Ackee is the national fruit of Jamaica. It makes sense then that Ackee and Saltfish is considered its national dish. Not a bad combo for a traditional breakfast, either. It is a hearty meal created for workers before heading out for a long day of working in the fields.
The ackee fruit grows on a large tree found throughout the Caribbean. It’s thought to have been brought from West Africa to the Caribbean during the mid-1700s. The fruit is so ubiquitous in Jamaica that it can be purchased fresh, in bags from street vendors, or even canned in the supermarket. During ackee season, it is normal to see people picking ackee from roadside trees to take home.
Ackee and Saltfish – Jamaican Ackee Fruit and Codfish Scramble
- Medium frying pan
- Medium saucepan
- ½ lb Saltfish (codfish)
- 1 Can ackee, drained and rinsed
- 2 tbsp Olive oil
- 1 clove Garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp Black pepper
- ½ Scotch bonnet or habanero pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 medium Tomato, diced
- 1 medium Onion, diced
- 1 tsp Dried thyme
- 1 small Bell pepper, diced
- Soak saltfish in cold water for 24hrs in the fridge, changing the water few hours. Drain and pick-out any small bones. Shred the fish by hand and put aside.
- Warm oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add saltfish, onion, garlic and peppers. Sauté for 8 to 10 minutes until soft.
- Add drained ackee, black pepper, tomato, and thyme. Cook another 15 minutes. Serve warm.
- Don’t bother to salt as saltfish contains a lot even after it’s boiled out.
- Ackee can be found at Latin markets or ordered online from Amazon.com or online Caribbean markets.