Vegan Jamaican Saltfish and Ackee

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Vegan Jamaican Saltfish and Ackee

This vegan ‘saltfish’ and ackee dish is a plant-based alternative to the Jamaican national dish.

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When you’re in the mood for some Jamaican cuisine, this vegan version of the national dish is a great option.

What is ackee?

Although native to West Africa, ackee is the national fruit of Jamaica and a popular ingredient in a lot of Jamaican dishes.

The pear-shaped fruit turns a yellow-orange colour when ripe and has a spongy and soft flesh inside which is often thought of as being a similar consistency and texture as scrambled eggs.

Add Kala Namak (black salt) and vegan butter to ackee to give it a scrambled egg flavour.

What is hearts of palm?

Also called palm heart, chonta, palmito and palm cabbage, this vegetable is harvested from the inner core and growing bud of certain palm trees.

Its crisp texture and mild taste makes it an ideal addition to salads and stir-fries, but it also makes a great replacement for fish.

In this recipe, hearts of palm replaces the saltfish that would classically appear in the national dish.

Freezing advice

This dish is not suitable for freezing.

Total Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Cuisine: Jamaican

Calories: 119

Servings: 4


Total Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes

Calories: 119

Servings: 4




(Servings: 4)

  • For the saltfish
  • 0.25 0.25 tin of hearts of palm, drained
  • 0.25 0.25 tbsp sea salt flakes
  • 0.5 0.5 tsp sugar
  • 0.25 0.25 sheet of nori
  • water
  • For the ackee
  • 0.25 0.25 tin of ackee, drained
  • 0.25 0.25 small red pepper, diced
  • 0.25 0.25 white onion, diced
  • 0.25 0.25 large red chilli, chopped
  • 0.75 0.75 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 0.25 0.25 large sprig of fresh thyme
  • 1 1 spring onions, sliced
  • 0.5 0.5 tsp hot pepper sauce
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • mild oil, for frying


  1. To brine the ‘saltfish’, mix together the water, salt, sugar and nori in a shallow, non-metallic container. Slice the hearts of palm into chunks and add to the liquid. Leave to marinate for at least 1 hour, or ideally overnight in the fridge.
  2. When ready to cook, drain the hearts of palm and pat them dry with kitchen paper
  3. Add a splash of oil to a large frying pan or wok and place over medium heat. Add the white onion and peppers, along with the chilli and a pinch of salt. Sauté for a couple of minutes or until starting to soften.
  4. Add the hearts of palm to the pan with the garlic, thyme and seasoning. Continue to stir fry for a further couple of minutes.
  5. Gently add the ackee to the pan, with the spring onions and hot sauce. Gently stir-fry and mix everything together until the ackee is piping hot, taking care not to break it up too much.
  6. Taste to check the seasoning and serve hot.

Each 100g serving provides:

Fat 10g Saturates 0g Carbohydrates 2.8g Sugars 2.2g Protein 2.6g Salt 0.80g


Ready for another bite? Discover our very best vegan fish recipes!

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