The salt mackerel is an absolute favorite. For those who don’t know, the Caribbean is home to some really awesome foods. They have so many controversial and original dishes that will turn out to be some of the best things you may have tasted in your life.

I look forward to tasting and exploring this area of the globe someday, and you should too. But since we can’t all afford to go there, how about we bring a taste of the Carribeans into our kitchens?

Jamaican Salt Mackerel

The Jamaican salt mackerel is a very rich dish; rich in taste and nutrition. The Jamaican salted mackerel is a heavy food to start with, and it takes time to prepare the mackerel because of its saltiness.

You should know that part of the awesome taste that the pickled mackerel is known for is due to its saltiness, but still, you have to go through the process of removing some excess salt from it. This is so you get the balance right and your tongue does not fall off from disgust.  The best thing to do is to get the salt out before preparing it. That way, you get the best experience of this exotic local cuisine.

The greatest thing about this meal is that it works at any time of the day. The Jamaicans use it as breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I think it depends on when the urge hits. But then, that is how very precious this meal is. The total meal consists of four parts—not just the mackerel. The mackerel is what makes the dish so rich.

There is the mackerel, which is awesome, then there is the boiled green banana, which is also delightful to taste. That’s followed up with the boiled dumplings and finally, the fried plantain. You don’t have to have them all, but it is better to eat this dish in its complete form than to leave one or two parts out of it. It is very important to know how to go about making this meal the right way, which is why I have made a very easy-to-follow recipe.

Salt Mackerel Recipe

The salted mackerel ingredients are:

  • 4 tablespoons of cooking oil
  • 3 Salted mackerels
  • Water
  • 1 Onions, sliced however you want
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of hot sauce
  • ½ teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato ketchup (an optional ingredient)


  1. The first thing is to soak the mackerel in cold water. This is to help most of the salt out of the mackerel. This should be done overnight, to get it really soaked and desalted.
  2. Then, the second thing you should do is take the fish out of the water and rinse it properly with fresh water.
  3. Put the fish in a fresh pot of water and leave it to boil for a bit. This should take about fifteen to twenty minutes. You can leave as long as you think it will take but don’t let it overcook.
  4. Take the fish out of the simmering water and rinse it again, then place it in a fresh bowl of water to cool off.
  5. When you are sure the mackerel is cool enough, flake the flesh of the fish off the bones and set the salt mackerel fillets aside. Finally, the real fun begins!
  6. Now what you have to do is pour your cooking oil in a large pan and make sure the heat is turned up to medium-high. You don’t want things getting rushed or burnt, just the right temperature, and you will get the right results.
  7. Put your onions and tomatoes in the pan and sauté them until your onions are very transparent.
  8. Pour in the ketchup, hot sauce, and black pepper, then stir. Make sure to stir properly.
  9. Finally, put the seasoning into the mackerel. Add the water and let it cook for about seven minutes, then you can let it cool down.

Next, you can make your dumplings—boiled—as well as your boiled green banana and the fried plantain. After which you’re ready to serve and eat.

Remember that the ketchup is optional. You can decide to not add it but the rest of the ingredients are really important and can’t be removed. I would like you to play with your own salted mackerel fish recipe and see what new thing you can add to make it taste even better. There is nothing like your own taste.

Jamaican Salted Mackerel and Mackerel Rundown

A lot has been said about how these two are somehow the same. And it is no news that Jamaicans love mackerel rundown just as much as they love the pickled mackerel, but that is because they are both delicious. The main difference, however, is in the making and in the taste. The mackerel rundown is made with coconut milk (which is delicious by the way) while the Jamaican salted mackerel has coconut milk nowhere near it.

Salted Mackerel Nutrition

The best part of eating any meal, after the taste, is getting enriched by it. It is the reason most of us prefer cooking our food instead of buying canned products from the store, and why some people prefer to grow their own ingredients and spices instead of buying them. The quality of food is important, and as such, it should be taken very seriously.

With salted mackerel, you get protein, sodium, and other nutrients which are very important to the human body, and which, when lacking, could cause real damage to one’s health.

Always remember to check out the quality of the ingredients you use to make your food. Not just to get the most desired taste you can hope for, but also to be sure that you are eating healthy. A healthy ingredient will help make healthy food; there is no lie in that.

Make sure you are getting fresh mackerels and that your other ingredients are stored safely and haven’t gone bad. The act of eating itself is a journey. Not a journey to the doctor’s, but one that takes you to joyful taste buds. The idea of this is to help you reach beyond your geographical location. Food carries you places when it’s perfectly made. And there is great joy to be found in learning new dishes.

For a dish like this with fantastic taste and the right nutrients, the body is happy and the mind is put in a good place. That means good food is a type of new experience—a factor that could create that happy life we are so keen on having in the world. If I could, I would travel the world and learn the fine art of making a variety of dishes. That is one of the dreams I’m waiting on the fairies for.

For now, let us enjoy the brilliance of salted mackerel fish in our own homes, hoping that one day the world will be ours. Start cooking!


Peter's path through the culinary world has taken a number of unexpected turns. After starting out as a waiter at the age of 16, he was inspired to go to culinary school and learn the tricks of the trade. As he delved deeper, however, his career took a sudden turn when a family friend needed someone to help manage his business. Peter now scratches his culinary itch on the internet by blogging, sharing recipes, and socializing with food enthusiasts worldwide.

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