Enjoy Vegan Ackee, this amazing fruit reminds me of scrambled eggs. It is yummy served at breakfast, lunch or for dinner.
Ackee (Blighia Sapida) originated in Africa and was brought on slave ships to the Caribbean in the eighteenth century. It became very popular in Jamaican as a cheap source of protein. It is now the national dish and is customarily served with salted fish (cod). It is served for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
The fruit is ready to eat when the red pod splits open naturally exposing 3-4 creamy yellow flesh topped by 3 shiny black seeds. The pod, the black seeds and the red inner membranes of the yellow flesh are discarded; leaving only the yellow flesh. The yellow flesh is then rinsed and ready to be boiled.
Only imported canned ackees are sold in West Indian supermarkets, therefore I’ll provide instruction for preparing canned ackee.
Ackee reminds me of scrambled eggs when cooked. I have always loved ackee and try to keep a supply handy. Fortunately here in Florida Publix and Walmart carries it. It reminds me of home and it is strange that even though it is grown in other Caribbean islands, it is not as popular as in Jamaica. I love to prepare it well seasoned and it is delicious served with roasted breadfruit, yellow yams, dumplings, callaloo, and plantains.
For: 2 servings
- 1 can Jamaican ackee, drained and set aside
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 cup onion, diced
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
- 1 spring onion, chopped
- 1 sprig thyme, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
- 1 medium tomato, chopped or 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes cut into halves
- 1 whole Scotch Bonnet pepper, or 1 Habanero (for flavor optional)
- sea salt, to taste
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add onions and cook stirring occasionally until soft, about 3 minutes.
- Stir in garlic and bell pepper and cook for another minute. Add spring onions, thyme and tomatoes and cook stirring for 1 minute.
- Add ackee to skillet with salt and Scotch Bonnet pepper stirring gently to coat with seasonings.
- Cover skillet and reduce to simmer for 5 minutes. Delicious served with dumplings, callaloo and fried plantains.
Note: Until the pod of the fresh ackee is opened naturally on the tree, exposing the yellow flesh it is poisonous! Also, the red inner membrane has to be discarded as well. Only the yellow flesh is fit for food. Thankfully purchasing the canned ackee makes sure you are getting ackee that is safe to eat!