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Jamaican Saltfish Run Down (Rundung)

You have to try this Jamaican saltfish run down or saltfish run dung as we Jamaican pronounced it, recipe. This traditional recipe has a sweet taste from the coconut that goes well with hard food.

Jamaican Saltfish rundown

What is Run Down (Rundung)?

A Jamaican run down (rundung) dish is basically any food cooked down in fresh coconut milk. This could be anything from seafood to vegetables.

The most popular Jamaican run down (rundung) is mackerel run down, which I shared here.

The sweet flavour from the coconut, the saltiness from the fish and spices such as thyme, scotch bonnet pepper creates this finger-licking dish.

Jamaican Saltfish Rundown (rundung)
Jamaican Saltfish Rundown (rundung)

Type of Saltfish To Use

The type of saltfish that is normally used to make rundown is the very dry fish with its skin/scales and bones.


I prefer this type of saltfish because of its firm texture.

You can also use skinless and boneless saltfish and it may be a good thing if you are cooking for children. However, boneless saltfish is much too soft for the .

Soaking The Saltfish

Soaking the saltfish overnight in cold water is a common method to help remove the salt.

This will get rid of a lot of the salt and soften the fish if you are using the very dry one as I do.


Here is what you need for salt fish rundown.

rundown ingredients
  • Saltfish: I am using saltfish that has bone and skin.
  • Coconut milk: Use fresh coconut milk. I wouldn’t recommend using canned coconut milk just because coconut milk is so important to this recipe.
  • Essential Ingredients: Onion, thyme, scallion, pimento (allspice), garlic, and most important scotch bonnet pepper.

How To Cook Saltfish Run Down (Run dung)

Start by preparing the saltfish.

how to make saltfish rundown

Wash way to excess salt (soak in for at least 2 hours, if you wish) then put it to boil. Remove the fish scale and debone the fish then break into small flakes.

How to cook saltfish run dung

The next step is to cook down all the ingredients in the coconut milk. Cook until the coconut milk is reduced to a custard-like oil.

Jamaican Saltfish rundown
saltfish run dung

What To Serve With Rundung?

Jamaican rundown (rundung) only goes with one thing, hard food! Boiled yellow yam, green banana, and boiled dumpling!

You can also serve it with fried dumpling, but this dish was made to eat with hard food.

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Salt fish run down (rundung)

Jamaican Saltfish Rundown (Rundung)

The sweet taste from the coconut makes this finger licking dish worth a try!
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Jamaican
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 245 kcal


  • 3 Cups Fresh coconut milk
  • 1 lb Saltfish/ salted cod
  • 1 Medium onion Chopped
  • 2 Cloves garlic Crushed
  • 1 Bell pepper Chopped
  • 2 Stalk scallions chopped
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 5 Pimento berries (allspice)
  • ½ Scotch bonnet pepper Seed removed and finely chopped


  • Wash away the excess salt from the fish and soak the saltfish in cold water overnight.
  • Pour away the water and place the saltfish in a saucepan with fresh water and boil for 10 minutes.
  • Pour away the boiled water and wash the fish in cold water to cool it. Remove the fish skin and its bones. Break the saltfish into small pieces of fish flacks. Put aside.
  • Pour the fresh coconut milk in a saucepan on medium to high heat, and bring to a boil.
  • Add the bell pepper, onion, garlic, scallions, pimento, thyme and the saltfish flakes.
  • Cook until the coconut milk reduced to a custard like coconut oil.


Before the saltfish run down is fully cooked, taste the pot to see if you would like more salt. 
Keyword Saltfish Rundown

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  1. Really great site. Keep up the good work

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