BBC Hairy Bikers - Salt Fish Fritters

December 21, 2015

Salt cod is dried, salted cod that needs to be re-hydrated and de-salted before use. It looks pretty unappetising – a bit like a dried-up leather shoe – but softens once rehydrated and tastes delicious when cooked. It’s extremely popular in Mediterranean countries (particularly Portugal, where it's known as bacalhau), as well as in tropical countries, where it keeps well despite the hot temperatures. In some parts of Italy, salt cod is traditionally eaten on Christmas Eve; in France, it's used as the basis for brandade.

To rehydrate salt cod, soak it in cold water for 24 to 48 hours and change the water frequently. Salt cod can then be poached or baked, or used in stews, fishcakes or fish mousses.

  • 125g/4½oz salt cod, or other saltfish, soaked in water overnight (water changed several times)
  • 100g/3½oz self-raising flour
  • ¼ red pepper, diced
  • ¼ green pepper, diced
  • ¼ onion, finely diced
  • ½ Scotch bonnet chilli, seeded and finely chopped (use ½ green chilli for a milder version)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • vegetable oil, for shallow frying
  1. Drain the soaked salt cod and cook in boiling water for 20-25 minutes, or until the fish is flaky and tender. Drain the salt cod and flake the flesh, removing the skin and pin bones.
  2. Tip the flour into a bowl and stir in enough cold water to make a thick paste (about 250ml/9fl oz). Stir in the salt cod, red and green peppers, onions, scotch bonnet pepper and season with freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Heat 2.5cm/1in vegetable oil in a deep heavy-based frying pan until a breadcrumb sizzles and turns brown when dropped into it. (CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended.)
  4. Carefully place spoonfuls of the batter into the hot oil and fry for 2-3 minutes, or until the fritters are crisp and golden-brown (you may need to do this in batches). Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside to drain on kitchen paper to remove any excess oil.

Source: BBC Food Recipes

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