Ackee and Saltfish
The National Dish of Jamaica

Ackee and Saltfish has over the years become the National Dish of Jamaica, although neither ingredient is of Jamaican origin.

Ackee was probably brought to Jamaica from West Africa, but it is more widely eaten in Jamaica than anywhere else, and it has become Jamaica's National Fruit.

Salted cod was originally imported in to Jamaica as a cheap source of protein, and it has become one of our staple foods.

Salt Fish and Ackee, or Ackee and Saltfish as some people say, can be eaten anytime, but it is very common to have it for Breakfast or Brunch.

It can be accompanied by a wide variety of other local foods ... boiled Green Banana, Festival, Yam, Fried Ripe Plantain, Avocado, Hard-dough Bread, and/or Roast Breadfruit. Eat it with anything you wish ... or just eat it by itself.

This Jamaican Ackee and Saltfish recipe was a favorite with my wife Melody Ann and she cooked it frequently.  Fresh ackees are preferable, but if you can not get fresh ackees tinned Ackees work well.


  • 1 1/2 lbs Saltfish - soaked overnight to get rid of excess salt
  • 2 to 3 tbspns Oil
  • 2 cloves Garlic - chopped
  • 1 medium Onion - chopped
  • 1 Scotch Bonnet Pepper - or other Hot Chilli - de-seeded and chopped
  • 1 sprig of fresh Thyme
  • 2 Tomatoes - chopped
  • 2 tins Ackee - brine drained off
  • 1 Sweet pepper - optional
  • Black Pepper to taste

How To Cook

  • Place the soaked Saltfish in fresh water ... bring to the boil and simmer for 4 - 5 minutes.
  • Drain the water off the Saltfish ... let it cool a little ... de-skin ... flake the flesh off the bones ... discard bones and skin.
  • Heat the Oil in a large Frying Pan or Wok ... Stir-fry Onions, Pepper, Garlic and Thyme until you can smell the aroma.
  • Add the Saltfish and Tomatoes to the Wok and bring to a simmer.
  • Add the Ackees ... very gently fold ackees in so that they don't break up ... bring back to a simmer.

Enjoy your Salt Fish and Ackee ... "Give Thanks" ... and make any comments you wish below.

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