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Mackerel Run Down Recipe
Jamaican Style!

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Jamaican Mackerel Run Down
by Aneisha Dobson

jamaican_mackerel_rundownJamaican Mackerel RunDown - with dumplings and boiled banana

Jamaicans are acknowledged for skilfully combining a variety of taste and flavours to invent dishes that are not only scrumptious, but memorable. Truly, we are blessed to have these cuisines stapled unto our Jamaican brand.

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Although we often relish in the savour taste of our cherished national dish, Ackee and Saltfish,  this, another big fish should not be ignored.

Yes, I am speaking of none other than The Jamaican Mackerel Run Down (run dung).

This aged old recipe has been passed down throughout the generations and remains a staple dish in the recipe books of Jamaicans everywhere.

If you have yet to have this dish, just imagine, the creamy taste of coconut milk embracing the salty, flakiness of mackerel, flavoured with the spices of seasonings, onions and peppers and accentuated by the vibrant colours of tomatoes and the vegetables. Feeling hungry?

Click Here To Scroll Down For the Recipe

Even though rundown is often eaten as a meal for breakfast, many individuals (such as myself) enjoy it as lunch and dinner. I can clearly remember the excitement I felt as my mother prepared it for dinner.

Its smell was as distinctive as it tastes, you couldn’t miss it. It must be noted that rundown does not walk alone.

It is often paired with the likes of boiled green bananas (as shown above), boiled breadfruit, roast breadfruit, dumpling or yam (my favourite).

Wait, you don’t know how to make mackerel rundown? No worries, let me show you to get this meal on your plate (courtesy of my mother). 

Jamaican Mackerel Run Down Recipe


  • 1 lb pickled mackerel
  • 3 cups of coconut milk
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 small sweet pepper, chopped
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper, sliced (to taste)
  • 2 stack of scallion
  • 4 sprigs of thyme 
  • 1/2   tsp. Black pepper 


  1. Soak pickled mackerel in water for one hour to remove some of the salt from your pickled mackerel. Then, boil in hot water for 1/2 hour.
  2. Drain water, remove the bones from the mackerel and cut into small pieces.
  3. Put the coconut milk in a saucepan and bring to boil until it has an oily look.
  4. Add all seasonings in the coconut milk, stir and let it boil for twenty minutes.
  5. Add mackerel to pan, stir, lower the heat and let it simmer for 10 minutes. 

 Serve with boiled green bananas, boiled breadfruit, roast breadfruit, dumpling or yam. 

Just like that, and you’re done!

Don’t be afraid to add in your own special ingredients to hype up your rundown. Remember, there are no rules when it comes to cooking. Explore, create and try new things.

Now sit back, don’t get to relaxed as you prepare to delight in its mouth-watering taste.

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A patriotic Jamaican who adore its culture, Wellesley has been using this medium to share what he calls 'the uniqueness of Jamaica with the world' since April 2007.  

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