Jamaican Saltfish Fritters
Saltfish or cod fish fritters, whichever you prefer to call them, are delicious. They’re one of those all-in-one bites that make it so you don’t need anything else on the plate to have a full meal. Saltfish fritters combine salted cod fish, batter and a slew of vegetables and herbs to make the perfect morsel of salty, crispy, fluffy deliciousness. Salted cod fish can be found at your nearby West-Indian or Caribbean market and can even be found at some of your local chain grocery stores. If you can’t find any, you can actually omit the fish and replace with 1 tablespoon of salt in the batter or I bet some canned or baked salmon would work well as a substitute for the saltfish fritters.
Before you begin the saltfish fritter recipe below, be sure to prep your fish. Because we’re using cod fish, that is preserved in salt, it is inedible as-is. So to reduce the amount of salt, we either boil or soak the fish to remove some of the sodium. There are two way to do this. You can either soak the fish overnight and changing the water once but draining and adding fresh water again, or you can chose the boiling route. In this method you will place your fish in 6 cups of boiling water and allow to boil until the water has reduced to1/3 its original amount, refill the pot with fresh water and boil again. After the second boil, the fish should be ready to go. The salt level should know be palatable in your codfish.
This, by the way, is why there is no salt in this fritter batter recipe. You simply don’t need it.
After the fish has cooled, you’ll then shred the fish into small bits using your fingers or two forks, checking for any pin bones as you go. No one wants to come across a bone in their fritter so take your time and do your best to remove them all.
Make these saltfish fritters for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. Whenever you make them, just do it, they’re delicious and kid-friendly too! The sweet and sour dipping sauce takes 5 minutes or less and takes these saltfish fritters over the top. Crispy, salty fritters, dipped in sticky sweet dipping sauce? What could be better? I’ll wait.
For full step-by-step video, check out my instagram IGTV post and Enjoy!
1 ½ cup flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
2 cups saltfish, soaked and hand-shredded
½ cup diced red bell peppers
½ cup diced green bell peppers
½ cup diced onion
½ cup diced tomato
¼ cup diced green onion
½ tsp finely diced scotch bonnet or jabanero pepper
1 tsp black pepper
2 tsp paprika (or cayenne pepper for added spice)
1tbsp Season All
2tbsp garlic powder
2 cups water
1 egg, whisked
3 cups vegetable oil
In a large bowl, combine flour and baking powder, stir to combine.
Add saltfish, diced peppers, onions and tomatoes, stir to combine thoroughly.
Add ½ your water and stir, add remaining water and stir until you have a thick, pancake batter-like consistency.
Whisk 1 egg and add to the bowl, stir to combine.
Pour in your dry seasonings: season all, paprika, garlic powder and black pepper and, you guessed it, stir to combine. Thoroughly.
Lastly, add your scotch bonnet or habanero peppers if using and stir one more time to combine.
Set batter aside to rest.
Heat 2 – 3 cups , depending on the size of your pot, of unflavored oil like vegetable or canola over medium-high heat. Once oil is heated, just before adding fritter batter, reduce slightly to medium.
Using an ice cream scoop, or table spoon, place evenly-sized dollops of batter into the oil.
Be sure to leave breathing room around each fritter to allow them to fry and become crispy without steaming.
Once fritters are golden brown on one side, about 5 minutes, flip and allow to become golden and crispy on the other side. About 3 more minutes.
Remove and place on paper towels to drain any excess oil.
Repeat, frying in batches until all batter is done.
Top with diced green onion and enjoy with sweet and sour dipping sauce.