We’ve rounded up 7 Breakfast Dishes that every Jamaican should know how to cook, from the National Dish Ackee and Salt Fish to Stamp & Go. If you want to improve your Jamaican breakfast cooking but don’t know where to start this list of dishes is for you. Master these, and you’ll certainly be on your way to mastering Jamaican cooking.
Ackee and Saltfish
Ackee and Saltfish is Jamaica’s national dish and is popular among locals and visitors. Traditionally it is served as a breakfast meal on Saturday and/or Sunday, or on special occasions. To prepare the dish, saltfish is sautéed with boiled ackee, onions, scotch bonnet peppers, tomatoes and spices then served with breadfruit, hard dough bread or another side dish of choice.
Callaloo is a popular local green, leafy vegetable, cooked with onion, garlic, tomatoes, thyme and scotch bonnet pepper. This healthy and savory dish is sometimes combined with saltfish and may also serve as the perfect healthy side dish for a tropical breakfast. Callaloo is usually eaten with roasted breadfruit and/or a combined side dish of boiled green bananas and dumplings.
Cornmeal porridge is a low calorie, hearty breakfast perfect for starting your day. Most Jamaican children are fed cornmeal porridge before they head off to school. It is very easy to prepare, and oftentimes preferred over box cereals. Traditionally water is used to make the porridge which is boiled with earthy spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg then sweetened with condensed milk.
Banana fritters are super easy to make, light, fluffy and very tasty. Ripe bananas, preferably the over ripe ones, are crushed and made into a smooth batter with other ingredients, then fried to perfection. This sweet bite falls somewhere between a donut and a pancake and may even be a good alternative for your regular pancakes.
Saltfish fritters (Stamp and Go)
Saltfish fritters (Stamp and Go) is very popular among the Jamaican household. They are easy to make, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, and are enjoyed more when they are hot and at their crispiest. They can be eaten with any protein or vegetable dish or even by itself.
Cabbage and Saltfish
Cabbage and Saltfish is another quick and easy meal that requires minimum effort. A blend of shredded saltfish and finely chopped cabbage gives each spoonful a balanced load of both. The saltiness of the saltfish pairs well with the cabbage and is brought to life with sauteed onion, garlic and pepper.
Boil Banana, Boil Dumplings, Fried Dumplings, Yellow Yam, Fried Plantains (Breakfast sides)
What is your favorite breakfast side dish? Boiled green bananas are starchy and are eaten most times with dumplings. They serve as a good source of potassium and dietary fiber. Some people cook the bananas in their skin, because the skins are difficult to remove while others peel them before cooking.
Jamaicans also love dumplings whether boiled or fried. Boiled dumplings are easy to make with trickiest part of the process being kneading the dough to the right consistency. Some people like to add cornmeal to their dough for a stiffer dumpling. Leftover boiled dumplings are often fried and eaten; this commonly termed “boil-fry”. Jamaican fried dumpling is made from flour and baking powder kneaded with cold water. This version of fried dumpling is a favorite with stewed chicken for breakfast.
Yam, is a tasty and nutritious root tuber that exists in a large variety. The most popular for breakfast is the yellow yam. It may be served by itself or in combination with boiled bananas and dumplings.
Fried plantains are another favorite, eaten with almost every meal. The darker the skin, the riper the plantain, the sweeter the taste. The fried green versions are crunchy and with a bit of salt, can be very addictive and are the best when eaten hot.
Photos: Xavier Murphy