Salt Mackerel and Provision

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Salt Mackerel and Provision is a classic Trini dish that we love to cook. Although salt mackerel is traditionally eaten during Lent especially on Good Friday, I believe, once it is available in the market, it would be eaten year round by all Trinis alike. Well, at least I would! Unlike saltfish, when cooking salt mackerel care must be taken since it is a delicate fish that breaks up easily.

How to Prepare Salt Mackerel

So how do you cook salt mackerel? Well, for starters salt mackerel has to be soaked to get rid of some of the salt. And, even then you still have to boil it. In Trini cooking the way we cook mackerel is similar to salt fish or smoked herring, that is, with lots of tomatoes and sweet peppers and it is usually eaten together with provision like dasheen, yam, cassava, eddoes etc. So are you ready to cook mackerel Trini style? Let’s start. Here’s Salt Mackerel and Provision. Enjoy!

Salt Mackerel and Provision Recipe


Salt Mackerel and Provision


2 lbs salt mackerel
3 medium dasheen
1 cassava
1 sweet potato
1 medium yam
3 cloves garlic, chopped
6 medium tomatoes, chopped
4 pimento peppers, chopped
1 med sweet pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
8 leaves chadon beni, chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
pepper to taste

Wash and peel the provision.
Boil the yam separately.
Boil the rest of the provision together.
Note: Boil provision with about 1 tbsp salt.
Salt Mackerel.

Soak the mackerel for 15 minutes then boil for 10 minutes.
Remove the bones and tender skin gently.
Note: Use a gentle scraping motion to get the skin off. I found that when I held the knife at a 45 degree angle away from me ( knife edge that is), to scrape the skin, it came off easily!
The salt mackerel, cleaned and ready to cook.

Heat the olive oil over a medium flame.
Saute the onion and garlic.
Then add the pimento and sweet pepper.
Add the tomato and allow to cook for 2 minutes.
Add the mackerel…
…chadon beni and celery
Mix thoroughly.

Add a little water and simmer for two minutes.
Here you can add some pepper if you want to.
The finished salt mackerel. Serve hot over the provision.

Did you enjoy this mackerel recipe? Well now that you know how to cook mackerel trinistyle why not share this recipe with your friends. I’m sure they will like it. Stay tuned for more Trini recipes.

Ah gone! :-)



  1. says

    Salt Mackerel is one of my mom’s favourite things to cook. I actually have a set of photographs and a dish I made for a future column. Looking at yours I am so hungry.

    This evening I am having boiled cassava and ripe plantains with some fried corned beef.

    I’ve been fasting all day, today being Good Friday and now I am starving, got 20 minutes more to go! (lol)

  2. says

    Well I had this and some pink salmon today with provision. Nice of you to be fasting, that dinner sounds enticing as well…Leave a seat by the table for me lol!

  3. says

    Why do you have to boil yam separately? Does it take longer or faster to cook? I boiled my yam and it feels soft but t looks kind of ‘floury’ inside, is it ok? I always find cassava taking longest to cook…

  4. says

    This is exactly how I make salt cod when I’m feeling a little lazy. Most puertorricans use the same root veg too, we call it “viandas.”

    I think I know what I’m making next week!

  5. says

    @ Kate yam boils the fastest. The best way to test if the provision is done is to stick a knife or ice pick in it. if it goes through without resistance then it is good.

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