steamed callaloo

Jamaican callaloo (there’s a Trinidadian/ Grenadian one too) aka Amaranth  is a nutrition packed powerhouse that is heavily featured in Jamaican cuisine. Loaded with calcium, protein and other essential nutrients callaloo is especially prominent in the Rastafarian’s Ital diet

steamed callaloo

Callaloo can be prepared any number of ways. It is one of the main ingredients in Pepperpot Soup. In Jamaica, callaloo is often served with saltfish or steamed with herbs and spices to make a vegetarian entree. The Trini version along with a complete recipe will be explained in a later post.

Most people pay attention to amaranth because of its high protein content, making it a crucial nutrient source for certain cultures, but there has been new research revealing that it also contains a certain peptide that has also been identified in soybeans that can reduce inflammation in the body. This anti-inflammatory molecule can also help to alleviate conditions like arthritis, gout, and other inflammation-related issues…”  ~Organic Facts~


A recent early morning stroll on Negril Beach  netted me the freshest most delicious plate of food I have enjoyed in a very long time. As with most of my foodventures, there is a  story with-in this story and so what began as a trip  to the fishing docks turned into a morning at Rasta Ringo’s.  After chatting with Ringo over a hot Guinness (I sipped while he cooked) I sat down to partake of the  meal you see pictured here. When I showed the picture to a chef friend later that day his first remark was ‘Strictly natural. No additives. Not even black pepper’

Ital meal with ackee & saltfish and steamed callaloo, boiled breadfruit, green banana

Side dish or entrée. Breakfast, lunch or dinner. Steamed Callaloo is a tasty, versatile green that is enjoyed in countless Jamaican homes all day everyday. Not to be confused with Trinidadian callaloo (dasheen leaves) Steamed callaloo is a tasty nutrient packed vegetable can be cooked solo or combined with other vegetables or saltfish to make a tasty entrée. Steamed callaloo is similar to Spinach in flavor and nutritional value. Keep reading for a step by step recipe for Jamaican- style steamed callaloo



Steamed Callaloo Recipe, Jamaican style

15 minPrep Time

30 minCook Time

45 minTotal Time

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  • 1 bunch (about 4 firmly packed cups) callaloo, chopped
  • 1 lg. carrot, chopped, optional
  • ¼ C water
  • 1 med. onion, chopped
  • 1plum tomato, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ¼ hot pepper, optional
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • Salt and black pepper to taste, optional
  • 1 TB butter or oil, optional
  • *1 pk noodle soup, optional
  • * If using noodle, omit salt.


“Pick” callaloo.Remove any debris, holey and dried leaves, and hard stalks. Wash in cold water. Discard the water.Wash again in 2 qts. water and 1 TB salt. Discard water. Drain. Place callaloo in a saucepan add remaining ingredients. Cover the pot and cook callaloo over medium heat for about 15 minutes. Stir halfway through cooking. After 15 minutes test for tenderness. If callaloo is still firm add a few tablespoons of water, if needed cover and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Serve with rice, bread or fried dumplings as a vegetarian meal. Or serve as a side dish with meat and other foods.


* Add ackee (drain if using canned ackee) after 5 minutes * Add ½ lb. cooked and flaked saltfish. * To make this dish Ital, omit salt, butter and noodles


Steamed Callaloo with fried ripe plantain and fried dumplings

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