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Jamaican ackee and salt fish recipe

This ackee and salt fish recipe is an authentic Jamaican recipe. But instead of using fresh ackee, I made the recipe easier and more convenient by using canned ackee. Tastes just ask delicious as if I was using fresh ackee.

Jamaican ackee and saltfish recipe

Ackee And Saltfish

Ackee and salt fish is the National dish of Jamaican, made with salted codfish and the national fruit ackee.

Jamaican ackee and salt fish is very easy to make and goes with just about any side.

This recipe is also made without saltfish to create a “ital” dish that is suitable for vegetarians.

Jamaican National dish

What Goes Into Ackee and Salt fish

Here’s what you need to make your ackee and saltfish dish.

ackee and salt fish ingredients
  • Saltfish: I used saltfish with the bone, I prefer the texture but you can use boneless and skinless saltfish instead.

Here I used two different colour bell pepper because I like my food looking like the rainbow but this is not necessary. It doesn’t matter if you use fresh thyme or dry thyme.

If you soaked the saltfish overnight you might have to add a little bit of salt to the ingredient. However, the saltfish usually have enough salt to season the pot.

How To Cook Ackee And Saltfish

Start with preparing the saltfish. I washed away the excess salt from the saltfish and soaked for about an hour. Then put it to boil. Scaling the saltfish makes it easier to remove the bone and skin and make it easier to flake.

Since the ackee is so soft, careful when you are stirring it into the pot so that you don’t mash it too much, your ackee and saltfish shouldn’t be mushy.

Ackee and salt fish recipe

What Goes With Ackee And Saltfish?

In Jamaica ackee and saltfish is eaten at breakfast, at lunchtime, for dinner and serve with just about every sides.

Ackee and saltfish is served with fried dumpling, fried or roasted breadfruit, hard food or any rice dish.

My personal favourite thing to have with ackee and saltfish is pumpkin rice, coconut rice or breadfruit, both roasted and fried.

Ackee and saltfish
How to make ackee and salt fish

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Jamaican ackee and saltfish recipe

Jamaican ackee and saltfish recipe

There is never a right time to trying the Jamaican National, have it for breakfast, lunch or even dinner. Ackee and saltfish go well with just about anything.
4.72 from 59 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Breakfast, Side Dish
Cuisine: Jamaican
Keyword: Jamaican ackee and salt fish recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories: 180kcal
Author: Lesa


  • 2 Canned Ackee
  • 1 lb Saltfish
  • 1 Onions Sliced
  • 1 Small tomato Diced
  • 1 Sweet bell pepper Or ½ red and ½ green like I did
  • 1 Stalk scallions Chopped
  • 2 Sprig thyme
  • ¼ Scotch bonnet pepper Seeds removed
  • ½ tsp Black pepper
  • 2 tbsp Cooking oil


  • Soak the saltfish for a minimum of two hours in cold water.
  • Pour way the water.
  • In a saucepan, place the saltfish and cover with fresh water. Put to boil on medium heat for 15 minutes.
  • Removed from heat and pour away the hot water. Wash the fish in cold water to cool it.
  • Remove the fish skin and debone the saltfish. Flake the saltfish and set aside.
  • On medium fire, heat the oil in a cooking skillet. Add the onions, thyme, tomato, sweet pepper, scotch bonnet pepper, scallions and sauté for 3 minutes.
  • Add the flaked saltfish and cook for another 3 minutes.
  • Add the ackee, lower the heat and let it simmer for another 10-15 minutes
  • Add the black pepper, turn the heat off and serve


  • If you soaked the saltfish overnight you might have to add a little salt back to the pot.


Nutrition Facts
Jamaican ackee and saltfish recipe
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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  1. 5 stars
    Tried ackee and saltfish on holiday in Jamaica and couldn’t get enough. Tried this recipe and it tasted the same as the ackee and saltfish I had on holiday. Thanks for sharing

  2. 5 stars
    Cooked this yesterday and it turned out great. My first time having ackee and saltfish and I loved it. I will try more recipe

  3. 5 stars
    Saltfish and Ackee is my favorite dish. My Aunt Laurel in Grand Cayman makes it for me when I’m there. Thank you for the recipe.

  4. This is basically the same recipe I use except I dont use hot pepper or scallion. Never liked it in this particular dish. Sometimes I even throw in some bacon. I’d have to disagree with Grace being the best brand. I prefer Governor’s Choice. The ackee is a bit more firm and doesn’t break as easily but still soft.

  5. 5 stars
    I added 1/2 tablespoon granulated garlic and 1 cup of water before allowing it to simmer. Absolutely top tier recipe.

  6. 5 stars
    I like a lot ackee and saltfish, it was a love from the first bite 😋 few years ago. I tried to cook it for the first time, following your recipe. Thanks Lesa, I made it and I
    enjoyed it 😋

    1. 5 stars
      I am enjoying my Ackey and salt fish now for lunch. Thank you so much for the recipe. To get rid of the smell of cooking fish I always simmer a small pot with water, cinnamon powder and cloves at the same time I am cooking fish.

    2. 5 stars
      My favourite food in the whole world! I normally order but decided to cook myself and followed your instructions..
      It came out perfect 👌🏼

  7. 5 stars
    Amazing awesome 👏 recipe thank so much my whole family loved it ,it was the best salt fish and Ackee I’ve made so far thank 👍👍👍👍

  8. I am reading “When No On is Watching” by Alyssa Cole and keep stopping to look up the Carribean food mentioned throughout the storyline. I can’t wait to try my hand at this recipe after I find a good spot for the canned achee in Denver,Co. Thank you for this recipe!!

  9. I use to eat ackee and codfish a lot when I lived New York. I can’t find salted cod where I live now. Can I use salted pollock?

    1. If you have an Asian market they might have it or a Mexican market it’s called Bacalao. That’s where I have been able to find it on the west coast. The ackee I usually get off Amazon.

  10. 5 stars
    Just made this, I’m Jamaican on both sides but I never learned the recipe for my favorite breakfast. If you’re like me and looking for something authentic, try this! I added a tiny bit of ketchup to the peppers and salt fish (before you add the ackee) and it was perfect. Thank you!!

  11. 5 stars
    100% Authentic Jamaican recipe – delicious with some white rice (imo) hard dough bread, or a fried dumpling 😉
    Am not so keen on other “interpretations” of these traditional recipes by other chef’s so I’m real glad to have found this one:))

  12. No rating as I am making it next week. The recipe says “2 canned ackee” Does this mean two cans of ackee (if so, what size can) or use 2 ackee from a can?

    1. 5 stars
      Donna you dumb dumb. Cause you are not smart human. You need help. Get help. Please for your sake and ours.

  13. 5 stars
    I’d been wanting to cook this and rice and peas for many years but was a bit scared. But I pretty much followed your recipes for both and my first attempt came out better than any take away I have ever had. Only my friends mum’s versions could possibly top it. I’m now on my third go.

    Thank you for clear and easy to follow recipes with good explanations about the differing ingredients.

  14. 5 stars
    I previously ate ackee & salt fish but never made it. Thanks for sharing …this was my first time trying it…came out quite good and I like the fairly short cooking time. 👍🏾

  15. 5 stars
    So glad I found your amazing page! I’ve searched high and low for the closest recipes to what I love eating, and it’s fine people use different ingredients but this site is the best and most authentic, however my money alarm goes off every time I buy Ackee now, £6 a tin! Lord have mercy 😂

  16. 5 stars
    my first time making this & i just wanna thank you because my ancestors are smiling bc it tastes so goooood!!! followed the recipe step by step & now it tastes like i have done this my whole life

    1. Hi David, you can add garlic if you like. Garlic in ackee have an unique taste so you will find that some people use it and some don’t.

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