Ackee and Saltfish (salted codfish) is a traditional Jamaican dish that’s served for breakfast. It is one of my all time favorite dishes. I grew up eating it and still get cravings for it! Ackee is a fruit that has a similar texture to scrambled eggs, but a little harder. It also doesn’t taste like a fruit either…it has a mild flavor that I can’t quite put my finger on. Kinda like…if you were to try to explain how an avocado (which is also a fruit) tastes. This dish is best served with green banana, fried dumpling, boiled dumplings, and/or breadfruit. For my recipe I share how to make it with green banana and fried dumpling. It’s so delicious, you can eat it for dinner too!
Ackee and Codfish (Serves 4)
1 can of ackee, drained
1/2 lb boneless salt cod or fresh cod
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion sliced
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 scotch bonnet pepper skin finely chopped up
1 medium-large tomato, chopped
2 stalks scallion, chopped
1/2 small garlic clove minced
3/4 teaspoon tomato paste
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
5 pimento seeds (also known as Allspice)
Soak the salt cod in a pot of water overnight to remove most of the salt. If the cod is still very salty, boil in water for 20 minutes. Drain cod and cut or break into small pieces.
If your using fresh cod, clean, pat dry with a paper towel, add salt and pepper, add some vegetable oil to a separate pan and cook on both sides breaking it up into small pieces for about 15 minutes.
Heat oil in a frying pan. Add the onions, thyme, pimento seed, garlic and scotch bonnet pepper, tomato, tomato paste and scallion. Stir for a few minutes. Add the cod. Stir. Simmer for 5 minutes, then add the can of drained ackee. Do not stir because this will cause the ackee to break up. Cook for a few more minutes then sprinkle with black pepper.
Makes about 14
Canola oil, for frying
4 cups flour
¼ cup sugar
2 tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. kosher salt
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch cubes and chilled
¾ cup milk
Pour oil into a 6-qt. Dutch oven to a depth of 2 inch, and heat over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer reads 325°.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt; add butter, and, using your fingers, rub into flour mixture until pea-size crumbles form. Add milk, and stir until a stiff, sticky dough forms. Divide dough into about fourteen 2-oz. pieces and roughly shape into balls. Working in batches, fry until puffed and golden brown, about 12 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain.
Green bananas are just regular bananas that aren’t ripe yet, so they should be as green as possible when buying them from the market. They have a similar taste to boiled yucca. You can cook as many green bananas as you’d like, I recommend cooking four. Fill a large pot with water, a little more than half way and put it on to boil. Cut the ends off of your bananas and using a knife cut a slit down the middle of the banana skin. Place bananas in the boiling water and simmer on low for 10-15 minutes until bananas are tender to touch with a fork. Remove from water, peel off skin, and serve.