Vegan Ackee and Saltfish (Jamaican Breakfast Feast)
A vegan take on Jamaica’s National Dish and my favourite breakfast in the world: Ackee and Saltfish. This is one of the most flavourful breakfasts ever and perfect comfort food!
Where do I even start with this blog post? I’ve always heard from you guys that you want to see way more Jamaican recipes from me. Or anything really with a more Caribbean vibe. Not going to lie – it hasn’t been an easy task. You see, growing up with these recipes, there wasn’t really any “recipe”. You cook with love and feeling, and that doesn’t leave that much room for exact precision. Regardless of that, I saw the reaction from you all after I shared the recipe for Jamaican Jerk Sauce. It really touched my heart since it’s always been a slightly scary thing to share this part of me. So, Gav and I worked together in order to bring you a recipe from my favourite breakfast in the entire world – Vegan Ackee and Saltfish.
Vegan Ackee and Saltfish (Jamaican Breakfast Feast)
- 1 can, 14 oz/396g of Hearts of Palm
- 1 cup filtered water
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 2 teaspoons kelp or nori flakes, optional
- 1 lb cooked ackee or canned/tin ackee*, (454g)
- Up to 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 4 cloves of garlic, finely diced
- 2 plummy or Roma tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 1 medium sized bell pepper, roughly chopped
- ½ red onion, roughly chopped
- 3-4 stalks fresh thyme, stems removed
- ¼ of Scotch bonnet or more for your preferred heat, finely diced
- 3 stalks scallion, sliced
- sea salt and ground black pepper to taste**
- You’ll need a container of hearts of palm for this recipe. Take out each piece out of the brine, and cut them in half, then diagonally, and then kinda just shred them slightly. This will give you that saltfish look (demonstrated in video). After you’re finished shredding the entire can or jar’s contents, add it in a mason jar.
- Add in a cup of water and a tablespoon of salt which is your salt brine. Stir gently to mix. I also add in some kelp flakes to add to that fishy taste. Long story short you want to ensure that the entire container of vegan saltfish is covered with the brine. Set aside and allow it to brine for at least 30 minutes, up to a few hours.
- Heat a tablespoon of coconut oil in a pan. Add in the garlic, tomatoes, bell peppers, onions and cook down until it’s soft and the onions are translucent, for about 5-8 minutes. Add in the thyme and stir.
- Now we are going to add in your vegan saltfish! Drain off the salt brine, rinse well and pat dry. Ensure the heat is hot and add the Saltfish to the seasonings. If it looks dry add a couple more teaspoons of oil. Stir to combine and let the Saltfish crisp up a bit with the seasonings for about 5 minutes.
- At this point you can add in your fully cooked and drained fresh Ackee or your canned Ackee. Stir gently with everything, especially if using canned Ackee since it’s delicate and you don’t want it to break apart. You’ll definitely want to re-season the dish with some more salt and top it all with a lot of black pepper.
- Remove from heat and serve alongside callaloo, breadfruit and fried plantain and/or of your favourite side dishes. Eat and enjoy!
- Ackee and saltfish can be stored in a container in the fridge for up to a few days. Simply reheat in your microwave or back on the stovetop until hot again. Callaloo can be reheated the same way. I recommend only cooking enough plantain and breadfruit for when you need it since it tastes best fresh!
Disclaimer: Although jessicainthekitchen.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Jessicainthekitchen.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.
This was incredible! I’d been craving ackee and Saltfish and am trying to eat more plant based. The recipe was perfect and SO easy to follow. I will make this over and over!
What do you do with the other half of the garlic? The recipe says to add half the garlic in the beginning, but I don’t see when you add the other half. Thanks! Can’t wait to try this!
That “half” is a mistake, just add all of it! I hope that helps and that you enjoy so much!
Absolutely delicious and super simple to make. Thanks so much for sharing this, Ackee & Saltfish is one of my favourite dishes but I’ve not eaten it for so long since I changed my diet to plant based foods. Finding this recipe is like finding gold! All the taste of Ackee & Saltfish but no fish whatsoever! As you can tell, I’m overjoyed. I enjoyed this so much I will DEFINITELY be making this again and again and again.
Hi! Love your site a lot. Would this work with banana blossom as the fish? Thanks in advance
We’re so happy that you enjoyed this recipe Charlie! Thank you so much for reading and leaving such a nice comment! We haven’t tried this yet but it should definitely work.
I made this the other day and it was so so so delicious! I followed the directions exactly and made spelt dumplings on the side. Felt like a real island gal. All guilt and cruelty free! Very good. Thanks for sharing!
I’m not able to find Hearts of Palm. Could I achieve the same with Jackfruit?
Hi, Toni thanks so much for reading. You wouldn’t get the same texture with jackfruit as you would get with hearts of palm, but it could be substituted for in a pinch. I hope this helps!
This brings me back to the days long ago when I used to eat fish and anytime I went to a Caribbean restaurant (live in 🇨🇦) I’d order ackee and salt fish! Amazing recipe! Will make again and again!!!🇯🇲
Awesome Melinda! Thanks so much we’re so happy that you enjoyed it! 🇯🇲
Hi, I’m very excited for this recipe as I grew up on ackee and saltfish but I haven’t had it since going vegan in the late 1980s! One question, I know the kelp is needed for the fishy flavor, but does it make or break the dish? I can’t stand the fish flavor (I used to flick out the fish as a kid) and I would have to get the powder from Amazon since it’s not sold near me. Still, I would love to make this for my omnivore family. Is the kelp very fishy flavored?
Hi Michelle thank you so much for reading! Kelp actually does have a pretty fishy flavour. You can take out the kelp out. We haven’t tested it without it but it should be fine. I hope this helps.
This being vegan soothes my Jamaican soul!!! Wow! Delicious, this is a staple now
Awesome Nikki! We’re so happy that you feel this way. Thank you so much for this incredible review!
Excellent recipe. Thank you. I had been looking for a recipe to convert my ackee and salt fish to whole food, plant based. Normally I would not use oils but I wanted to try this recipe on the rest of my family who still eat animal products and oils. It was a huge success. My Jamaican uncle and mom did not miss the salt fish at all. The rest of the family said it was delicious. I even promised the chef/owner of our local Caribbean restaurant that I would bring them a sample to taste.
Thanks so much Char. We’re so happy that you liked it so much. Wow this really means a lot.