I’ve had a lot of debates with a few people about whether or not ackee is a fruit or a vegetable (none of which have been Jamaican). Ackee is indeed a fruit and a delicious one at that (that’s my opinion because for some ackee is an acquired taste!). Some say it looks like scrambled eggs when cooked but it certainly doesn’t taste like it!
Salt fish is cod, which has been dried and preserved in salt! Salt fish is used in many Jamaican dishes, some of which I will share later in my blog posts.
You can have ackee in many different ways but my favourite is when it is teamed with salt fish and fried dumplings. Here is my recipe of how to make the perfect ackee and salt fish meal.
3 tins of Tropical Sun Ackee
1 pack of boneless and skinless salt fish
3 medium onions (diced)
3 tomatoes (chopped into small pieces)
Scotch bonnet (use half or more depending on how spicy you like it)
Cracked black pepper
2 cups of oil (vegetable or sun flower or olive oil)
2 tbs of tomato ketchup
- Cover the salt fish with water and boil until soft and less salty (you may need to drain and change the water at most once and then boil again)
- Once soft, drain the water and place salt fish in a boil and break into smaller pieces 9 not to small)
- Open the ackee tin and drain the liquid, place the ackee in boiling water for a minute then remove and place in a bowl.
- Heat the oil and the onions, tomato, salt fish and ketchup. Fry until onions are soft (translucent).
- Add the scotch bonnet and then the ackee, stir until well combined with the onion and salt fish mixture being careful not to break up the ackee too much. Fry for one minute.
- Add the cracked black pepper, taste and add a little salt if need.
For the fried dumplings:
450 grams plain flour
1/2 to 1 tsp Salt (if using salted butter or margarine use 1/2 tsp salt)
3 tsp Baking powder
3 Tbsp Unsalted Butter or margarine
170 grams Cold water
115 ml cooking oil (sunflower or vegetable or olive oil)
1. Combine flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl
2. Blend butter into dry ingredients with hands or mixer until crumbly
3. Add water, a little at a time, to dry ingredients until dough holds together (you may
not need all the water). Sprinkle with more flour if dough is too wet.
4. Knead dough until smooth; do not over knead. Place in fridge for 15 minutes
5. Shape dough into 8 small balls (enough to fit in palm) or 16 mini smalls
6. Pour cooking oil into frying pan and set stove to Medium High
7. Place dumplings into pan; oil should be sizzling
8. As each side browns continually turn dumplings until all sides are brown and
dumplings are light and fluffy
Tip: How do you know they’re cooked inside? When you tap
the dumplings in the pan they should sound hollow