Good Eatin’: Ackee and Saltfish

List Item: Try 500 of the 1001 Foods You Must Try Before You Die

I have more or less accepted that I will be behind on dairy, fish and meat in comparison to the other parts of this list. At the moment if I were to try and equalize the percentages I would need to focus on them until I hit food #200 which would not make this anywhere near as fun. So, whilst I keep an eye out for them I will still just accept any food I have yet to do.

Food Item: Ackee

I love Tesco. After months of awaiting what substitutions Asda would send our way it is refreshing to be able to order something more unusual and still get it delivered. Since they have a fairly large ‘Foods of the World’ sections I thought I would see what was on offer and there right in front of me was a tin of ackee and a pack of salt fish so I thought why not.

Ingredients (for 3 helpings, or 2 if your are feeling greedy):

  • 350g salt fish (pre-prepared as per the instructions)
  • 1/2 cup of groundnut oil
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 8-10 shakes Tabasco sauce (I know Scotch Bonnet peppers are traditional but I had a REALLY bad experience with one of these when I was younger)
  • 540g tin of ackee, drained of brine
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika

Add the oil to a pan (or a wok if you are like me) and heat it until it starts to smoke. To this add the garlic and thyme, allow this to sizzle for 45 seconds. To this add the onion and red pepper and cook for 5 minutes (stir occasionally so that it becomes coated in the oil).

Add the whole fillets of the pre-prepared salt fish to pan and allow to cook on top for 2 minutes. Now flake the fish and stir into the onion and peppers to cook for a further 3-4 minutes.

Topple in the drained ackee (do NOT stir this, it will disintegrate otherwise) and cook on top for 5 minutes. Sprinkle on top the black pepper and smoked paprika then serve.


With the exception of plantain chips this is the first time that I have ever made something that could be described as Caribbean. The ackee was very strange since it had the look and consistency of scrambled eggs, I tried to take a piece out of the can and it just ripped itself apart because it was just so mushy. The taste was mild and it really took on the flavours of the salt fish and the Tabasco sauce. I might make this dish again since it reminded me a lot of a Cambodian okra curry that I have in the dinner rotation.

Progress: 169/500

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