Jamaica: How to Make Ackee and Saltfish

The Jamaican ackee fruit is the national fruit of the island of Jamaica. When combined with saltfish (codfish), it becomes Jamaica's national dish. This is a popular meal and loved by both Jamaicans and tourists alike. The dish is typically served for breakfast, although many people enjoy it throughout the day.

(Gluten-Free, Vegetarian Option Available)

*Check back here between September 25 to October 25 for a full instructional video!

Ingredients

Ackee and Saltfish:

  • 1 can of ackee
  • 1/2 pound of saltfish 
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper
  • 1/2 green bell pepper
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 avocado (optional)

Jamaican Fried Dumplings:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 - 1 1⁄2 cup water
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • oil (for frying)

Preparation

Ackee and Saltfish:

Step 1
Wash, then boil the salted cod fish to remove some of the salt.

Step 2
In a saucepan, satay garlic and onion together until it’s soft and translucent. Strain the water off the saltfish and add it to the garlic and onions in the saucepan.

Step 3
Chop all peppers and add them to the saucepan. Add a pinch of salt and thyme. 

Step 4
Let simmer for 5 minutes. Add ackee and simmer for another 5 minutes. Add pepper to taste.

Step 5
Serve with avocado and Jamaican fried dumplings. Enjoy!

Jamaican Fried Dumplings:

Step 1
Mix dry ingredients together.

Step 2
Add water a little at a time and knead dough. Dough should be soft but not sticky.

Step 3
Pinch off pieces (golf ball size), roll into a ball and flatten slightly.

Step 4
Heat oil in pan.

Step 5
Put each dumpling in pan and fry on each side.

Step 6
Remove from pan when each side is golden brown.

 

Be sure to post your cooking results on social media using the hashtag #SurreyFusion and tag @surreybcevents.

About Jamaica

Jamaica, a Caribbean island nation, has a lush topography of mountains, rainforests and reef-lined beaches. Many of its all-inclusive resorts are clustered in Montego Bay, with its British-colonial architecture, and Negril, known for its diving and snorkeling sites. Jamaica is famed as the birthplace of reggae music, and its capital Kingston is home to the Bob Marley Museum, dedicated to the famous singer.

Culture

Jamaican culture is a product of the interaction between Europe and Africa. Terms such as “Afro-centred” and “Euro-centred,” however, are often used to denote the perceived duality in Jamaican cultural traditions and values. European influences persist in public institutions, medicine, Christian worship, and the arts. However, African continuities are present in religious life, Jamaican Creole language, cuisine, proverbs, drumming, the rhythms of Jamaican music and dance, traditional medicine (linked to herbal and spiritual healing), and tales of Anansi, the spider-trickster.

Jamaican language is a wonderful manifestation of the melting pot of cultures that make up this island’s populace. The official language of the island is English, so you’ll have no problems communicating with local people, if that's your native language. However, Jamaican residents have a distinctive linguistic style that you’ll likely have heard before. The local dialect combines elements of other languages, from Spanish and African dialects, to Irish, British and American phrases. If you're looking to get some more intimate knowledge of how people in Jamaica speak, check out this list of common.

Food

Jamaican cuisine focuses on huge flavors, with plenty of Caribbean spices that really pack a punch. One of the most famous dishes in Jamaica is jerk chicken, a fiery chicken dish that combines the heat of scotch bonnet peppers with other spices like thyme, pepper, cinnamon, cloves and allspice. Another popular dish to try while you’re in Jamaica might require a bit of courage, but if you want authentic cuisine you’ve got to sample the local goat’s head soup, and the cow foot stew.

 

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