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Jamaican Seasoned Rice with Ackee & Saltfish

Jamaican Seasoned Rice with Ackee & Saltfish





What Is Jamaican Seasoned Rice


Seasoned Rice can be made in several different ways which is done in many countries by different people and using different ingredients.


However, Jamaican seasoned rice as I know it from my childhood days was the way my father cooked it on many occasions for my family which we grew up with and loved. Our seasoned rice was basically made with ackee and saltfish, other natural seasonings and coconut milk to make it a delicious, quick and easy one pot meal that is so satisfying.


With that said, my season rice recipe is a spin off of my Dad’s original recipe created after modifying to satisfy my palate.





Ingredients For Jamaican Seasoned Rice





  • Rice – Parboiled recommended, may use regular rice but it may be mushier. Be careful when stirring especially the ackee.
  • Ackee – Fresh is best, however canned may be used.
  • Water
  • Coconut Milk
  • Saltfish
  • Bacon or a small piece of pigtail
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Bell Pepper
  • Tomatoes – plummy preferably
  • Fresh Thyme Leaves
  • Butter
  • Black Pepper
  • Salt – (not pictured)
  • Scallion
  • Scotch Bonnet Pepper


My seasoned rice recipe is made with salt fish, ackee, fresh garlic, onions, green & red bell pepper, scotch bonnet pepper, thyme, plummy tomatoes, bacon or pigs tail, black pepper, coconut milk and of coarse rice which I recommend jasmine or parboiled for best results.



Preparation Steps For Jamaican Seasoned Rice





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  1. Wash off excess salt from your saltfish, then boil in a medium pot for about 15 minutes.
  2. Wash off in cold water and remove skin and bones and pick into small pieces.
  3. If using pigtail, boil just a small piece or a couple small pieces for about 30 minutes. 
  4. If using bacon instead, cut in small pieces and fry out for a few minutes.
  5. Prepare and measure out all your ingredients and set aside.
  6. Using a skillet, add butter then garlic, onions, bell pepper, scotch bonnet, thyme and most of the plummy tomatoes along with the saltfish and bacon or pigtails.
  7. Using a medium deep pot, add the coconut milk, water, rice, salt, most of the scallion and all the saltfish mixture contents from the skillet. I also recommend a rice cooker for best results.  There are many different rice cookers on the market now or even an all in one rice cooker, slow cooker, instant pot, you name it. But upon research and trying this Aroma pot, which is also multi-functional and fits up to 4 cups of uncooked rice, I really liked it and after reading the reviews, I was sold.
  8. Stir and if using a regular pot, on medium high heat, bring to boil, keep boiling for about 3-4 minutes, turn heat to low and cover. Continue cooking about 20 minutes until most of water is absorbed. Uncover and stir.
  9. Place a piece of saran or cling wrap on top to cover the pot , cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  10. Uncover and stir, place ackees on top, cover with cling wrap again and continue steaming for another 10 minutes. (If using canned ackees, add them in the last 5 minutes.) If using a rice cooker, add ackee in the last 5-10 minutes on top.
  11. Uncover and gently stir from the bottom up, trying not to break up the ackees. Taste the rice making sure it is cooked. Add the remaining tomatoes, scallion, and a whole scotch bonnet for garnishing. 



Some people like to add pumpkin, carrots, or mixed vegetables, among other things which is fine if that’s your preference. But, I think mine is perfectly fine just the way it is. I hope you will try this and enjoy. Leave me a comment with your thoughts.


I find that back in the day, and even now, some people season and cook by eyeballing ingredients. What I realized is that some dishes would taste so awesome and another time something may be off. So, that is what inspired me to start following and jotting down my recipes when they came out perfect so I could replicate it each time.








Jamaican Season Rice with Ackee & Saltfish

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4
Author Dianne


  • 1/2 lb. Salt Fish
  • 1 1/2 cup Ackee
  • 2 strips Bacon (or 1 pigstail) cut up
  • 1/2 cup Plummy Tomatoes diced
  • 3-4 cloves Garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup Onion minced
  • 1/4 cup Green Sweet Bell Pepper minced or diced
  • 1 Tbsp. Fresh Thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp. Scotch Bonnet Pepper minced (or more to taste)
  • 1 cup Coconut Milk
  • 1/4 tsp. Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 2 cups Rice ( parboiled for best results)
  • 1-1/2 cup Water
  • 2 Tbsp. Butter
  • 1 stalk Scallion


  1. Wash excess salt off salt fish. Then place a fresh pot of water with salt fish to boil on high heat for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and rinse in cold water. Clean up salt fish by removing any skin and bones. Pick into medium- small pieces and set aside.

  2. Mince garlic, onion, green pepper and scotch bonnet together, set aside. Add the fresh thyme to this.

  3. Dice plummy tomatoes and set aside.

  4. Cut up scallion fine and set aside.

  5. Measure out coconut milk and water and set aside.

  6. Wash rice and drain, set aside.

  7. Measure out 1- 1/2 cups of pre-boiled fresh ackees. If using can ackee, drain and set aside.

  8. Cut up 2 strips of bacon in small pieces and fry for just a few minutes until mostly cooked (not crispy). ** If using pigstail, boil for 30 minutes. Cut at joints and set aside.

  9. Using a medium pot or a large skillet with a cover, on medium heat place 2 Tbsp. of butter to melt. Add the minced garlic, onions, green pepper, scotch bonnet, most of tomatoes and thyme. Sautee for 1 minute. Add salt fish and sautee another minute or 2. Add the bacon or pigtail, and black pepper.

  10. In a medium deep pot, add the water and coconut milk. On medium-high heat add the rice, the saltfish mixture from the skillet, most of the scallion and the salt.

  11. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, continue boiling 3-4 minutes, cover pot and turn to low heat to simmer for about 20 minutes or until most of the water is evaporated. Use a fork and gently stir rice.

  12. Place a piece of saran cling wrap over pot and cover. Continue cooking another 10 minutes then uncover and stir a little, Place ackees on top and cover again with saran and pot cover, continue to steam another 10 minutes (if using can ackee, don't add to rice until the last 5 minutes of cooking as it may be softer).

  13. Uncover and gently stir from the bottom up to incorporate ackee but carefully so it dosen't mash out. Make sure the rice is cooked to desired taste, if not cover and cook another few minutes.

  14. If easier, place in a casserole dish to stir gently and stir. Garnish top with the remainding tomatoes, scallion, and a whole scotch bonnet pepper in center. Serve and enjoy.

Recipe Notes

** For best results used parboiled rice.

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Tan Linda
Tan Linda
2 years ago

5 stars
Trying this next week!!!

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