Tomato Butter Salt Fish Breadfruit Ragout (Photo: Karl Mclarty)

Thursday Food takes you inside the Jamaica Food and Drink Kitchen where on November 29, award-winning Executive Culinary Artist Oji Jaja welcomed guests to the Norwegian Salt Fish Workshop. Jaja had the distinct pleasure of visiting Norway in April of this year as a guest of the Norwegian Seafood Council where he not only experienced the various ways of presenting the Jamaican delicacy but, too, how freshly caught saithe becomes salt fish.

Norwegian Seafood Council Director of Brazil and the Caribbean Øystein Valanes was on hand to underscore the relationship between Jamaica and Norwegian salt fish. "Jamaicans are one of the largest consumers of salt fish per capita in the world," he said. "Each year Jamaicans consume over 5.7 million kilograms of salt fish. Jamaica is the second-highest consumer, per capita, globally after Portugal." Norway Ambassador to Jamaica Beate Stirø added, "Jamaica is one of the leading markets in the world for Norwegian salt fish which last year reached almost 6,000 tons. The journey of this delicacy from the cold, dark waters beyond the Arctic Circle to the breakfast tables here in Jamaica is only one example of our two countries' excellent cooperation."

Formalities over, it was now time to test one's culinary skills using Norwegian salted cod. Sixteen guests were up for the challenge of preparing the afternoon's speciality: Tomato Butter Salt Fish Breadfruit Ragout. There were also six other meal options prepared by Jaja to be enjoyed, notably Smoked Tomato Butter Salt Fish, Marinated Salt Fish, Peri Peri Grilled Salt Fish, Salt Fish Ceviche, Ackee and Salt Fish Spring Rolls with papaya-ginger chutney, and Bite Me Pickled Salt Fish served atop crostini.

Tomato Butter Salt Fish Breadfruit Ragout

Tomato Butter

Ingredients:

8 oz Norwegian Salt Fish (desalted and deboned)

8 oz Roma tomatoes

4 oz whole butter

2 oz onions (small diced)

1 tbsp garlic (chopped finely)

1 tsp ginger (chopped finely)

1 whole Scotch bonnet pepper

1 oz olive oil

1 sprig thyme

Salt to taste

Method:

In a heavy sauce pan on medium heat, heat olive oil and add all ingredients except Norwegian Salt Fish, tomatoes and butter.

Sauté until onions become translucent.

Cut salt fish into 1-inch cubes.

Add tomatoes and reduce heat to low.

Allow to simmer for approximately 20 minutes.

Adjust seasoning.

Remove from heat and whisk in butter (should create an emulsion).

Add Norwegian Salt Fish and serve immediately.

Breadfruit Ragout

Ingredients:

8 oz green breadfruit (peeled and small diced)

8 oz coconut milk

2 oz onion (peeled and small diced)

1 oz coconut oil

1 tbsp fresh turmeric (peeled and grated)

1 tbsp garlic (chopped finely)

1 tsp fresh thyme (leaves only)

Salt to taste

Method:

In a heavy sauce pan on medium heat, heat coconut oil and add onion, turmeric and garlic.

Add breadfruit and season with salt.

Add coconut milk and simmer until breadfruit is cooked.

Finish with fresh thyme leaves.

Norwegian Seafood Council Director of Brazil and the Caribbean Øystein Valanes (right) shares the frame with Executive Culinary Artist Oji Jaja and Norway Ambassador to Jamaica Beate Stirø. (Photo: Karl Mclarty)
From left: Renee Thompson, manager, dietetics services, Nutrition Unit, Ministry of Health and Wellness; Camilla Røssaak, counsellor for sustainable development in the Caribbean at the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Mastered Meals by Whitley principal and chef Shauniel Whitley; and Jolene Miller, Supreme Ventures TV presenter, were the first to finish the cooking challenge. (Photo: Karl Mclarty)

Adjust seasoning.

Smoked Tomato Butter Salt FishBreadfruit purée and sautéed Gai lan (Photo: Karl Mclarty)
Marinated Salt FishMixed greens, shaved radish, orange segments, Ashebre's Passion Fruit Vinaigrette (Photo: Karl Mclarty)
Peri Peri Grilled Salt FishMarinated quinoa, plantain chips and avocado (Photo: Karl Mclarty)
Bite Me Pickled Salt Fish served atop crostini (Photo: Karl Mclarty)
Salt Fish Ceviche Parmesan polenta and tomato fondue (Photo: Karl Mclarty)
Ackee and Salt Fish Spring Rolls with papaya-ginger chutney (Photo: Karl Mclarty)
Chef Oji Jaja showcases the ingredients used to make the Tomato Butter Saltfish Breadfruit Ragout, while Camilla Røssaak, counsellor for sustainable development in the Caribbean at Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, looks on. (Photo: Garfield Robinson)
Jacob Bjørge AS Export Manager Carl Johan Pettersen is spotted preparing breadfruit ragout. (Photo: Karl Mclarty)
Camilla Røssaak, counsellor for sustainable development in the Caribbean at Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, snaps a selfie with (from left) Jacob Bjørge AS Export Manager Carl Johan Pettersen, Johan Giskeødegård AS CEO Johan Giskeødegård and West-Norway AS President Helge Røst. (Photo: Karl Mclarty)
Norwegian Seafood Council Director of Brazil and the Caribbean Øystein Valanes (left) is eager to learn more about the Bite Me Pickled Salt Fish from founder Scott Lyons. (Photo: Karl Mclarty)
Executive Culinary Artist Oji Jaja presents his Tomato Butter Salt Fish Breadfruit Ragout. (Photo: Karl Mclarty)

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