Buljol recipe – a delicious savoury breakfast from Trinidad and Tobago made with jackfruit in place of saltfish for a vegan option.
If you’re looking for a Caribbean breakfast recipe that isn’t porridge, then look no further than trying this wonderful dish called buljol. This specific recipe is tailored to be vegan using shredded jackfruit instead of salt fish with a medley of vegetables and drizzled with olive oil before serving.
The closet I’ve been to Trinidad and Tobago is Grenada and Barbados a handful of times. However, I do recall buying some salt fish buljol from a Trinbago vendor on the streets of Bridgetown.
The great thing about Barbados is because it’s so close to Trinidad and Tobago, there’s a HUGEEE community of Trini people making it all the more possible to obtain some authentic food.
What is Buljol?
In short buljol is a salt fish salad consisting of onions, chillies and tomatoes. Just like most recipes the dish has evolved not only being served for breakfast with avocados or bake but also the inclusion of ingredients;
- Bell peppers
- Culantro (shando beni)
- Hot pepper
- scotch bonnet
- some people even have their saltfish buljol with cabbage
It’s not uncommon to see various ways of making buljol, it’s a matter of each individual. It’s all about whether you want to include any of the above ingredients or not. I love vegetables so of course in true Charla style I had to include some bell peppers, it also adds some colour to the dish as well.
Where’s the saltfish?
If you’ve been following my website from the beginning you will notice, when it comes to Caribbean recipes. I haven’t posted any salt fish recipes and that is because I seldom eat salt fish.
Although island people prepare salt fish (fish cured in salt) by boiling off the salt, we can’t ignore the high levels of sodium that are embedded into the fish. Salt fish is refined and highly processed which ever way you look at it.
Also, I can tell you from experience that A LOT of island people do not boil their salt fish completely. Ever had a meal made with salt fish and all you can taste is nothing but salt? I have, it’s hard to stomach and my thoughts immediately turn to my blood pressure -something which is high in our (Caribbean) community.
Having salt fish is occasionally if you really must is better than consuming it daily. I get it!! it’s not easy to change your cultural eating habits. However, here are ways around avoiding salt fish by using flaked fish and adding some unrefined pink salt instead.
Using jackfruit instead of saltfish (the vegan alternative)
Rather than take the obvious route of using fish to make this dish. I wanted to pull together all the ingredients that make a great tasting buljol except using jackfruit instead. I am referring to green, young jackfruit which is savoury. Jackfruit is the vegan go-to meat substitute staple for soooooo many recipes.
I made curried jackfruit and trust me it works, especially if you have an open mind and love vegan food. You can purchase canned young jackfruit from most ethnic supermarkets.
How to make buljol
Shredding the jackfruit – canned jackfruit comes in triangle chunks. In order to shred the jackfruit so it looks like “saltfish”. You will need to cut the ends off (this is the bit that look like a triangle on the end) it’s tough and can be discarded. The remaining part of the jackfruit, is stringy when pulled so separate it and repeat this step with each piece of fruit.
The vegetables – I included some bell peppers (all colours) tomato and onion in my buljol. It’s simply a case of dicing them as small as possible before combining with the jackfruit.
Condiments – I used black pepper and a dash of salt, I didn’t find that I need salt. Add what seasoning you see fit according to taste.
Olive oil – the olive oil is the last ingredient to add prior to serving. Since this is a cold dish some people heat the oil and drizzle it, while others opt for cold olive oil.
Steps to make buljol with pictures
Place the jackfruit from the can in a colander, rinsed off and drain. Then shred into small pieces.
Dice your tomatoes, bell pepper and onion and combine with the shredded jackfruit
Season according to taste then drizzle with olive oil
Buljol (Vegan style)
- 1 can of jackfruit
- 1 very small onion diced
- 1 cup of mix bell peppers diced
- 1 to mato diced
- 2 tbsp of olive oil
- pink salt and pepper to taste
- Start draining off the jackfruit in a colander and rinse in water
- Cut the ends of each piece of jackfruit and use your fingers or a fork to shred the jackfruit into pieces.
- Place the shredded jackfruit in a medium bowl along with the diced vegetables
- Toss so everything is well combined.
- Add you pink salt if needed and black pepper according to taste
- Drizzle with olive oil and serve with bakes or avocados