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Mackerel Run Down

This recipe serves 4 People

Today is Ash Wednesday - the start for Lent.

40 days before Eastern Christians all over the world and especially in the West Indian culture start their fast. This time leading up to good friday is used for reflection and prayer.

Most people in the Caribbean fast from meat and eat a vegetarian or prescetarian diet.

Since Lent is very widely spread in the West Indies- I want to take the chance to share some more of my favourite seafood recipes.

Today’s recipe is Mackerel Run Down- a classic in Jamaican cuisine. I remember having this often before work from my local restaurant. This savory and flavorful dish is packed with protein and aromatic vegetables in a thick and creamy coconut sauce. Boiled or fried dumplings/ bakes, yam, green bananas or any other provision of your choice are a great addition to this delicious meal. Enjoy this recipe for breakfast, brunch or even lunch.

This is how to make it at home step by step:


2 tbsp of cooking oil

1 large onion, sliced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 medium sizes Tomatoes, in cubes

½ bell pepper, sliced

1 spring onion, sliced

1 tsp green seasoning (optional)

A few springs of thyme

Scotch bonnet to taste

Salt & Pepper to taste

2 tins of mackerel

3 tsp. of coconut creme

1. Prep Your Vegetables

Wash and clean all your vegetables and seasonings and cut them up. Slice your onion into thin rings, mince your garlic, cut the tomatoes in cubes and slice your spring onions and bell peppers.

2. Sauté your Vegetables

Now it is time to cook your vegetables. In a frying pan, heat up some oil on a medium heat. Once your oil is up to temperature, add in your onions followed by the tomatoes and garlic. Let everything sauté for a few minutes until it becomes tender. Then follow up with bell peppers and thyme. Add scotch bonnet peppers and 1 tsp of green seasoning if you like (these components add a lot of flavor to the gravy!). Stir fry for a few minutes and then cover and cook until tender.

3. The Mackerel

It is time to add in your tin mackerel. Most times tin fish is sitting in a liquid or oil. Drain it off and add in the chunks of fish into your pan. Keep in mind, that tin fish is already cooked- so you want to make sure you heat it through very well with the veggies. Cover and let it cook on medium heat for 3-4 minutes.

Tip: Do not break up the fish too much, keep the fish pieces intact only break them up very lightly. That way your Mackerel run down stays intact.

4. The Gravy

Add in your coconut creme. It will quickly melt and mingle with the aromatic flavors in the pan. Stir it in well, add in your spring onions last and let it cook for another 3-5 minutes uncovered until the coconut creme becomes thick and curdled.

Serve warm with your favourite sides and enjoy this hearty and delicious meal.

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