Mackerel Run Down

Jamaican Fish Recipes

Mackerel Run Down - salted mackerel, what we call pickled mackerel in Jamaica, cooked in coconut milk - is another all time favourite Jamaican dish, and it is great served with a choice of Roast Breadfruit, Green Bananas, Johnny Cakes, Festival, Bammy, Yam or Hard Dough Bread, and and accompanied by Avocado, fried ripe plantain and callaloo.

It is commonly eaten for Breakfast or Brunch, but is good at any time of the day, and it is very quick and easy to make.


  • 2 lbs of salt mackerel
  • 1 sweet pepper
  • 1 Scotch Bonnet de-seeded and de-veined
  • 2 large or 3 small tomatoes
  • 6 stalks scallion
  • 1 large or 2 small onions
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh Thyme
  • 1 clove chopped garlic or a little garlic powder
  • 3 cups of coconut milk (freshly made, or tinned, or made from powder)
  • black pepper to taste

How to Cook

  • Soak the mackerel in a large pot of cold water overnight
  • Change the water, bring to the boil and simmer for 20 mins
  • Flake the fish off the bones and discard the bones and head
  • Cut up the sweet pepper, the Scotch Bonnet, the tomatoes, the scallion, the onions
  • Add the fresh Thyme ... and stir fry
  • Add the flaked mackerel and the coconut milk
  • Simmer for another 5 minutes, remove sprigs of Thyme

You can serve Mackerel Run Down with any thing you wish ... my preference is a very ripe Roast Bread fruit, Avocado, fried ripe plantain and callaloo.

If you can't find salt mackerel where you are, buy some fresh mackerel, fillet it, sprinkle with salt and lime or lemon, and leave overnight in the fridge. Next day the mackerel will already look cooked ... rinse and cut the fillets in to bite-sized pieces.
Add stir-fried ingredients, fish and coconut milk to a frying pan and simmer for about 10 minutes until hot right through.

This will be an equally delicious and close substitute for the real thing.

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