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Make Craig and Shaun McAnuff’s ackee and saltfish

This home-cooked Caribbean recipe from the Original Flava cookbook is a guaranteed people pleaser

Original Flava's ackee and saltfish; photography by Matt Russell

Serves 4-6

Preparation time 20 minutes

Cooking time 45 minutes

As kids, brothers Craig and Shaun McAnuff were taught to cook by their much-loved Nanny in Thornton Heath, South London. Fast forward to 2019 and the brothers have become online sensations with their cookery brand Original Flava. This recipe for ackee and saltfish simmers with fresh, colourful flavours and a scotch bonnet kick. It might not turn out exactly the same as the way your grandmother used to make it, but it's pretty damned close. 

Ingredients

  • 600g boneless salted cod
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp ground pimento (allspice)
  • ½ red bell pepper, deseeded and finely diced
  • ½ green bell pepper, deseeded and finely diced
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 2 x 540g cans ackee, drained
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Put the salt cold in your pot and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, then boil for 5 minutes, drain and add fresh cold water to cover.
  2. Repeat this process until you're happy with the saltiness when tasted; we recommend to boil the fish three times in total for a perfect balance of salt in the fish. Drain and leave to cool. Use a fork to shred the salted cod into pieces and set aside.
  3. Now you'll need a large frying pan. Pour the vegetable oil into the frying pan and place over a high heat. Once the oil is sizzling hot, turn the heat down to low-medium. Add the onion, garlic, spring onions and scotch bonnet, then cook until soft, for around 5-7 minutes.
  4. Add the salted cod, dash in some black pepper, thyme and pimento, then mix it together and cook down for around 3 minutes.
  5. Next, add in the red and green bell peppers, along with your tomato. Mix together and cook down for 2-3 minutes. These ingredients help to bring a heat balance, so it's not too spicy.
  6. Now you'll need to add in your ackee and dash in a little more black pepper. Fold in the ackee; the ackee is soft so it's important to fold it in very gently – nobody likes mushy ackee.
  7. Once folded in, simmer for 3-5 minutes before serving.
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