As far as Caribbean appetizer recipes go, these “Saltfish” fritters are found in some form all over the Caribbean. here’s my personal recipe on this island classic. People in the Latin Caribbean islands call salted cod “Bacalao.” Codfish salted out of necessity as a preservative. Today salted cod or “salfish” is a Caribbean favorite – you can find saltfish with or without the bone. Soaking is recommended overnight to lessen the salt content. Another option is to boil the pieces of saltfish 2-3 times to remove the salt, you may even add sugar to desalinate the cod.
- 1/4 lb. Bacalao or Saltfish (Cod fish)
- 3/4 cup Flour
- 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
- 1/3 tsp. Salt
- 3/4 cup Water
- 1 clove of Garlic
- 1 envelope of Goya Sazón
- Sprinkle of Pepper
- Vegetable oil
- Place the pieces of cod into a pot, cover with water and boil until the salt content of the fish is to your content.
- Drain, debone (if necessary), wash and shred.
- In a bowl, combine flour, salt and baking powder.
- Make a little well in the center. Pour the water slowly and mix to make a thick like sauce.
- Add the pepper and sazón and stir well.
- In a mortar, crush the garlic and add to the mix.
- Add the shredded cod and mix well.
- In a frying pan, pre-heat lots of vegetable oil.
- Fry the bacalaitos (fritters) on high heat by dropping big spoonfuls in hot oil.
- Turn as needed.
- Fritters are done when they are golden.
- Drain in paper towels and let them cool before biting into them.
In the Caribbean by tradition it is custom to avoid meat on Good Friday. Many fish and seafood dishes are made to observe this day. Being of Antiguan descent on my father’s side one of my favorites and must haves is Ducana & Saltfish. Ducana can be described as a sweet potato dumpling and goes great with just about any stewed fish be it fresh fish or saltfish.
2 cups grated coconut*
2 cups grated sweet potatoes (Boniato variety)
2 cups of sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp grated nutmeg
1 tbsp of vanilla extract
1 cup of raisins (optional)
1 ½ cups of flour
- Grate coconut and sweet potatoes in a blender. You will need some liquid to help the grating process, either use the coconut water, milk or just water, but no more than 1 1/2 cup of liquid.
- Mix all the ingredients in a bowl in the order they appear in the ingredients.
- Cut 10×12 pieces of foil paper to wrap the ducana.
- Use a ladle or large spoon to scoop the batter into the center of the foil then fold the foil 2/3 of the way, covering the mixture.
- Fold the batter and foil once more (or twice depending on the size of batter you scooped out) making sure to keep the ends pinned so the batter doesn’t ooze out either side. The foil and batter should look like a flattened cylinder.
- Fold in/ roll up each end of the foil to seal in the batter.
- Place ducana in boiling water and cook for 30 minutes.
- Remove them from the water and let them cool for 10 minutes before opening them.
1 pack of salted cod fish about a pound
1 Medium sized onion
½ of a green, red and yellow pepper
2 cloves garlic
1 8oz can tomato sauce
½ cup vegetable or canola oil
1 tbsp butter
¼ tsp black pepper
2 packs of Sazón seasoning
- Soak the fish in water for about 4 hours or overnight.
- Boil fish in water for 45 minutes.
- Drain off hot water and pour cold water on fish to cool them down, making sure they get to a comfortable enough temperature to handle.
- Take out as many bones as possible. Break into bit size pieces and set aside.
- Cut onion into rings
- Cut peppers into strips length wise
- Slice garlic thin.
- Pour oil in frying pan and add the onion, peppers and garlic.
- Stirring until vegetables are translucent.
- Add tomato sauce, fish, vinegar, and butter to the pan then a sprinkle of black pepper.
Serve with fresh steamed spinach seasoned with salt to taste. (Do Not Boil Fresh Spinach) You can use eggplant mix with the spinach and/or long squash. In Antigua it’s called chop up. As the photo shows, I have pieces of pumpkins. You can also put it beside some boiled okras.
TIPS: * You can also use grated pumpkins along with the sweet potatoes and coconut; it gives your ducana a smooth texture also a different color, a yellowish grey.
Recipe: courtesy of: Cordy’s Corner
Photo: Christopher Hirsheimer
Fish and Fungi, is the unofficial dish of the the U.S. Virgin Islands. Historically, this dish came about during the days of slavery. Danish law permitted each slave a weekly ration of six quarts of cornmeal and six salted herrings. From time to time, the slaves would receive other provisions such as yams.
Virgin Islands Steamed (Boiled) Fish
- 4 1/2 lbs fish, scaled and gutted
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice or 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 cups water
- 2 teaspoons butter
- 2 teaspoons Recaito Seasoning
- Goya Adobo Seasoning
- Black Pepper
Fungi with Okra
- 1 (10 ounce) package frozen okra
- 2 1/2 cups boiling water
- 1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal, ground fine
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Hot Pepper, to taste
1 Clean fish with vinegar.
2 Season fish with lime/lemon juice, GoyaAdobo & black pepper.
3 Place seasoned fish with all ingredients into a saucepan with butter and recaito, cook gently until fish is cooked, about 15-20 minutes.
4 Place frozen okra in boiling water. Cook until just barely tender.
5 In a medium size saucepan, bring 2½ cups water to a boil.
6 To make fungi that is free of lumps, mix about ¼ cup of the cornmeal with ¾ cup water in a separate small bowl. Then, add this mixture back into the larger pot of boiling water.
7 Let cornmeal cook for about a minute, then add the rest of the cornmeal into the pan in a slow steady stream, while stirring constantly.
8 Add hot cooked okra to cooked cornmeal. Stir well.
9 Then, stir in the butter, salt, to taste.
10 Simmer for about 5 minutes more.
11 Mold fungi into small mounds with a large, wet serving spoon.
12 Serve balls of fungi alongside fish. Enjoy!
Per Serving: 132 calories, 3 grams fat, 7 milligrams cholesterol and 98 milligrams sodium.