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 pounds salt mackerel
3 medium dasheen
1 sweet potato
1 medium yam
3 cloves garlic, chopped
6 medium tomatoes, chopped
4 pimento peppers, chopped
1 medium sweet pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
8 leaves chadon beni, chopped
3 tablespoons 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 tablespoon of salt.
Soak the mackerel for 15 minutes then boil for 10 minutes.
Remove the bones and tender skin gently. The salt mackerel, cleaned and ready to cook.
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!
Heat the olive oil over a medium flame. Sauté the onion and garlic.
Then add the pimento, sweet pepper, and the tomato; and allow to cook for 2 minutes. Then 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.
Salt Mackerel FAQs
- Can I used the mackerel that comes with a brine from a tin as well? Yes, you can use the mackerel in brine as well. Just drain the liquid. You may want to to taste it to see if is just right for your taste. If it is too salty rinse the mackerel in clean running water.
- Why did my Mackerel not taste as good as the last one I cooked? Mackerel caught during the peak season of autumn are the best in flavour. The extra fat on the fish during this time enhances the flavour of the fish.
- Is there any alternative to mackerel? You can try sardine, anchovy or tuna.
- Can I cook the whole mackerel. Yes, just make sure you clean it thoroughly and remove the scales. Cook as you would with fillets.
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.
Don't forget our cookbook, The Simply Trini Cooking Cookbook, is now available at Amazon in Kindle and Paperback form. You can learn more about our book by clicking the link below. Also, you are invited to join our Facebook Group page if you have not done so as yet. There the members share talk and share their many cooking joys.
Ah gone! 🙂
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 tablespoon olive oil
- Pepper to taste
- Wash and peel the provision. Boil the yam separately. Boil the rest of the provision together. Boil provision with about 1 tablespoon salt.
- 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!)
- Heat the olive oil over a medium flame. Saute the onion and garlic. Then add the pimento, sweet pepper and tomato. Allow to cook for 2 minutes. Add the mackerel chadon beni and celery. Mix thoroughly.
- Add a little water and simmer for two minutes. Add some pepper if you desire. Serve hot over the provision.
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)
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!
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...
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!
@ 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.