It’s the weekend!! I can’t help myself. Will be treating my palate to a few of Jamaica’s favorite dishes. Already, my taste buds are salivating for that slightly salty and delectable dish of pickled mackerel.
Will be serving same with wholesome slices of roasted breadfruit. Breadfruit is an excellent substitute for rice or bread. Roasted breadfruit in an oven for approximately 50 to 60 minutes at 460 degrees fahrenheit.
For me, I can’t indulge in pickled mackerel and roasted breadfruit without sweet and creamy sides. Therefore, I will be having sides of fried plantain and of course, nature’s butter (avocado). Can’t omit my greens. There is definitely going be steamed callaloo (Jamaican spinach). I can’t wait to dig in!
It was back to basics for yours truly. Yes guys, it has been sometime since I’ve gone this route. Got a bit tired of my dear poultry. It seems like I’m always consuming the feathery one. Fish is also another popular item on my menu. Today, I did so with the help of a little pickled friend. So, instead of the fresh omega fatty fish, I paid a visit to a popular dish, pickled mackerel.
It’s very seldom that I consume pickled mackerel. Though it’s super tasty and chock full of flavors, I’ve to admit that it’s loaded with much sodium. However, once in a while I love to enjoy same. This dish is a favorite in Jamaican kitchens. Anyway, my palate called for this old friend and I went shopping for the ingredients. And these are the main items I brought home and got a cooking.
I first extracted excess sodium from mackerel. I did this by rinsing same repeatedly with cold tap water. I cut mackerel in small sizes and placed in stock pot with cold tap water. Under low to medium heat, pickled mackerel was boiled for approximately ten minutes. I then drained and rinsed a few more times so as to extract sodium to my preference.
Fresh tap water was added and mackerel was boiled a second time for about ten minutes. After draining, it was rinsed with cold tap water and set aside. Bear in mind, this could be done overnight by soaking same in tap water.
In a skillet over low to medium heat, a combination of coconut and canola oil was added. To this, chopped onions, bell peppers, garlic (optional), scotch bonnet pepper, fresh tomatoes were sautéed. These were seasoned along with a pinch of black pepper and salt along with crushed pimento (all spice) and sprig of thyme.
Under low heat, pickled mackerel was added to mix. A pinch of sugar, drizzle of vinegar (distilled/red wine) and a squeeze of lime were added. Mackerel was garnished with finely chopped scallion and additional cracked black pepper. And like a true Jamaican, this was served with boiled bananas, dumplings, pumpkin, and yam. And, on the side, fried plantains and avocado were added.
And guys, I couldn’t help myself, I had to sip a little Heineken beer on the side. My meal was complete. My palate and I were happy.
Once in a while I like to go here; that salty and irresistible treat. It’s a delicious dish from my Jamaican ‘roots’ that is mainly served with boiled green bananas and dumplings. And if you’re a true Jamaican, you know that fried plantains and steamed callaloo(spinach) or cabbage have to be added as sides. Because it’s a bit sodium packed I consume it infrequently.
Pickled mackerel comes in fillet and bone-in. Both types are packed with sodium as a way of flavoring and preserving the fish. So, I secured the fillet type and went to work.
Rinse with tap cold water for a few times.
Place in stock pot, cover with cold water and boil for about five minutes.
Drain and rinse. Then, repeat boil for another five minutes
Drain and rinse with cold water if needed after doing a taste test for amount of salt.
Flake fish and set aside.
In a skillet under low to medium heat, add oil and saute chopped onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, scotch bonnet peppers and crushed all spice (pimento). Season with pinch of salt, black pepper and sprinkle of sugar.
Add flaked mackerel with a drizzle of vinegar and lemon/lime.
If desire add a sprinkle black pepper and finish with chopped scallion/or parsley.
Serve with sides of choice.
Guys, least I forget, I never serve my pickled mackerel without a slice of nature’s butter (avocado).