Ackee and Saltfish – Jamaican Breakfast

Like this Post?:
Ackee and Saltfish - Jamaican Breakfast Recipe - Caribbean Recipe

Ackee and Saltfish

Ackee and Saltfish is the national dish of Jamaica, and is a very common and well-loved Jamaican breakfast. Several items such as sautéed tomatoes and onions go into the making of this colorful scramble, and of course at the heart of this breakfast are both ackee and saltfish.  Ackee, which is a fruit with a slightly nutty and sweet flavor, provides a delicate contrast to saltfish, which is typically dried salted cod, but may be replaced with salted bacalao or pollock.

Serves 4 


  • 1/2 lb saltfish (dried, salted codfish)
  • 12 fresh ackees (or 1 18 oz. can ackees, drained)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 hot pepper (ideally Scotch Bonnet)
  • 1 sweet pepper
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme (or 1 tsp. dried thyme)
  • 2 cloves garlic, optional
  • 4 scallions (or spring onions), optional
  • 6 slices bacon, optional


  1. Submerge the saltfish in cold water and allow to soak overnight or for at least eight hours to remove excess salt. During this time, drain the water and replace with fresh water several times.
  2. Bring a pan of cold water over high heat to boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the fish and gently simmer for 20 minutes, until tender.
  3. Chop the onion, sweet pepper, scotch bonnet pepper and tomato.
  4. Remove the fish from the water and allow to cool.
  5. Use your hands to remove the fish bones and skin, then flake the fish apart.
  6. Melt the butter in a frying pan and stir fry the onion, black pepper, sweet pepper, scotch bonnet and thyme for about 3 minutes.
  7. Add the tomatoes and flaked fish and stir-fry for another 10 minutes
  8. Add the Ackee and cook until heated through, stirring gently to avoid breaking apart the Ackee. Serve hot, with yam, boiled green banana and fried dumplings


  • Be careful with the scotch bonnet peppers. Avoid adding the seeds if kids will be dining with you.
Adapted from Jamaica Travel and Culture