The ultimate Jamaican Breakfast (vegan)

"Fried dumplings remind me of Sunday mornings. That was fried dumpling time for my mother, and waking up to that smell was heavenly. You wouldn’t make this full version on a weekly basis – often I would have the dumplings with steamed cabbage and salt fish, or even sausages and spicy baked beans. The recipe below is with all the bells and whistles. With ackee and salt fish being the national dish of Jamaica, it would feel strange to not include a recipe for it. It feels like a ‘I’m trying to impress my partner’s family’ kind of moment, or ‘it’s Easter and I’ve been put in charge of breakfast’."

Plentiful by Denai Moore (Hardie Grant, £24) Photography by Yuki Sugiura

READ: Denai's exclusive interview with Sous Chef about the food and idea that inspire her


For the dumplings

  • 400g self-raising flour
  • 1 tablespoons light brown soft sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegan block butter
  • 200ml water
  • vegetable oil, for frying

Ingredients for the ackee and vegan 'salt fish'

  • 2–3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 Scotch bonnet, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 spring onion (scallion), chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 350g kale
  • splash of water
  • 4 sprigs of thyme, leaves chopped
  • 210g hearts of palm, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon vegan fish sauce
  • splash of water
  • 500g  tin of ackee, rinsed and drained
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • your favourite hot sauce, to serve

For the garlicky greens

  • 1 tablespoon vegan block butter
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 350g spinach

For the fried plantains

  • 2 ripe plantains, peeled and sliced diagonally into 8 pieces
  • olive or vegetable oil, for frying

Method

  1. First make the dumplings. Put the flour, sugar and salt into a bowl with the butter. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the dry ingredients. Add the water to bring it together, then knead in the bowl until you have a smooth dough.
  2. Cover with cling film (plastic wrap) and leave to rest for 1 hour. This will allow the gluten to fully hydrate and give you the fluffiest dumplings. Once rested, separate the dough into eight pieces, then form into balls by rolling in your hands. Set back in the bowl.
  3. Next prepare the ackee and ‘salt fish’. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Sweat the onion for 2–3 minutes with a pinch of salt until softened, then add the tomato, Scotch bonnet, spring onion, garlic and thyme.
  4. Fry for a few more minutes until wonderfully fragrant. Now add the heart of palm and season with the vegan fish sauce. Fry for another minute. Add a splash of water to the pan to deglaze and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Add the ackee, cover with a lid and steam for 5 minutes.
  5. For the plantains, in a separate frying pan, heat enough oil to coat over a medium heat and fry the plantain slices for 3–4 minutes until golden, flipping to cook each side.
  6. Now make the garlicky greens. Heat the butter in a frying pan and once melted fry the garlic until fragrant. Add the kale and a splash of water. Season with salt and pepper, cover and steam for 2 minutes. Next add the spinach, put the lid back on and cook until just wilted. Check for seasoning.
  7. Heat 2.5 cm (1 inch) of oil in a deep-sided heavy-bottomed frying pan over a medium heat. Test the temperature by using a wooden spoon – if lots of bubbles appear around it immediately, it’s ready to go. Fry the dumplings for 3–4 minutes – be careful, if they are browning too quickly, the temperature of the oil is too high.
  8. Put a couple of fried dumplings, some plantains and garlicky greens on each plate. Finally, add the ackee and ‘salt fish’ in the middle. Serve with your favourite hot sauce and enjoy!
© Speciality Cooking Supplies Limited 2024


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