Ackee is a fruit which is not often foujnd in Brirtish supermarkets but is very much a part of the Carribean influence in cuisine. Usually, often served with strips of red and green peppers, and extremely hot chilis like Scotch Bonnet.
Sautéed ackee makes a great side dish with certain types of fish that do not have a strong flavour. It works well with other traditional Carribean fare such as salt cod. In the more UK setting, take a pan-fried fillet of cod for example with a crisp rasher of bacon as garnish which forms the ideal pepper bed for this dish.
The ackee is cleaned first by removing the seeds and the aril which is the red membrane around them.
- 8-12 fresh ackee, picked and cleaned
- 2 tbsp coconut oil/vegetable oil – sunflower, rapeseed oil
- 4 cloves of garlic – peeled and crushed
- 2 small red onions
- sweet peppers – all colours used, can be cut into strips and some just diced.
- 1 small tomato – seeds removed and diced
- 1/2 yellow scotch bonnet pepper -sliced and cut up finely
- black pepper to taste
- salt to taste
- 2 sprigs of thyme leaves only
- 1 sprig of parsley – finely chopped
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Add the ackee and some of the garlic.
Simmer for between 20-25 minutes and check at various times that the ackee is not overcooking and becoming overly soft.
- Drain the ackee and garlic.
To a skillet or frying pan, add the coconut oil, remaining garlic, onions, sweet peppers, tomatoes, scotch bonnet peppers and thyme.
Sauté on low for 5-7 minutes. Then add the ackee and combine all ingredients by using a wooden spoon.
Lightly season with black pepper and let simmer for another 2-3 minutes.
- Add ground black pepper to taste.