Tuesday, March 20, 2012

How to make Ackee & Saltfish






As the national dish of Jamaica, Ackee and Saltfish is internationally known and locally loved. 
The ackee fruit was imported to Jamaica from West Africa (probably on a slave ship) before 1778. It is also known as blighia sapida. The scientific name honours Captain William Bligh who took the fruit from Jamaica to the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, England in 1793 and introduced it to science. Because parts of the fruit are toxic, there are shipping restrictions when being imported. Saltfish  is cod which has been preserved by drying after salting. Below is a method for preparing this meal. 






Ackee fruit  in the pod

The ackee pod should be fully open  and exposing the seeds in order to be deemed safe for consumption. You will be poisoned if you consume ackee from unopened pods.

Ackee fruit in the pod
 Next you should remove the ackee fruit from the pod as shown below.



Ackee that has been picked from the pod
You then move to removing the seeds from the ackee arils, and clean everything so that it looks like the picture below.
Ackee with the seeds removed


Cleaned aril


Saltfish aka Salted Codfish


Garlic cloves and Pimento seed
The saltfish, spices, and ackee arils are then put to boil until the arils become tender but firm and also to aid in the removal of the scales on the saltfish.




Boiled Ackee arils


Softened Ackee arils


Boiled Saltfish


Deboned and Flaked Saltfish


At this point everything is seasoned with, salt (No,boiling it with the saltfish was not enough),  pepper, garlic, onions, thyme, pimento, tomato and escallion.  The flaked saltfish is then sauteed with the seasonings for a few seconds before adding the cooked ackee arils. Leave it to simmer for about two minutes and then turn off the stove.
Ackee and Saltfish


The Finished Product

Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ackee_and_saltfish

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