Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Ackee and saltfish with fried dumplings


Breakfast is served

There is no way I could have done a month of breakfast recipes and not ventured into ackee and salt fish territory; After all its Jamaica’s national dish and for good reason. In our household it is prepared for breakfast once a week, either Friday or Saturday mornings. I have a cousin who is so in love with ackee she could eat it every day. However I feel like ackee and fried dumpling is a special breakfast, and having it every week makes it not as special. So in an attempt to not take this meal for granted, most times when it is prepared I don’t eat it, I have an omelet instead and wait about three weeks so when I do have it, its extra delicious.

Ackee and saltfish would be nothing without the complementary carbohydrate; Breadfruit, bammy or dumpling.  While the first two are very straight forward, Jamaican fried dumpling is a dish that is in a league of its own. It has only four basic ingredients, yet the vast amount of varieties created are amazing. Everyone makes fried dumplings a different way; some with milk, butter, sugar, no baking powder,  cornmeal, hot water, deep fried you name it. This recipe is just a simple no frills classic fried dumpling, the way our helper Rose makes it. I can tell you, her secret to fried dumplings is patience and a very very very very low flame. She at times will leave the kitchen with the dumplings frying on the stove, and they don’t burn, that’s how low the flames are. Her dumplings are simply amazing, very crispy exterior and super tender inside.

If you have never made fried dumpling or ackee before I would suggest you give it a try.

Ingredients (printable recipe)

3-4 cups Ackee cooked
1 cup Salt fish (dried salted cod)
1 Onion
1 Tomato
½ Sweet pepper
½ Scotch bonnet pepper
4 tablespoons Oil
1 ½  teaspoon Seasoning salt
½ teaspoon Black pepper
1 tablespoon ketchup (optional)

3 cup Flour
1 ½  teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoon Baking powder
¾ to 1 cup water (apx)
¾ cup Oil


For the fried dumpling 

  • Place the oil in a wide shallow frying pan  and allow the oil to thoroughly heat up on the lowest heat setting.
  • Place flour, salt and baking powder in a dish
  • Add the water while stirring to form a dough, the dough should be soft and pliable, not hard and tough
  • Knead the dough  until it becomes smooth
  • Break apart into small golf balls and form into your desired shape
  • By this time the oil should be hot, place the dumplings in the pan and allow them to cook.
  • The dumplings will start to brown slightly once they start to get some color turn over onto the other side and keep repeating the turning process. In total the dumplings would have received approximately 8-10 minutes cooking time per side. (they wont burn because the heat is very low and your continually turning them)
  • After they are cooked they will be crispy on the edges and soft in the center. Remove from the heat and set aside.
 For the ackee

  • Boil the raw ackee in salted water until they are cooked, for the pre-cooked canned ackee just rinse in some boiling water for a few minutes and strain excess water thoroughly.
  • Wash off the excess salt from the cod and bring to boil in a pot for about 10 to 15 minutes. Strain and flake the salt fish to remove the bones
  •  If it’s still too salty you can boil again for another 5 minutes (optional)
  • Chop the onions, tomatoes, and peppers
  • Heat the oil in a wide pan and saut√© the onions tomatoes, peppers and ketchup.
  • Add the salted cod and allow it to simmer for 2 minutes
  • Add the ackee, seasoning salt and black pepper, stir to incorporate all the ingredients and cover on low for another 1-2 minutes before serving.

boiled and flaked
Saltfish cooked and ready for ackee
Completed ackee and saltfish

Greedy tips

  • If the dough is sticking to your hands too much and very soft and messy you added too much water and can fix by easily adding more flour. However if your dough is very tough and dry and hard to knead you added too little water
  • Remember because the flames are so low, you need longer cooking times to ensure the heat goes through the dough
  • If your tomatoes are not as ripe or not a juicy you can supplement with the ketchup, however if you had very ripe juicy tomatoes you probably won’t need the ketchup
  • Check the beginning of my stamp and go video to see how I boil and flake salted codfish. 

 Xoxo Greedygirl

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