This vegan ackee recipe is the perfect alternative to Jamaican ackee and saltfish. Cook with no saltfish and replace with mushrooms, making this ackee recipe the best vegan dish – but I may be biased, so try for yourself and see.
Ackee And Mushroom Vegan Recipe
Ackee is the national fruit of Jamaica and one part of the national dish, ackee and saltfish.
This recipe is an alternative to ackee and saltfish, especially for those who no longer eat saltfish. Ackee and mushroom is the vegan ackee and saltfish. The mushroom is the substitute for the saltfish.
Even though I still eat saltfish, I no longer make ackee and saltfish. These days, whenever I am cooking ackee, it’s always with mushrooms. This recipe is that good, and if you are totally plant-based, you will also appreciate it.
Although this recipe is similar to cooking ackee and saltfish, it takes less time because you don’t have any fish to soak or precook. All you do is chopped all the vegetables, add them to the pan and let them cook.
The type of mushroom you use will contribute to the taste and how the dish turns out, so let’s talk about mushrooms.
Which Mushroom To Use
Chestnuts mushrooms are great to use, there are very healthy, and they taste great. I love chestnuts mushrooms, and for a while they were all I use. But after trying other types of mushrooms, I discovered other types that best suited this recipe.
My favourite mushrooms to use are the king oyster mushrooms, but they are so hard to find at times. King oyster mushrooms have this chicken-like texture when cooked, making them perfect for this dish. When I can’t get king oyster mushrooms, my alternative is shiitake mushroom. They have simpler texture as the kings oyster and the taste is good also.
The key to getting this right is to dry the mushrooms after washing them. I squeezed them in a paper towel before chopper them.
What Goes In Vegan Ackee Recipe
- Ackee: I’m using tin ackee as it is more accessible for most. My favourite brand to use is Jamaica’s Pride. After draining away the water/brine from the ackee, I like pouring boiling water over it to soften the ackee up.
- Mushroom: I used woodland and king oyster mushrooms and chopped them into strips for that shredded chicken feeling.
- Coconut oil: To add that extra tropical flavour to the dish and coconut oil is healthier than most cooking oil.
- Bell pepper: You only need half a bell pepper. I used a quarter of two different colour pepper to make the dish more colourful.
- Thyme, scotch bonnet pepper, and scallion: This wouldn’t be a Jamaican dish with these ingredients. Use dry thyme as fresh thyme doesn’t work well in the recipe.
- Onion, garlic and tomato: A must
- Salt and black pepper: You won’t need much salt for this recipe when you use tinned ackee because the ackee is already in salted water or brine. I usually only add a pinch or two of salt to this recipe which for me is enough. Add the black pepper at the end.
How To Cook Ackee With Mushroom
If you know how to cook ackee and saltfish, you will find it easy to make ackee and mushroom because the steps are similar.
- Heat the Oil: Melt the coconut oil on medium heat. Don’t let it reach the smoke point as this will destroy the fatty acids that make this oil healthy.
- Sauté the onion: Add the onion, garlic and scotch bonnet pepper to the hot oil. Cook the onion until soft before adding the other ingredients.
- Add the other vegetables: Add the bell pepper and sauté for about 4 minutes until softened. Also, add the chopped tomato and scallion.
- Mushroom: Make sure the pan is dry when adding the mushroom. The mushroom will add water to the pan if it wasn’t dried properly. If the mushroom releases water when it starts to cook, turn the heat up to reduce the water, before adding the ackee.
- The ackee: Make sure to drain away all the water from the ackee. The ackee can get soft and mash easily. If too much water is in the pan, you will get something like a soup instead of an ackee and mushroom dish.
- Seasoning: Add the salt once you add the ackee. I add the black pepper when I’m about to turn the heat off.
Vegan Ackee Variations
A vegan ackee dish is all about vegetables. It is all plant-based.
If you have this dish in Jamaica, it may not contain mushrooms because mushrooms aren’t a common vegetable in Jamaican cooking.
Now that there are a lot more plant-based meat substitutes, you have more alternatives for saltfish.
Plant-based substitutes such as mushrooms (as used in this recipe), jackfruit and hearts of palm are all alternatives to saltfish.
However, you can get any of these substitutes or doesn’t like any of them you can make vegan ackee with them and still achieve a tasty dish.
How To Serve
In Jamaica, depending on what ackee is served with, it is eaten at breakfast time, lunch or dinner.
Serve this vegan ackee, mushroom recipe with fried plantain or fried breadfruit when having breakfast.
For dinner, serve with any rice dish or ground provision or hard food as we Jamaican calls it.
Vegan Ackee Recipe With Mushroom
- 1 Canned ackee
- 150 g (5.29 oz) Mushroom (Shiitake or King oyster) sciled
- 40 g (1.41 oz) Onion Sliced
- 30 g (1.06 oz) Scallion (spring onion) chopped
- 50 g (1.76 oz) Tomato Sliced
- 100 g (3.53 oz) Bell pepper Sliced
- 1 Cloves garlic Crush
- 3 Sprig of dried thyme
- ¼ Scotch bonnet pepper Remove seed
- ⅛ tsp Black pepper
- ¼ tsp Salt
- 1 tbsp Coconut oil or oil of your choice
- Open the can of ackee, pour it into a colander sieve and leave it to drain.
- Fire at medium to low heat, and melt the coconut oil (if you are using it) in a saucepan.
- Add the onion, garlic, scotch bonnet pepper, scallion, thyme and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes or until the onion softens.
- Add the tomato and bell pepper and cook other for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the mushroom. Cook until the mushroom releases moisture into the pan, then add the ackee.
- Add salt and black pepper.
- I use coconut oil, but you can you any cooking oil of your choice.
- Use shiitake or oyster mushroom, or a mixture of both. I like using a combination of both.
- Pour a cup of boiling water over the ackee before draining it. The hard pieces of ackee will soften up.
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