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Steamed Cabbage And Saltfish Recipe

This steamed cabbage and saltfish recipe makes a great midweek dinner. Quick and easy to make and very tasty. Cabbage, flaked saltfish cooked together with onion, bell pepper, thyme and scallion. Yummy!

steamed cabbage and saltfish

Steamed Cabbage With Saltfish

I love steamed cabbage because it is so easy to prepare and it is very cheap to purchase. What makes this dish so good (at least for me) is the sweet taste from the cabbage combined with the salty taste from the saltfish. A hint of scotch bonnet pepper and I have the perfect dish.

I sometimes cook with coconut oil to add more sweet taste to the cabbage.

Soaking The Saltfish

Traditionally the saltfish is soaked overnight to get rid of the excess salt from the fish and help soften the fish. But these days there are many different types of saltfish and way of preparing the fish have change.

For example skinless and boneless saltfish isn’t as hard as the saltfish with the bones so you make not need to soak it overnight. If you do soak it overnight you won’t need to boil it before cooking it down with the other ingredients.

For this recipe, I am using the saltfish with its bones and I did not soak it overnight so I had to boil it first.

What You Need For Steamed Cabbage with Saltfish

Here’s what goes in this steamed cabbage dish.

  • White cabbage: White cabbage with the light green leaves are best. They are easier to shred and cook unlit the cabbage with the white leaves.
  • Saltfish: I always use saltfish that have bones and fish scale. This type of saltfish takes a little more time to prepare but I am ok with that. You can use boneless and skinless saltfish if you want less preparation time. If you use boneless and skinless slatfish you don’t have to boil it before you cook it down with the cabbage – given that you soaked it overnight.
  • Carrot, scallion, onion, garlic, thyme, tomato, scotch bonnet pepper: Essential ingredients
  • Bell pepper: You can use multiple colours or a single colour. I am using green and red.
  • Salt (not in photo): Depending on how much of the salt you wash away, you may have to add a little salt back to the pot. Soaking some saltfish overnight with remove so much of the salt that you may have to add salt to the pot. Just make sure the pot is fully cooked before deciding if it wants more salt.
  • Cooking Oil (not shown in the image): Butter is commonly used in Jamaican steamed cabbage. However, I never used it, I use either coconut oil or olive oil.

How To Make It Jamaican Steam Cabbage

Prepare the saltfish first. I did not soak the saltfish so I had to boil it to get rid of some of the salt. I then sauté it with the onion, scallion, garlic and thyme before adding the cabbage and the vegetables.

What To Serve It With

Jamaican steamed cabbage with saltfish

Steamed cabbage and saltfish is best served with hard food – boiled ground provisions such green banana, yam and pumpkin.

It also goes well with pumpkin rice, or coconut rice.

Other Cabbage Recipes

Related Recipes

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steamed cabbage and saltfish

Steamed Cabbage And Saltfish Recipe

Simple, tasty and goes with your favourite rice dish
5 from 10 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Jamaican
Keyword: Fish, Steamed Vegetable
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 5 Servings
Calories: 201kcal
Author: Lesa


  • 1 lb Saltfish
  • 1 Medium Cabbage Shredded
  • 1 Bell pepper Chopped
  • 1 Large carrot Shredded
  • 2 Small tomatoes Diced
  • 1 Stalk scallion Chopped
  • 3 Sprig Thyme
  • 1 Small onion Chopped
  • 2 Cloves garlic
  • ½ Scotch bonnet pepper Seed removed and finely chopped
  • ¼ tsp Black pepper
  • tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt (optional)


  • If you did not soak the saltfish, wash away the excess salt from the saltfish, place it in a saucepan with fresh water and put to boil for 10 minutes.
  • Pour way the boiling water, add fresh clod water to cold the saltfish.
  • Remove the skin and debone. Fake the saltfish and set aside.
  • In a pot add the cooking and the chopped onion, garlic, scallion, scotch bonnet pepper and sauté on medium heat for two minutes.
  • Stir in the flaked saltfish and cook for another 2 minutes.
  • Add the tomato and thyme
  • Stir in the bell pepper and cabbage. Cover and steamed on low heat for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the carrot, cover and steam for another 5 minutes.
  • Add the black pepper and any salt that you need. Turn the heat of and let it rest for 3 minutes. Serve with your favourite side


  • You may way to add a bit of water to prevent the cabbage burning. I didn’t have to in this case because the pot created it’s own water. 
  • I add the carrot last because I like my carrot crunchy, if that is not your taste, add it when you add the bell peppers.  


Nutrition Facts
Steamed Cabbage And Saltfish Recipe
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


  1. 5 stars
    oh my gosh this sounds so tasty!!!! I love cabbage so much its so good. I love it fermented.

  2. Crystal // Dreams, etc.

    5 stars
    I’ve never tried saltfish before! This looks like a good recipe to try out sometime.

  3. The more I see jamaincan cuisine the more I fall in love with it, I need to try this

  4. Janeane M Davis

    5 stars
    This looks like such a good recipe. It is something I never hd before, but would love to try! I like the individul ingredients and will like to see them together.

  5. 5 stars
    I have never tried saltfish, this looks amazing! I definitely have to try this sometime

  6. Sharon Davis

    5 stars
    I stopped eating meat quick easy as delicious alternative

  7. This is what am about to prepare

  8. 5 stars
    This was delicious! Very flavourful. I first heard of this dish on an episode of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, served at a Jamaican restaurant in Miami. It looked and sounded so good that I googled the recipe and found you! I cheated and used a bag of coleslaw mix rather than chopping a whole cabbage and carrots. I forgot to soak my boneless skinless salt fish so boiled it instead. It had just enough salt left therefore I did not add any extra. I served it with coconut lime rice (while the song “Put De Lime in De Coconut” played in my head…lol). Got rave reviews from family. Thanks so much!!

  9. 5 stars
    I just made this. Your recipe is excellent and so easy to follow. I made this to go with some hard food. I’m coming back to your site for more yummies.
    Thank you

  10. Barrington Augustus

    5 stars
    wow, this is sound to delicious , your recipe is to easy to follow , i’ll cooked this with coconut oil, you know that the more i see jamaican cuisine the more i fell in love with it, i am going to try this recipe now.

  11. 5 stars
    My husband is Jamaican. I’m trying different recipes to learn how to cook for him. I’m making it right now and this smells so absolutely delicious! Yeah, just tasted. DELICIOUS!!!! I’ll make this again for sure!!!!

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