Nan’s Ackee and Saltfish

My nan is a keen cook and is always found in her pride and joy kitchen humming away to some choral tune, Westlife or Katherine Jenkins. I drove up to Bristol on Thursday and on this occasion entered nan’s house to her dulcet tones of choral tunes. This is so not my kind of music obviously, but with nan I kind of secretly enjoy listening to her hum away to it, shh don’t tell anyone.

But what I really enjoy is eating her food! And waiting for me was a plate of ackee and saltfish, greens and rice. Nan’s been on a bit of a health kick over the last few months and this was a slightly healthier version of the Jamaican national dish. She was quite happy to share her recipe with us, so here it is.

Oh, and the next day she made one of my favourites, jerk pork ribs.

Nan’s Ackee and Saltfish

February 25, 2012
: 4
: 24 hr 15 min
: 35 min
: 25 hr
: easy

National dish of Jamaica


  • 1 lb salted fish

  • 1 can of ackee

  • 2 garlic cloves

  • 1 large fresh chopped tomato

  • half each of chopped red, green and yellow peppers

  • 1 large onion chopped

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
3 sprigs of thyme
half a scotch bonnet pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
salt and black pepper to taste
  • Step 1 Soak the saltfish overnight in a bowl of water. After soaking throw the water away. Add fresh water to a pan and boil the saltfish for 20 mins. Drain, de-bone and peel any skin that may remain on the fish.
  • Step 2
  • Step 3 Put the oil in the pan and add the onion, garlic, peppers, tomato and thyme. Fry on a very low heat for 15 mins, cover the pan if necessary.
  • Step 4 Break the saltfish into small bite-sized pieces then drain the ackee, add both the to the pan. Gently fold the ingredients together – the ackee is very delicate so try not to stir too much. Cover and cook for a further 10 mins. Serve with basmati rice and fried plantain.

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