I love codfish fritters – tasty bite-size morsels of cooked codfish enveloped in light flour – but made them for the first time only last year. Cod or salt fish fritters are very popular as appetizers or snacks and are made by adding flaked codfish to a batter, which is then deep-fried.
Also called Stamp and Go, apparently after the command (“Stamp and go!”) that was given to 17th century British sailors when tasks had to be done in a hurry, codfish fritters are sometimes referred to as Jamaica’s first fast food. They are relatively easy to make, so I’m not sure why it took me so long to make them. Codfish fritters can be eaten by themselves or accompanied by a dipping sauce.
How to Make Codfish Fritters
- 1 cup salted codfish (deboned)
- 2 cups unbleached All Purpose Flour
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 2 tomatoes, finely chopped, seeds removed
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 stalks escallion, finely sliced
- 2 tsp. black pepper
- 1/2 Scotch bonnet pepper, finely chopped (optional)
- 2 tbsp. vegetable oil, plus more for frying
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 1/2 cups water, at room temperature
- Soak codfish overnight in water, or bring to a boil twice (for 12-15 minutes), draining and adding fresh water after each boil.
- Drain and rinse the codfish under running cold water.
- Using a fork or your fingers, flake the codfish into small pieces, taking care to remove any remaining bones.
- To a small skillet, add oil and allow to get hot. Add onion, garlic, tomatoes and escallions. Sautee until soft about 5 minutes. Add black pepper then combine. Remove from heat and allow to cool
- Add codfish to the seasonings. Stir to combine.
- In a medium bowl, add flour and baking powder. Stir to incorporate.
- Add codfish mixture to the flour and stir to combine.
- Add water gradually, mixing by hand until a firm but loose batter is achieved
- Pour oil into a 6-qt. Dutch oven to a depth of 2″, and heat over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer reads 350°. Using a tablespoon, drop rounds of dough into oil, and fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes; repeat until remaining dough is finished.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer fritters to paper towels to drain briefly.
- Garnish with tomato or lime wedges, chopped scallion, etc., and serve.
Recipe adapted from Enid Donaldson’s The Real Taste of Jamaica.
Although I’ve only used codfish, I’m sure other meats can be substituted. Fritters are not only about meat. Bananas that are very ripe can also be used, though the recipe is slightly different.
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