February 25, 2024

cameraWatch our step-by-step video for this recipe below

I have had several requests for this recipe! Whether you call it Mackerel Rundown or Rundown Mackerel, the term “rundown” is used to describe a thick sauce made of coconut milk boiled down with seasonings until it begins to form a custard. In some places in Jamaica rundown is also called “Dip and Fall Back”, more so in the past than now. I recently read that the name is said to have been given this term because the dish was served in bowl in the middle of the table. Each person would dip a starchy food in the bowl (usually boiled green banana, yam or breadfruit) then “fall back” to allow another person to dip.

As you’ll see, my recipe is very authentic. In my video I show you how to make your own coconut milk, which is how I was taught to make Rundown. You can try making it with canned coconut milk, but the result is not quite the same. I tested canned coconut milk and the custard turned out very thick and somewhat sweet. However, this may be to your taste and will certainly save you time, so it may be a good option for some of you. The other key ingredient is the salted or pickled mackerel. However, you can use any salted fish, like cod or herring to make a tasty rundown.


Ingredients for Mackerel Rundown

2 lbs Salted/Pickled Mackerel
2 Medium Coconuts
8 cups Water
1 medium Onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
2 stalks escallion/green onion, chopped
3 slices of scotch bonnet pepper
1 tsp dried Thyme

Prepare the Mackerel
(to reduce salt)

1. Remove the bones from Mackeral

2. Cut fish into 2-inch to 3-inch pieces and place in bowl

3. Pour boiling water over fish until covered; let sit for a half hour

4. Drain water and set fish aside

Make Coconut Milk

  1. Remove flesh from coconuts and cut into small pieces
  2. Using blender, in four batches, puree coconut with 8 cups of water
  3. Use strainer to remove and squeeze coconut from water

Mackerel Rundown

  1. Pour coconut milk into saucepan and bring to boil
  2. Stir milk using Medium-High heat until it reduces to a thick custard and oil is visible on top
  3. Add onion, garlic, tomato, escallion, scotch bonnet pepper and thyme to pan and stir
  4. Sautee seasonings in coconut custard until onions are transparent
  5.  Add fish, skin side down, to pan and cover with sauce
  6. Turn heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes until fish is cooked

Serve hot with boiled green bananas and boiled dumplings

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I’ve been cooking Jamaican food for my family for more than 50 years! Now I'm teaching my daughter Angela and you how to cook my treasured family recipes! I'm happy to be of service and love hearing from you so don't forget to leave a comment below.


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