Jamaican Ackee and Saltfish

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

Ackee and Saltfish – Jamaican Ackee Fruit and Codfish Scramble

To prepare this Jamaican breakfast staple, saltfish (salt cod) is soaked to remove most of the salt and then shredded. It is then sautéed with vegetables and seasoning, most often bell and scotch bonnet peppers, onions, and tomato. It's added to ackee, a light fruit similar to scrambled eggs in look and taste. The dish is eaten any time of the day and is most often served for breakfast with sides such as bammy, callaloo, breadfruit and even some good old bacon.
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Course: Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Caribbean, Jamaica
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6
Author: My Hungry Traveler


  • 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.


Calories: 129kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 2681mg | Potassium: 666mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 287IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 77mg | Iron: 1mg

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