Caribbean salt cod fritters are not something I’ve thought of making. I’m sharing a recipe post and turns out, salted codfish is not that hard to find and makes a great appetizer.
This recipe is courtesy of Chef Mireille from The Schizo Chef.com. She cooks multi-cultural dishes, lives in New York, and is in the Food Bloggers Recipe Swap group on Facebook. I’m a seafood fanatic and Mireille’s Caribbean fish cakes recipe seemed the perfect recipe to try and share.
I was not familiar with salted codfish so a little research was in order. Seems that it is prevalent in the Caribbean as well as Scandinavian countries, around the Mediterranean and Canada, which is where my fish was from. It just makes sense that preserving fish by a drying method, like using salt, was a natural. Actually done hundreds of years ago to preserve meats and fish.
I found this salted cod at Whole Foods and they actually had 3 or 4 different brands to choose from. I read some other salt cod recipes that talked about picking the bones out of the flesh and definitely opted for the boned salted codfish.
The fish comes neatly packed and still full of salt which means that you have to soak it for a length of time to get the saltiness out of it. 24 hours in the refrigerator, changing the water a few times in between, left the fish nicely unsalty, smelling and tasting like nice fish. Boiling the fish for 15 minutes or so further releases the salt and makes the fish very flaky and suitable for the fritters.
This recipe makes a lot of fritters since you only drop a level tablespoonful of the batter for each fritter. They end up having a nice fish flavor and as much heat as you are willing to accept. Mireille used a scotch bonnet pepper in her recipe. I’m not so brave or accustomed to quite that much heat, so I used a couple thai chiles that I got from my friend Manny, augmented with some cayenne pepper.
These Caribbean salt cod fritters would be a perfect appetizer for a crowd. Think New Year’s or Superbowl party. Make them ahead of time and keep warm in the oven. I’m sure everyone would gobble them up.
- 1 lbs. Salted codfish
- 1 hot pepper, like scotch bonnet, finely minced (I used 2 thai chiles and ½ tsp cayenne)
- 3 scallions, finely chopped
- 2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- 1¼ cup all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 3 eggs
- ¾ cup milk
- vegetable oil for frying (around 1 quart)
- Place the salted cod in a bowl and add cold water, refrigerate for 24 hours, changing the water 2 or 3 times.
- Remove from the water and place in a large sauce pan and boil for 15 to 20 minutes. Then drain the fish in a wire sieve and let the fish cool.
- In a large bowl mix together the pepper, scallions, thyme and parsley.
- Then use your fingers to flake the fish and add to the herbs in the bowl.
- In a separate large bowl mix the flour and baking powder.
- In a small bowl whisk the milk and eggs.
- Add the milk to the flour and whisk to make a batter.
- Finally, add the fish and herbs to the batter and fold to combine.
- Using a tall sided skillet (casserole skillet) add about 1 inch of oil and bring the oil up to between 350 and 375 degrees. I used an oven temperature probe attached to the skillet with a clip to monitor the temp.
- Add 1 level tablespoon of the batter into the oil, using a second spoon to help slide the batter into the oil (they expand in size in the oil).
- Start with 4 fritters, (then check the taste as described below)
- Fry on one side for 2 to 4 minutes until browned and flip with a pair of tongs to the second side and fry until browned.
- Remove the fritters with a slotted spoon or a kitchen spider and place on a cooling rack with paper towels under it.
- You may want to let the first batch cool slightly then taste and adjust the spiciness adding a little more cayenne if desired.
- Continue to fry the fritters 6 or 8 at a time.
- Serve warm with hot sauce on the side.
- This recipe makes a lot of fritters and honestly, I lost count, but it's at least three dozen
- Freeze any leftovers and re-heat in the oven