Don’t forget this is a Blog website and not a recipe book design for a interesting read so if you want step by step instruction trust me good luck on that one.
Ackee and Saltfish Jamaican National Dish goes well with fried dumplings and boil green banana as a Sunday morning breakfast with hot cocoa for kids growing up in the 60s , 70s and early 80s after that no one care much for anything anymore.
This dish is so simple to make even a 6 year old can make it , but there was never a 6 year old around when you need one, come to think of it i did make this dish when i was only 5 years old, so let me give it to you as a child’s point of view with a bit of humor for your reading pleasure, as a kid growing up in Jamaica we had it good so if anyone ever say that we went to bed hungry that was and is a lie.
Please Note and read it very carefully to get the full understand because these are facts not friction, in my days as a kid we don’t usually measure anything we used discretions and we buy what we want or need for the purpose and we usually used fresh ingredients from off the tree or from the sea.
The Dumpling Dough.
- 1 lbs Flour
- 1 or 1.5 Tea Spoon Baking Powder ( Baking Soda ) is for your fridge so never confused the two
- 1/2 oz Butter or Margarine, actually we used margarine mostly as a kid we call everything butter anyway but in fact it was margarine.
- Add all ingredients together in a bowl then add water to bind all ingredients add water to suit your desire , if too soft not a problem just add more flower, if too hard just wet your hand and continue to your likeness, when finish let it set for a few minutes.
- Depend on how you want your dumplings here is a secret for smoothness let the dough set for about 20 minutes and you will have smooth fry dumplings.
- Now here comes the tricky part to avoid burning and disappointments.
- The frying so let me help you with that depending on your method of frying so let us continue, make no mistakes you are going to love these methods outdoor or indoor we have you covered, the size of dumplings are up to you and do with it as you see fit, you can make 2 big dumplings and put 1 each in your frying pan we usually used cast-iron pots not those crap that they have these days made in China crap fry one side first then flip it over and fry the other side, some people used a mug and flatten them out and some just leave it as is, any method is fine, next method is to break the dough into small pieces about 10 or 12 pieces and make your round ball and then press the middle to form a small circle , now all of this is up to you so you do you.
- Out Door Wood – Burn your wood down to coal to avoid high flames, don’t know what contraption you have for outdoor cooking but i know there are some out there but you have to attract low heat to avoid burning, add cooking oil to your sauce pan or pot fry slowly until golden brown keep turning until both side are evenly brown.
- Coal Stove – Same as outdoor with a twist to keep the heat down you can cover the stove with a piece of zinc.
- Gas or Electric Stove – Turn your stove to medium until your oil is hot, then turn down to low and please make sure you don’t put your dumplings in cold oil because those dumplings will be soak with oil and we cant have that.
- Things to think about back then we may not have much oil to go around sometimes the oil that we have finish before finish frying so we just bake the rest of the dough, now oil is in abundance you can use your pots and pan as a deep fryer and drop your dumplings inside and when they are fried they will float to the top but, not because they float that don’t usually means they are done, keep turning until golden brown.
Now let us talk about the preparation of Ackee and Salt Fish.
Before i begin lets comment on a few things first and foremost, every country around the world has a national dish and if you don’t know how to make it just don’t Screw it up and think it’s ok that is very disrespectful, beef patties supposed to be hot, now you can get them in mild, WTF seriously? Jerk Sauce Supposed to be hot, now we have mild, that just defeated the purpose of what it supposed to be, honestly i just cannot eat pepper whenever time i eat that stuff i can feel it burning my inside and i know the pain it brings , but at least i prepare myself to eat some jerk chicken at least once or twice every 2 weeks. You can call me old fashion but honestly i don’t encourage slackness, oh by the way the original jerk is not chicken it is actually pork so don’t be confused if someone gives you jerk pork.
What to get.
First get a dozen Ackee, remove the seed and the red inside of the fruit and half pound of saltfish ( codfish) get the good codfish and not the the old ones that starting to get brown, fresh one usually looks white and dry some retailer usually wet the fish to make it heavy so you get less (Retailers Trick) Ackee sole in cans over the world , the can will work as well even though it’s a bit mushy and soft.
- Green Peppers
- Scotch Bonnet Pepper
- Cooking Oil
- Escallion don’t be confused Scallion starts with a E
Chop Onions, Green Peppers, Escallion and Scotch Pepper in your cooking utensil, that means pot, pan or what you are using with oil don’t really matter if the oil is hot or cold keep turning the ingrediencies until you get the color to your liking then you add your tomatoes, when your tomatoes are cook add your saltfish, then your Ackee and if you wish a little black pepper and that is all you needed to do basically. Saltfish usually take up lots of oil and in the end it’s not gravy and become useless fat just drain it off for your own health sake.
Take notes and take it well you are cooking for yourself so use your discretion and don’t believe the BS that people tell you about measurements and portions proven facts i am very picky about Jamaican restaurant food honestly most of them cannot cook.