Jamaican Greens Stew (Callaloo)

West Africans that were displaced to new countries during the slave trade brought with them new foods and cooking techniques, like filamented greens to Brazil, collard greens to America, and Callaloo to Jamaica. They also introduced exciting new dances, story telling, and music that would be absorbed by each country and evolve into it’s own thing.

Caribbean Jamaican callaloo and plantains

Callaloo – Jamaican Greens Stew

This quick and easy greens dish is the Jamaican take on similar dishes made in Brazil and America. Traditionally, saltfish (salted cod) is added, giving it a slightly funky taste. This a great side and goes well with most any main dish or, as it's served in Jamaica, with tostones and white rice. It's also very popular at Jazz Fest in New Orleans under the name Jama Jama.
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Course: Brunch, Side Dish
Cuisine: Caribbean, Jamaica
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4
Author: My Hungry Traveler


  • Large skillet or wok


  • ¼ cup Vegetable oil
  • 1 medium White onion, halved and sliced
  • ½ can Diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 lb Swiss chard, kale, spinach, or 14 oz of canned callaloo
  • ½ tsp Lawry's seasoning salt or adobo spice
  • ¼ tsp Black pepper
  • 1 tsp Asian fish sauce (optional)


  • Wash and drain Swiss Chard, remove stems, and chop roughly.
  • In large skillet or wok, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté 2-3 minutes to soften. Add tomatoes and saute 2 minutes more.
  • Add greens and fish sauce, if using. Cook, stirring often, until tender, about 5-10 minutes. Season to taste and serve as a vegetable side.


  • Jamaicans often add saltfish towards the end of cooking. It adds an interesting salty-funky undertone to the greens. To replicate without the fuss, fish sauce may be used.


Calories: 163kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 434mg | Potassium: 572mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 6997IU | Vitamin C: 41mg | Calcium: 81mg | Iron: 3mg

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