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Jamaican Saltfish Fritters

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If you’re looking for a delicious and authentic Jamaican dish, look no further than these saltfish fritters. These golden fried fritters are savory and full of delicious Caribbean flavor.

fritters on white pate with peppers around it

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Full Recipe Ingredients/Instructions are available in the 
recipe card at the bottom of the post. 
You can find important tips/tricks in the
blog post.

These saltfish fritters, also known as codfish fritters, are one of my favorite Caribbean snacks. I was able to get my mom to actually write down the steps she uses to make this recipe so I could share it with you all.

In a similar fashion to my banana fritters recipe, this recipe involves creating a loose wet batter and shallow frying on the stovetop. It’s a quick and easy recipe that requires just a little prep work.

If you like saltfish, be sure to try my ackee and saltfish and callaloo and saltfish recipe too. 

Ingredients Needed for Saltfish Fritters

ingredients for saltfish fritters on white background
  • Salted Fish (Cod) – Saltfish, also known as salted cod or salt cod, is a type of preserved fish that has been dried and cured. If you can’t find salted cod, you can use fresh codfish that has been cooked and flaked.
  • Flour – all-purpose flour is the base of the fritter.
  • Cold water – helps create the loose batter.
  • Fresh seasoning – green onions and tomato.
  • Scotch bonnet pepper – A popular ingredient found in many Jamaican recipes. It’s optional if you want a little spice.
  • Seasoning – all-purpose seasoning and black pepper.
  • Oil – for frying. Use a high-heat oil like canola, vegetable, or avocado oil.

How to make Saltfish Fritters

Prepare the Salted Codfish

This recipe uses salted cod and you will need to prepare it before adding it to the fritter batter. Rinse the saltfish. Place the salt fish in a large pot and cover with about 2 inches of water and bring it to a boil. Allow the saltfish to boil in the water for 10-12 minutes and then drain the water to remove excess salt.

While boiling, foam will appear at the top. Watch closely and make sure the water does not boil over on the top of the pot. Once the excess salt is removed, flake the fish and proceed with the recipe.

You can also soak the salt cod in water for 24 hours, changing the water several times. Once it is fully soaked and tender, boil the codfish for 4-5 minutes, drain the cod, flake it into small pieces, and use it in your fritter batter.

You can also use fresh cod in this recipe. Just season and bake the codfish and allow it to cool, before flaking it and adding it to the batter.

Prepare the fritter batter

Chop your green onions, tomato, scotch bonnet pepper, and thyme and place them in a large bowl along with the prepared codfish. Add the all-purpose seasoning and black pepper and stir until combined. Add all-purpose flour and stir.

Slowly pour in the cold water and mix. The batter should easily slide off a spoon.

wet batter for saltfish fritters

Heat 1 cup of oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the batter by spoonfuls, about 1/4 of a cup per fritter. Once bubbles start to appear on the top and the bottom is golden brown, flip the fritter. This should take about 3-4 minutes per side.

Remove the fritters from the skillet with tongs or a slotted spoon. Drain them on a paper towel.

Serve them as is or serve them with a dipping sauce. I like to eat them as is.

Frequently Asked Questions

What to serve with saltfish fritters?

This popular Jamaican appetizer is usually served as a part of breakfast or a snack. You could serve them as part of a larger feast for friends and family. Serve them along with jerk chicken, jerk pork, cornmeal porridge, and more.

Can these be made in an air fryer?

In order to make these in an air fryer, you’ll need to reduce the amount of liquid to make the batter a bit thicker. It won’t have the exact taste or texture as the fritters that are fried in oil.

What is saltfish?

Salted codfish, or salt fish, is a type of preserved seafood made by salting and then drying fish. The salt draws out moisture from the fish, which creates a firm texture that lasts for months or even years when stored properly.

Saltfish can be found in International markets or online.

Notes on Saltfish Fritters

  • I use half a scotch bonnet pepper in this recipe, which gives it a little bit of spice. Habanero pepper can be subbed for scotch bonnet pepper or simply leave it out. You can also use a hot pepper sauce.
  • The amount of water used will depend on the end results of the fritters. Less water will give a thicker, denser fritter while more water will give a thin, crispy fritter.
  • The amount of salt added to this recipe will depend on how much salt was removed from the salted cod. Do not add additional salt until after you have fried and tasted one fritter.

Other Jamaican Classics

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5 from 1 vote

Jamaican Saltfish Fritters

If you’re looking for a delicious and authentic Jamaican dish, look no further than these saltfish fritters. These golden fried fritters are savory and full of delicious Caribbean flavor.
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Caribbean
Keyword codfish fritters, jamaican saltfish fritters, saltfish fritters
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 335kcal
Author Tanya

Ingredients

  • 12 oz dried salted fish
  • 3 green onions chopped
  • 1 large Roma tomato chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves removed from stem and chopped
  • ½ scotch bonnet pepper seeds removed and chopped (optional)
  • ¾ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon all-purpose seasoning
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour 270g
  • 1 ¼ – 1 ½ cup cold water*
  • Oil for frying about 1 cup

Instructions

Prepare the saltfish

  • Rinse the saltfish. Place the salt fish in a large pot and cover with about 2 inches of water and bring it to a boil. Allow the saltfish to boil in the water for 10-12 minutes and then drain the water to remove excess salt.
  • You can also soak the salt cod in water for 24 hours, changing the water several times. Once it is fully soaked and tender, boil the codfish for 4-5 minutes, drain the cod, flake it into small pieces, and use it in your fritter batter.

Prepare the fritter batter

  • Add prepared saltfish, green onions, roma tomato, thyme, scotch bonnet pepper, black pepper, and all-purpose seasoning to a bowl and mix until combined.
  • Add all-purpose flour and stir until combined.
  • Slowly add water and stir until combined. The batter should easily slide off a spoon.
  • Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-heat. Add batter by the spoonful, about ¼ cup each.Once bubbles start to appear on the top and the bottom is golden brown, flip the fritter. This should take about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove and serve.

Notes

  • While boiling the saltfish, foam will appear at the top of the pot. Watch closely to make sure the foam does not boil over the top of the pot.
  • To sub fresh fish in this recipe, season and bake the fresh codfish before using it in the fritter batter. If using fresh cod, you may need to add a little salt to the batter, about ½ teaspoon.
  • I use half a scotch bonnet pepper in this recipe, which gives it a little bit of spice. Habanero pepper can be subbed for scotch bonnet pepper or simply leave it out. You can also use a hot pepper sauce.
  • The amount of water used will depend on the end results of the fritters. Less water will give a thicker, denser fritter while more water will give a thin, crispy fritter.
  • The amount of salt added to this recipe will depend on how much salt was removed from the salted cod. Do not add additional salt until after you have fried and tasted one fritter.

Nutrition

Calories: 335kcal
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