It’s Friday and here comes the weekend! Two whole days off from work to relax, catch up on errands and spend some quality time with friends and family. As November is the month we celebrate our independence in Barbados, on Saturday I’m going to be making some super tasty Bajan fish cakes. Yum yum yum! And yes, I’ve finally graduated at long last from being a hopeless ‘non-cookist’ to an ‘Iron Chef Wanna Be’ of sorts.
It’s a pity my mum isn’t here to enjoy them with me because I know she would be impressed but the first time I made fish cakes I have to admit, they looked more like bakes … bakes with some sort of ailment because they had lots of air pockets and looked rather scary. The common comment of those brave enough to taste them however was: “Wait! Dem got in fish!” Guess that meant I passed the taste test regardless of the presentation.
I think I’ve got them covered now and today I’m going to share my recipe which is taken from a great book I received as a gift last Christmas: Bajan Cooking In a Nutshell by Sally Miller.
Here is what you need:
- ½lb/250g boneless salt fish
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon pepper sauce (optional)
- 1¼ cups 6oz/185g flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 egg
- ½ cup 4floz/125ml milk
- ½ cup 4floz/125ml water
- 1oz/30g butter
- ¼ cup/2-3 finely chopped spring onions
- Sprigs of thyme, parsley, marjoram picked off the stems and finely chopped
- Freshly ground black pepper, white pepper and salt to taste
To make the fish cakes:
- Place the salt fish in a saucepan with 6 cups of water. Bring to the boil for a few minutes, pour off the first set of water and bring it to the boil a second time in a fresh 4 cups of water for ½ hour. Check the saltiness of the fish. It should be salty but not overly so. If it is you may need to boil it up a third time.
- Shred the salt fish with your fingers or a fork.
- Put all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir vigorously until a thick batter is formed.
- Deep fry teaspoonfuls over a medium heat, until golden brown. Avoid the outside of the fish cakes burning before the middle is well cooked by carefully monitoring the heat.
- Drain an absorbent kitchen paper.
- Serve hot with Marie Rose Sauce or yellow Bajan pepper sauce.
There you have it: my super fab fish cake recipe. Good luck if you decide to join me and make fish cakes this weekend as well – you won’t be disappointed!