When visiting Jamaica, one of the must-try dishes is our national dish, Ackee and Saltfish. It is the most popular among our guests and is available as part of the taste of Jamaica dish during breakfast on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Ackee & Saltfish

What is Ackee?

Ackee is a pear-shaped fruit that is found in warm climates. As the ackee fruit ripens, it turns from green to bright red to yellow-orange, and splits open to reveal three large, shiny black seeds, each partly surrounded by soft, white to yellow flesh.

This national fruit of Jamaica was imported here from East Africa before 1725. Today, ackee fruit is canned and one of Jamaica’s major exports.

Akee fruit

Ackee and Saltfish

To prepare the dish, salt cod is sautéed with boiled ackee, onions, Scotch Bonnet peppers, tomatoes and spices. It is usually served as breakfast or dinner alongside breadfruit, hard dough bread, dumplings, fried plantain, or boiled green bananas. Ackee and Saltfish can also be eaten with rice and peas or plain white rice.


Serves 2-4

  • ½-pound salt fish
  • fresh ackee soaked, or tinned ackee
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 small sweet pepper (yellow/red or green), julienned
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon scotch bonnet pepper, chopped finely (omit if you don’t want the dish spicy)
  • 2 stalks scallion, chopped
  • 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Put saltfish to soak in cold water for about 1 hour.
  2. Pour off water; add fresh water and boil until tender.
  3. De-bone and flake the saltfish.
  4. Heat oil and sauté onion, garlic, scallions, tomatoes, scotch bonnet pepper and sweet pepper until tender, about five to six minutes.
  5. Add flaked saltfish, fresh or canned ackee and black pepper.
  6. Toss lightly; cover and allow to stand over low heat for about 2 minutes.

Enjoy this most famous Jamaican dish!

Ackee & Saltfish Ackee and Saltfish served with fried plantains and breadfruit

14 comments on “Recipe: Ackee and Saltfish, Jamaica’s National Dish

  • You are fabulous, i ate this dish 3 years ago i never forgot the taste of it ; i asked many people to teach me how to do it but all not the taste i am looking for ;:until i just google it and it’s come out as it should come ; beautiful, thank you very much A+++++

    • Dear Tagrid,

      Happy to hear you love our national dish so much! It definitely is a unique but delish dish! Keep enjoying and stay in touch!

  • Absolutely delicious! I liked this recipe better than the ackee and saltfish I had a resort
    in Negril. THANK YOU!! A+++++
    I strongly recommend taking the time to make fried dumplings. Match made in heaven! 🙂

    • Jamaica Inn says:

      Hello Christine,

      Lovely to hear the feedback on how much you enjoyed this dish! We will make sure we do a recipe for fried dumplings upcoming!

  • Well I was not lucky enough to visit Jamaica, however, this dish looks delicious and I am trying it as we speak. I will let you know what I think after dinner. Many thanks for the recipe. Going to try it with Rice and Kidney beans which I picked up at the store.

    Happy New Year.
    Roma Farmer

    • Hello Roma,
      We’re so happy you were inspired to try our national dish! Do let us know how the dish turns out, it sounds like you’re off to a great start!

  • Just cooked this for my first time and I’m blown away. The flavours where delicious. Was a bit dubious about the ackee and how it looks and tastes out the can but my lord they worked well together. Thank you

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