Salted fish aka "salt fish" is a fresh white fish that has been salt-cured and dried all until all of the moisture has been extracted.
It was brought to Trinidad by Canadian shippers who traded it for molasses, rum and sugar. It was originally considered to be the poor man’s fish, but today it’s been elevated to a lofty place in our local cuisine. My favourite preparation is something called "accras" or saltfish cakes.
I remember getting up early in the morning, and watching her make these while my parents loaded up the car for a fun fulled day at the beach. Be warned - these are like potato chips - you cannot eat just one.
I ONLY make these when I’m having family and friends over, because I will absolutely eat the whole batch by myself.
Preparation of the cod
The salted cod is verrrrrrry salty as it's been brined and preserved. To remove the salt, place in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring water to a boil and after 20 minutes strain, repeat, rinse in cold water. Return to a pot and bring to a boil for another 20 minutes. After the second boiling, break off a small piece and test for saltiness. Most of the salt should be removed by the time, however if it's still too salty repeat the process until the desired saltiness is reached. Note: When boiling the salted cod, open all windows as the smell may be a bit powerful for some people. Once completed, remove salted cod from the water and shred using the food processor.
Preparation of the fishcakes
1. Proof the yeast in a small bowl by combining sugar, yeast and 1/4 cup warm water. Allow mixture to proof for 15 minutes. Combine flour, baking powder and white pepper into a large bowl and mix well. Then add yeast mixture and milk and combine until all ingredients are mixed.
2. Add shredded cod and blend well. Then add onions, red pepper, herbs, and green oninons and mix until a smooth batter (adding more water a little at a time if necessary - batter should neither be stiff nor runny).
3. Cover and set aside for an hour or for best results refrigerate overnight and then fry the next morning. When ready to use, get a frying pan and fill with enough oil to deep fry fish cakes. When oil is hot, drop fishcakes in by the tablespoon or teaspoon. Fry fish cakes until golden brown or about 5 minutes.
4. Remove from oil and drain on paper towel to absorb excess oil. Serve with a mango garnish or can be eaten on it's own.
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