to the Caribbean during the slave trade by West Africans. This delicious and buttery fruit is the national fruit of Jamaica and bears in bunches on an evergreen tree.
Although ackee is not a popular food item in Africa, African still use the tree, its fruits and leaves for other purposes. Other uses of ackee, other than eating, are:
- Using the immature fruits to make soap
- Using the wood from the tree for termite repellant
- Building structures from the wood of the tree
- Parasite Poison for Fish- using the seeds for the ackee fruit
- Topical Ointment made from the crushed leaves
What is Saltfish?
Saltfish is a dried fish that is salted for preservation.
There are a few different names when it comes to saltfish.
The other names for saltfish are:
- Salted Cod
- Salted Pollock
Usually, in the Caribbean, saltfish is used in a wide variety of delicious dishes. Some of these dishes are, Saltfish Fritters, Jamaican Ackee and Saltfish and Jamaican Seasoned Rice.
Why is Ackee and Saltfish the National Dish of Jamaica?
As mentioned above, the Ackee fruit is the national fruit of Jamaica, and is the key ingredient in the National Dish of Jamaica, which is this Ackee and Saltfish Recipe.
The evergreen ackee tree is known to constantly bear fruits throughout the year and in all areas of Jamaica.
For many years and even now, Jamaica is the only country that treat the ackee fruit as food. even though the crop was introduced to other Caribbean islands.
Ackee and Saltfish Calories
Low in calories, ackee is one of the most natural foods you will ever eat. Ackee is very nutritious, high in fatty acids and rich in protein, potassium, iron, and Vitamin C.
There are about 200 calories in every 4 ounce serving of ackee. When it comes to saltfish, there is a high salt content which may contain a lot of sodium.
What to Eat with Ackee and Saltfish?
Jamaican in itself is versatile, where you can mix and match your carbs and proteins for any meal. Below, I will list a few popular food items that Jamaicans enjoy with any ackee and saltfish recipe.
Top 12 Jamaican Side Dishes
- Green Banana (Boiled)
- Yellow Yam (Boiled and Roasted)
- White Yam (Boiled or Roasted)
- White Rice (Steamed)
- Rice and Peas (Steamed)
- Dasheen (Boiled)
- Coco (Boiled)
- Dumplings (Fried or Boiled)
- Breadfruit (Roasted, Fried or Boiled)
- Ripe Plantain (Fried or Boiled)
- Green Plantain (Fried)
- Pumpkin (Boiled)
Is Ackee and Saltfish Vegan?
With the exclusion of the saltfish, ackee is a clean vegan dish.
Ackee is very nutritious, high in fatty acids and rich in protein, potassium, iron, and Vitamin C. The fruit grows in red pods and is not entirely edible. The only edible part of the ackee fruit are the yellow flesh on the inside of the red pods.
The red ackee pods will need to be open and showing the black seeds, before picking.
Otherwise, it is poisonous.
Where to buy Ackee?
Nowadays, you can find many different ackee brands and can be found in stores or on Amazon.
Below, I have listed a few canned ackee brands (NOT SPONSORED), found on Amazon:
- Linstead Market Ackee - Click Here
- Grace Ackee - Click Here
- JCS Ackee - Click Here
- Ocho Rios Intl - Click Here
- Spur Tree - Click Here
- Country Isle Ackee - Click Here
- Double Duece - Click Here
Ackee and Saltfish Ingredients
The ingredients used in this ackee and saltfish recipe are shown in the photo above. They are:
- Soaked Saltfish
- Cooked Ackee
- Sweet Pepper
- Scotch Bonnet
- The two ingredients not in photo are cooking oil for saute and black pepper.
Ackee and Saltfish Recipe
- Skillet or Frying Pan
- Wooden Spoon
- Cutting Board
- Measuring Cups
- Measuring Spoons
- 1 Can Cooked Ackee
- 8 Ounce Unsalted Saltfish Soaked or Boiled
- 1 Small Onion Sliced
- 3 Cloves Garlic Chopped
- ½ Teaspoon Scotch Bonnet Pepper Chopped
- ½ Cup Bell Peppers Chopped
- ½ Cup Tomatoes Chopped
- 3 Whole Pimento or Allspice Berries
- 1 Sprig Thyme
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- ½ Teaspoon Black Pepper Optional
- Place a skillet on medium high heat and add olive oil
- Once heated, add chopped garlic, scotch bonnet pepper, pimento, thyme sprig, tomatoes, onion and bell peppers.
- Stir and saute for 3 minutes before adding the unsalted saltfish
- Saute for another 2 minutes before adding the cooked ackee
- Keep the flame low for another 3 minutes then remove from the heat.
- Serve best with Boiled Green Banana
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