Jamaican Run Down – An incredible flavorful fish stew cooked in coconut milk, tomato, onions, garlic and other seasonings. Pair with dumplings, boiled bananas or rice for one amazing taste sensation.
To me, one of the best tasting fish out there is mackerel – yeah I know. Not one of those fish that people flock to often. In fact, in most parts of the world it is considered a “poor man’s” fish. To me, it is high up there with salmon as far as taste is concerned and is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. More important is I love how versatile it is and takes well to various types of preparation and cooking methods. Just salt and cook and it tastes AMAZING!
The sad thing here, is that no one in my family likes it. So when I’m cooking I try to not use it at all or offer other options.
Did you know Jamaican run down is one of dishes that are often cited as missed by the Jamaicans who are far away from home? It is quick and easy to make and packs tons of flavor with this version.
The base of the recipe is coconut milk and fish (most often mackerel, in some cases smoked mackerel). Boy, that adds another dimension to this already tasty dish. Then it is simmered together with various spices until it thickens ups and forms custard like sauce – Mine is not so thick- which isn’t so typical, but who cares? Adjust to suit preference.
Traditionally, this is made with freshly made coconut cream but due to time constraints and for convenience most people now resort to canned coconut milk.
This is my take on run down, I added some smoked paprika to give it an orange looking color – I can’t begin to tell you how much I so love smoked paprika, one of my secret spices.
Run down is usually served with side dishes of dumplings and boiled green bananas. Rice or plantains makes a great side, though is not customary
- 1 1/2 -2 pound red snapper fillet /mackerel or any fatty fish)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or canola oil
- 1 bay leaf
- ¾ teaspoon or more I used creole seasoning
- ½ medium onion diced
- 2 teaspoon minced garlic or ½ tablespoon garlic powder
- 1-2 tomatoes with its juice
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 canned coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon white pepper or black pepper
- 1-2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 1 whole scotch bonnet pepper optional
- Salt to taste.
Cut fish in large chunks, rinsed and set aside.
In a large or large skillet heat oil over medium heat, until hot, and then add garlic, onions, bay leaf, thyme, whole scotch bonnet pepper and stir for about a minute.
Throw in tomatoes, paprika followed by coconut milk, white pepper and salt
Bring to a boil and let it simmer for about 4-5minutes. Then add fish, continue cooking for about 7 minutes or more until fish is fully cooked and reached desired doneness and texture. Adjust sauce thickness and seasonings, if desired according to preference. Add parsley Simmer for a minute or two. Remove from heat, toss out bay leaf and serve warm