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Diving into Jamaica’s national dish: Ackee and saltfish

Craving a little bit of sunshine on a rainy Saturday afternoon, I decided to try my hand at Jamaica’s national dish, ackee and saltfish. I found it a perfect and straightforward way to celebrate Manchester’s Caribbean culture.

I purchased the ingredients from Afro Caribbean Foods, a store located at 185 Princess Road (opposite Alexandra Park). The shop has everything you need to make a variety of Caribbean foods at reasonable prices.


1 pack of skinless, boneless saltfish

1 tin of ackee (drained)

1 white onion

1 garlic clove

1 red pepper

3 tomatoes

½ scotch bonnet pepper (seeded)

1 teaspoon of paprika

Plenty of thyme


Ingredients. Photo: Sorcha Cullen @The Mancunion


  1. Soak the saltfish for 30 minutes in warm water, then change the water and boil for 20 minutes. This will wash out some of the saltiness from the fish;
  2. Remove the fish from the pot and flake it with a fork;
  3. Dice and sautée the scotch bonnet, garlic, onions, peppers and tomatoes until they become soft; Season with paprika and thyme;
  4. Drain the ackee and add to a pan along with the flaked saltfish;
  5. Season with black pepper;
  6. Combine all the ingredients and stir until everything is heated through.

Serve with rice and ‘peas’ (which is what Jamaicans call kidney beans).

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Tags: Ackee and Saltfish, Caribbean food, Jamaican dish, Jamaican food, national jamaican dish

Sorcha Cullen

Food and Drink Editor.
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