Saltfish Fritters

Salted cod fritters, are commonly known in Jamaica as "salt fish fritters" and are a popular breakfast item, appetizer or cocktail food. These tasty little treats are usually had by themselves, however variations exist in other West Indian countries e.g Bajan (Barbadian) fish cakes, usually accompanied by salt bread, bakes or a dipping sauce (Marie-Rose sauce) and Trinidadian Saltfish Accras.

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Servings: 3

Prep Time: 15:15

Cook Time: 15:15

Main Ingredients

3 cloves of garlic

1 scotch bonnet pepper

1 small onion

1/8 cup of chopped scallion

1 sprig of dried thyme

1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour

1/4 tsp of baking powder

1/4 tsp salt (optional)

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp curry powder

1/4 lb salted dry cod

5 cups of water

1 cup vegetable oil


1Bring 3 cups of water to a boil and then add the salted cod. Allow to cook for approximately 10 minutes.

2Remove the cod from the hot water and run under tap water until cool enough to handle.

3Using a knife, remove the scales from the cod then break it into small pieces, removing all the bones while doing so.

4Remove seeds from the scotch bonnet pepper. Finely chop the garlic, onion and pepper and add to the cod.

5Mix all purpose flour, salt, curry powder, black pepper and baking powder in a separate bowl.

6Remove the thyme leaves from the stalk, finely chop them and add to the flour mixture. Add the cod mixture and stir to ensure all the ingredients are well combined.

7Make a well in the center of your mixture and gradually add the two cups of water. Mix to ensure all your ingredients are well combined and the batter is of a semi-fluid consistency (not too watery).

8In a hot frying pan, pour approximately 1 cup of oil and allow it to heat up.

9Spoon your batter into the oil and fry each fritter for 3-5 minutes on each side on medium heat. For the last 30-60 minutes of frying, turn the heat up to high to get a nice crisp exterior on your fritters.

10Remove the fritters from the pan, drain them on paper towel and serve while still warm.

Additional Notes

Dried salted cod may vary in salt intensity. Depending on how salty you like your fritters you may need to boil it for a longer time to remove more of the salt and the reverse applies if you wish to retain a more salty taste. Feel free to taste the cod to ensure it has the right salt balance before adding it you your batter. Add salt to taste as necessary. Scotch bonnet peppers tend not only to be flavorful but also very hot; this is the reason for removing the seeds. If you are not a fan of peppery foods, you can cut back on the amount of pepper by either using only half of a scotch bonnet or eliminating the black pepper. The consistency of the batter should be just thick enough to fall easily off your spoon and to spread to make fritters of approximately 3 inches in diameter. This batter will make approximately 9 medium fritters or 12 small fritters.

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