Do you agree that some of the nicest foods are made with simple and inexpensive ingredients? Well, Jamaican Run Down is one of these.
Run Down (also known as Run Dung) is made with well-seasoned coconut milk in which some type of fish is cooked.
The fish is usually salted cod or pickled mackerel but some people add fresh fish and others add vegetables to make it a vegan dish.
Traditionally, Run Down takes quite a long time to prepare and cook. This is because you first need to grate or cut up and process at least one dry coconut in order to extract the milk which is the main ingredient. This milk then needs to be boiled for quite a while until it reduces down to a thick and sweet sauce.
To make the rundown, you need to add spices, vegetables, pimento, onions, and the fish. The resulting dish is very satisfying and delicious. It is hard work though, but very labour and time-intensive.
Well, imagine our delight to find that Tropical Sun Foods actually stock and sell Coconut Run Down Sauce in a jar here in the UK!
The sauce is very close in taste to the ‘real’ thing cooked from scratch. It is much cheaper however than buying all the ingredients to make it. You can now actually have some Run Down with dumplings, bananas, or other food, in half an hour or less!
Here is how to make Jamaican Run Down using the ready-made sauce
250 g salt mackerel
1 jar Tropical Sun coconut rundown sauce (227g)
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 medium-sized tomato, chopped
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp scotch bonnet sauce or scotch bonnet pepper (optional)
Wash and boil mackerel or salted fish to remove excess salt
Remove from hot water and soak in cold water for 5 minutes.
Remove from water and then remove skin and bones
Wash mackerel and break into bite-sized pieces and set aside
Scrape the contents of the rundown sauce into a small saucepan
Add mackerel, pepper, tomato, sugar and scotch bonnet pepper and simmer on low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
So this week we made a batch of the delicious Jamaican run down and we were in Caribbean cuisine heaven! It turned out beautifully and brought us back to the days when our grandmother would sit on the kitchen step with a bowl and grater, grating a whole lot of coconuts to make Run Down for the family.
This would take hours, but we would sit and wait because the smell was amazing and we knew that the taste would be even better.
Here’s what ours looked like. I wish you could taste it.
By experimenting with the coconut run down sauce from Tropical Sun Foods, we realize that it was a bit tangy due to the presence of vinegar. By adding a teaspoon of sugar, we actually reduced that tangy taste and the end result was perfect!
Don’t be surprised if you find some small black seeds in the sauce. It’s actually a spice called pimento which is traditionally used in the making of run down.
Thankfully, by using the sauce, you won’t need to go out and get all the ingredients needed to make Jamaican Run down from scratch.
If you don’t have the ready-made sauce, just boil your own coconut milk and season it however you like. Then add your fish and continue to cook until there is very little sauce left.
Meal planning with Jamaican Run Down
Again we are linking with Katy Kicker and friends who share their amazing meal plans each week.
For us, life is getting back to normal and as we experimented with some foods this week, it is going to be a whole lot of Jamaican foods next week. We already have most things cooked and frozen, so it will be a matter of making salads to go with meals.
Sunday: Oven cooked jerk chicken with rice and peas
Monday: Oxtail with rice and peas
Tuesday: Run down with boiled dumplings and bananas
Wednesday: callaloo and saltfish with fried dumplings
Thursday: Curried Chicken and rice
Friday: Spicy lentil curry and rice
Saturday: Oxtail with rice and peas
Just typing this now is making my mouth water!
What meals have you got planned for next week? I would love you to try out the run down sauce in a jar and tell me what you think. Speak soon!
Jo and Leisa