Buljol with Smoked Mackarel

Buljol is a Trinidadian dish Mr FTF introduced me to and it is a breakfast staple there. Actually, it is made with salt fish and it has a distinctive flavour which I do love, provided I manage to source a good quality one here in the UK. Salt fish is quite messy and laborious to prepare: it needs to be soaked in warm water, then the bones need to be removed. Bear in mind not to soak it too long or your meal will be flaky and tasteless.

All this effort will reward you with a very unique taste of seaside salty air. Don’t mind the occasional bone.

We’re quite busy though and salt fish is a treat so I tried making the Buljol with smoked mackerel once and that was a hit! The bones were way easier to clean. Even my Trini mother-in-law loved it. So here we go.

You need to discard the mackerel skin and shred the flesh with your fingers. Then slice finely tomatoes and onion. The ratio of ingredients depends on your choice. I prefer less onion more tomatoes. Then season it with pepper, salt (taste before salting as smoked mackerel could be quite salty already) and add olive oil to make the salad moist. Let the flavours infuse together in a fridge and serve at breakfast or lunch with avocadoes or side dish of your choice.

Trinis would serve it with local breads, called bakes. As we keep an eye on our grain intake, we often serve it with cassava, eddoes, sweet potatoes or even chips.


  • smocked mackerel
  • tomatoes
  • 1 small onion
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • black pepper to taste


Smocked mackerel – http://goo.gl/SHpWu9

Polish Mayonnaise – http://goo.gl/2SvB65

Chips – http://goo.gl/T2vELg

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