Jamaican Cabbage and Saltfish

Total Time

Prep: 15 min. + standing Cook: 15 min.


4 servings

Updated: Sep. 30, 2023
This Jamaican cabbage and saltfish recipe is a quick and healthy dish that feels like a slice of home. Perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner, this low-calorie meal is full of flavor. —Candi Rookwood-Clarke, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Jamaican Cabbage and Saltfish Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 2-1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 pound dried salted cod
  • 2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 small head cabbage, shredded
  • 1 small white onion, sliced
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon Scotch Bonnet or habanero pepper, minced
  • 1/4 cup sliced red and green pepper
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 4 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • Hot cooked rice, optional


  1. In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add cod; simmer 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat and let stand until room temperature, about 30 minutes. Remove cod from water; discard water. Discard any skin and bones from cod; shred with a fork. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with cold water; add 1 teaspoon salt and stir to dissolve. Add cabbage and rinse; drain.
  3. In a large saucepan, heat oil. Add onion, peppers and tomatoes; cook until onions are tender, 4-5 minutes. Add cabbage and remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, covered, until cabbage is tender and translucent, 5-6 minutes. Stir in fish; cook until heated through. Serve over rice if desired.

Jamaican Cabbage and Saltfish Tips

What do you serve with Jamaican cabbage and saltfish?

This Jamaican cabbage and saltfish recipe is typically served with a combination of yams, green bananas and boiled or fried dumplings. But it can be enjoyed with just about any starch, including boiled potatoes or breadfruit.

What type of cabbage should you use?

Green cabbage is a traditional Jamaican staple, and it’s the cabbage of choice for this version of cabbage and saltfish.

How do you steam Jamaican-style cabbage?

Slice the cabbage to your desired thinness, add some Jamaican spices, drizzle a bit of oil and a dash of salt and let it steam in a covered saucepan until translucent. Add a few splashes of water if it dries out too soon. Find Caribbean-inspired recipes to pair with your cabbage.

What other spices or vegetables can you use for variations on cabbage and saltfish?

This is a completely customizable dish! For a gentler heat, swap out the Scotch bonnet for black pepper. Or add vegetables like carrots and green beans for a bit of color. Feel free to get creative with unique spice blends, too.

Candi Rookwood-Clarke

Nutrition Facts

3/4 cup cabbage mixture: 180 calories, 5g fat (1g saturated fat), 43mg cholesterol, 2675mg sodium, 13g carbohydrate (7g sugars, 5g fiber), 21g protein.

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