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Jamaican Rundown Recipe

Why It Works

  • Soaking the pickled mackerel earlier than simmering within the fragrant coconut milk is essential to mood the saltiness of the mackerel.
  • The boiled inexperienced bananas absorb the coconut “gravy,” making them the perfect accompaniment.

One of many extra well-liked Jamaican breakfast dishes, and certainly one of our private favorites, is salt mackerel rundown. This can be a wealthy and textured meal that’s most frequently loved on Sundays, when there may be ample time to arrange it, in addition to time to leisurely imbibe and digest. Many childhood Sunday mornings have been made memorable with this uncommon fish-forward breakfast. Once we lived in Trinidad and have been eager for a real style of Jamaica, this recipe would transport us there. Our father, Peter, cherished rundown mackerel, so this dish was recurrently on the menu. His love for it helped to solidify our love for it, and explains why it got here to represent residence for us in the course of the chapter of our lives once we weren’t in Jamaica. 

In rundown, the salty mackerel is cooked down in a savory-sweet coconut custard that’s created by decreasing coconut milk with a medley of basic Jamaican spices and greens like tomato, scallion, Scotch bonnet pepper, onion, and thyme. The mackerel is allowed to simmer within the coconut custard for about 20 minutes, which tempers its intense saltiness and leaves you with a creamy, wealthy, nicely seasoned, and barely candy dish.

Critical Eats / Karina Matalon


Rundown is historically ready with contemporary coconut milk, which is cooked to a custard consistency, as is a part of the method for making do-it-yourself coconut oil in days passed by: contemporary coconut milk is lowered in a saucepan till it’s thick and custardy and the fats separates from the coconut solids, leaving a layer of clear oil on prime. Making contemporary coconut milk is definitely fairly easy, however it does require some effort, so whereas our recipe provides directions for making it from scratch, you must be at liberty to make use of canned coconut milk instead. 

The boiled inexperienced bananas which might be served as an accompaniment are additionally price mentioning right here. On many islands in our area, inexperienced bananas are boiled and served as a starch to accompany proteins at any meal of the day. In Jamaica, we add a contact of salt and a pat of butter as quickly as they arrive sizzling out of the pot; generally we mash them, a lot as one would mash potatoes. The result’s insanely scrumptious.

Critical Eats / Karina Matalon


When mixed with the spicy and savory mackerel, it’s an explosion of taste and texture that you’ll not quickly neglect. Together with boiled inexperienced banana, mackerel rundown would usually even be served with ripe plantain, callaloo, and fried breakfast dumplings referred to as Johnny desserts. Mackerel rundown is without doubt one of the most sudden and scrumptious breakfast dishes you’ll ever encounter. Like many conventional Jamaican dishes, it’s time-consuming to arrange, however it’s price each ounce of the time and effort that it takes to make it.

Jamaican Rundown

Candy coconut milk balances the salty mackerel on this fish-forward breakfast.

For the Rundown:

  • 1 pound (454g) pickled boneless mackerel (see notes)

  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) coconut oil

  • 1 massive yellow onion (12 ounces; 340g), diced

  • 2 plum tomatoes (about 4 ounces; 115g every), cored and diced

  • 2 scallions, ends trimmed and minimize into 1/4-inch lengths

  • 1 medium clove garlic, minced

  • 3 cups fresh coconut milk or canned coconut milk (about two 13.5 ounce cans (see notes)

  • 1 complete Scotch bonnet pepper

  • 4 allspice berries 

  • 1 spring contemporary thyme

  • 1 banana boiled inexperienced bananas

For the Boiled Inexperienced Banana:

  • 1 bunch very inexperienced bananas (see notes)

  • Kosher salt

  • Unsalted butter, softened

  1. For the Rundown: In a big bowl, soak mackerel in sizzling water, altering the water a few times throughout soaking, till saltiness has been lowered, 2 to three hours (the mackerel ought to nonetheless be noticeably salty, however not painfully so, as it’s the solely supply of salt within the dish). Drain mackerel and thoroughly take away any remaining fish bones. Lower or tear mackerel into bite-sized items (about 1-inch). Put aside.

    Critical Eats / Karina Matalon


  2. In a Dutch oven, soften coconut oil over medium-high warmth. Add onion, tomatoes, scallions, and garlic, then stir in fresh or canned coconut milk. Add Scotch bonnet, allspice berries, and thyme. Convey to a simmer, then cut back warmth to take care of simmer, adjusting warmth as wanted, and cook dinner till coconut milk has lowered to a creamy, custardy texture, about 10 minutes. That is referred to as rundown sauce.

    Critical Eats / Karina Matalon


  3. Stir torn mackerel into rundown sauce and cook dinner over medium warmth till liquid is additional lowered and fish, greens, and rundown sauce are mixed in a thick and creamy stew, about quarter-hour.

    Critical Eats / Karina Matalon


  4. In the meantime, for the Boiled Inexperienced Bananas (Non-compulsory): Fill a big bowl with chilly water. Utilizing gloved arms, minimize ends off inexperienced bananas. Then, utilizing a paring knife and dealing with one banana at a time, make a lengthwise slit into the pores and skin from prime to backside. Take away pores and skin from banana, then, scrape away any stringy bits from the banana. Switch to a big bowl of water and repeat with remaining bananas.

    Critical Eats / Karina Matalon


  5. In a big pot of salted boiling water, boil bananas till fork-tender, about 20 minutes (cooking time will fluctuate relying on the scale of the bananas). Drain bananas, switch to bowl, and season with salt and butter to style. Use the again of a fork to mash boiled bananas, if desired.

    Critical Eats / Karina Matalon


  6. Serve rundown heat, with the boiled inexperienced bananas. (see notes)

    Critical Eats / Karina Matalon


Particular Gear

Dutch oven, massive pot (for the elective boiled inexperienced bananas)

Notes

Two 13.5 ounce cans of coconut milk could also be substituted for the contemporary coconut milk. 

Pickled mackerel, additionally typically offered as “salt mackerel,” is usually offered at Jamaican and West Indian markets. When shopping for pickled mackerel, ensure that the fish is agency to the contact. Whereas any dimension mackerel can be utilized, it’s simpler to take away bones from bigger mackerel.

Inexperienced bananas will not be the identical as inexperienced plantains; you may typically discover inexperienced bananas at Caribbean markets. These boiled bananas must be actually inexperienced, not simply under-ripe as is widespread for bananas in markets in North America. Be sure the damage gloves whereas peeling the bananas to keep away from purple stained fingers.

Rundown can also be greats served with fried yellow plantain, callaloo, and fried breakfast dumplings referred to as Johnny desserts.

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