I have to begin by saying that I have avoided eating ackee and saltfish for the longest. I’m weird about texture, and this dish reminded me of scrambled eggs. I went to visit my Nana, and saw that she made some ackee and saltfish. I built up enough courage, and gave in to trying Jamaica’s national dish. Let’s just say that I regret that it took me so long to try it. Ackee and saltfish is a very simple meal to make. Here’s how I created this dish:
1 Roma Tomato
1/2 Large White Onion
2 tbls Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 lb of Boned Salted Codfish (Saltfish)
1 Can of Ackee in Salt Water
Scotch Bonnet Sauce (Use the pepper if you can find it)
1/3 Green Bell Pepper
1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
De-salt the codfish by either soaking it overnight, or boiling it for at least 30 minutes. I boiled it for 25 minutes, drained it, and boiled it again for 15 more minutes. Chop the onion, tomato, and green pepper. During the last codfish de-salting boil, heat up the olive oil. Add the green bell pepper, black pepper and onions. Cook until the onion softens. It should only take about 5 minutes. Then add the codfish and scotch bonnet. Scotch bonnet is a hot pepper. So, I would add at your discretion. Cook for about 5 minutes. About 2 minutes into this cooking process, I would add the tomato. The tomato doesn’t need a long time to warm up, and you don’t want it to be mushy either. While these ingredients are cooking, drain and rinse the ackee. By the time you’re finished with that, you can add the ackee to the mixture. It doesn’t take very long for the ackee to soak up the flavors you built. However, ackee is very fragile, and you want to try your best not to make it mushy. Constantly stirring it will cause that. I would suggest using two forks to toss the ackee in the mixture. I would cook this combination for at least 5 minutes. Then your ackee and saltfish is ready to serve.
I made rice for my ackee and saltfish, but I think it’s best paired with breadfruit, green bananas, and fried dumplings. Bon Appetit!