¼of Scotch bonnet or more for your preferred heatfinely diced
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!
*Ackee is a fruit that you cannot consume unless it’s fully ripe and cooked. If you’re outside of Jamaica, you’ll probably be having canned ackee (linked here) which is found pretty much in any international/imported/Caribbean food aisle. This is 100% cooked and completely safe to eat! All you need to do is drain off the liquid in the can, and rinse it.If you have fresh ackee, please ensure that you know what you are doing OR just have someone who does clean it for you.** Putting an accurate salt amount is difficult here. Once the ackee is added in the salt quantities change completely, and then you don’t want to add to much and the brine from your vegan saltfish throws it off. I would start with ½ teaspoon and add from there. The same with pepper.