Recipe by Nicole Lewis
You can find a version of fish cakes in pretty much every marine-based food culture. Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Caribbean cultures all have their version of a dish made from salt-cod. It’s no surprise that salt-cod is so widely used as its cheap, keeps forever, and is unassumingly delicious.
In the Caribbean, salt-cod is used to make fish cakes, which are actually more of a fritter than a cake. Fish cakes are a common street food in many Caribbean islands, so it makes for a good snack. The fritters are light, fluffy, and very satisfying. This version is a riff on the fish cakes that are more common to Trinidad and Tobago or Barbados. To add in extra flavor I added red peppers and plantains. When fried, the plantain’s sweetness adds a layer of flavor to the savory snack and the red peppers keep the fritter crunchy and bright. I’ve also paired it with a mango slaw for added sweetness.
You can find salt-cod in most Caribbean markets. Generally you can find salt-cod filets, which will save you from having to pick out all the small bones. Before using the fish it has to be rinsed to remove the excess salt. Trust me, you do not want to skip this step! Remove the excess salt from the salt-cod by covering the fish in cool water in the refrigerator for 12hrs changing the water at least once after a few hours or place salt-cod in a pot of cool water and bring it to a boil and let simmer for 2-3 minutes. Pour off water and repeat.
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Calories per serving: 205 per serving
Prep time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 10 mins
Total time: 25 mins
1 cupyellow onion
1/4 red pepper, finely chopped
1 habanero pepper, finely chopped
1 cupall purpose flour
1 teaspoonbaking powder
1 ripe plantain, diced
1 egglightly beaten
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 mango, julienned
1 red pepper, julienned
1 yellow bell pepper, julienned
1 clove garlic, finely diced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
Juice from one lime
3 tablespoons honey
Salt to taste
1.In a medium sized bowl toss mango, red and yellow bell peppers, garlic and cilantro with lime juice and honey. Add salt to taste. Refrigerate until ready to use.
2. In a heavy frying pan saute the onions, red pepper, and habanero pepper until the onions are just wilted and translucent. Transfer vegetables to mixing bowl and add frying out to the pan.
3. In a mixing bowl mix flour and baking powder, sauteed peppers and onions, plantains, egg, milk, melted butter, and flaked salt-cod until combined.
4. Drop a tablespoon of the mixture at a time into the hot oil making sure not to crowd the pan. Fry fish cakes until golden brown on both sides.
5. Serve warm with mango slaw (combine ingredients in a bowl and mix) and garnish with fresh cilantro, enjoy!