Saltfish and Tomatoes Recipe

“Saltfish, saltfish, when de jab jab cooking saltfish, dey does soak it, soak it, soak it good…” I love jab jab music and for typing this recipe, this song was on repeat in my head! I’m posting the link so you can have the same excitement that I did.

This song is totally the theme song of this recipe. “JAB JAB NEVER USE NO STOVE, HEAT IT UP WITH SOME FIRE WOOD”…

Okay, okay let me compose myself.

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Saltfish and tomatoes is a Trini staple. It’s a dish that everyone loves and is found Caribbean wide. Salted fish was widespread in the older days because it was the only way that fish could have been preserved without refrigeration. It’s still very prevalent in Caribbean cooking. There are many variations and delicious meals prepared with saltfish and each combination unique to each island.

Saltfish cooked with tomatoes can be served with traditional fried bakes, Johnny cakes, dumplings, ackee and the list goes on. I love a good Buljol and coconut bake(recipes soon to come) for breakfast but saltfish cooked with tomatoes comes in a close second place.

I made this saltfish and tomatoes to be eaten with my Johnny cakes and there was none left! My family absolutely loved it.

I’m getting the rumbly in my tumbly thinking about it!


  • 12oz boneless, skinless saltfish (wild Alaskan Cod or Pollock)
  • 13 small-medium tomatoes, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 3 stalks chive, minced
  • 4 leaves shadon beni, minced
  • 3 pimentoes, minced
  • 1 hot pepper
  • 2 tsp blackpepper
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil


  1. Boil saltfish for 10-15 minutes and drain, this is to remove some of the saltiness and soften the fish
  2. Pulse saltfish in a food processor or shred with hands
  3. Dice tomatoes, and mince seasonings

  4. Heat oil in pot, add saltfish and allow to cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure it doesn’t stick to pot
  5. Add garlic, onion and green seasoning to saltfish and stir well

  6. Add tomatoes and stir until well incorporated
  7. Add blackpepper and hot pepper

  8. Cover pot and cook on low heat until tomatoes dissolve and the mixture is of a thick consistency

  9. Remove from heat and serve with bakes or Johnny cake

PS I HATE tomatoes, so my saltfish : tomato ratio was 2:1! Some people like a more watery, tomato-ey saltfish and tomatoes, so just add more tomatoes!


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