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Bajan Fish Cakes made with Canadian Salt Cod are the perfect summer finger food! Eat them hot and served with some pepper sauce or spicy mayo!

Real Bajan Fish Cakes

I just got back from a wonderful two-week vacation with my family in Barbados. The first international destination (of hopefully many) for our little girl. While it wasn’t the first time my wife and I had been to this beautiful little Caribbean island, this time around I seemed much more focused on trying local food and learning about Caribbean cuisine. Barbados is a coral island created through volcanic activity and as such does not have much naturally occurring soil to grow produce in.

Crops such as sugarcane, cassava, pumpkin, and melons are plentiful, but plants needing a deeper more developed root system are not as common.  Due to the year round temperatures of between 20 and 35C, greens such as lettuces also don’t do very well and are mostly imported. As such, salad can be fairly expensive! Bajans have learned to make do with what is available, and this makes the local diet very heavily influenced by seafood, chicken, beef, goat, lamb, and indigenous fruits such as plantain, breadfruit, and mangos. Items such as roti, Bajan fish cakes, pudding and souse, and cou cou, are common on many menus, and if you find yourself in the Caribbean I highly recommend trying them out. It may be different from what you are used to, but the flavors will surprise you!

Bajan Fish Cakes made with Canadian Salt Cod are the perfect summer finger food! Eat them hot and served with some pepper sauce or spicy mayo!

Some of the links in this post lead to affiliate sites through which Earth, Food, and Fire may earn a small commission (at no increased cost to you) should you make a purchase. This allows us to stay online and keep creating awesome content! For more info check the Affiliate Disclaimer.

A favourite of my wife and I, (and even our daughter loves sucking on them) are what the locals call Bajan fish cakes. (Bajan is the informal term of all things Barbados). While we would be more likely to call these fritters, real Bajan fish cakes are a combo of seasonings, flour, baking powder and salt cod mixed into a batter and fried in oil. Usually served with the local pepper sauce, (affiliate) or a spicy mayo dip, these fishcakes make the perfect finger food for any party or gathering. Even if you’re not a fan of seafood you will like these as the salt cod is barely noticeable! The salt cod can be cooked ahead of time and the batter prepared so that you simply need to scoop, fry, and serve these tasty little lumps of goodness when you are ready.

Bajan Fish Cake Recipe

You’ll be surprised at how easy this recipe is to make and you probably have most of the ingredients, (besides the salt cod) already at home!

You’ll need:

  • 3/4 lb salt cod
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1.5 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp chopped herbs such as chives, parsley, thyme or marjoram
  • 1/8 tsp Bajan pepper sauce (or any hot sauce)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup water

Take the salt cod, place it in a deep pot and cover it with water. Bring the pot to a boil to loosen and dissolve some of the salt clinging to the fish. Strain the cod out of the water and repeat the process. After boiling a second time, the salt cod should be flaky, tender, and not too salty. Cool the cooked cod, then use a fork and break up the fish into small pieces.

Boil the salt cod twice to remove excess salt.

In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, minced garlic, onion, and herbs. Add the flaked fish to this mix and properly mix it in with your hands. Make sure the fish isn’t hot and has had a chance to cool so the flour won’t clump.

Add the water, beaten egg, and pepper sauce to the bowl as if you are making pancake batter and mix the batter with a wooden spoon until no clumps are left. The fish cake batter will be fairly thick.

Add the dry ingredients to the boiled and flakes salt cod before mixing in the liquids

Using a small portable deep fryer (affiliate), or a pot with two inches of heated oil in it works best for frying these fish cakes. You want to be able to let the fish cakes float and not stick to the bottom of the pot while cooking. A word of caution when using hot oil in a pot and not a deep fryer. It’s important not to over heat the oil as it may combust if heated to high. Hot oil can easily splash and burn you as well, so use caution. It’s best to keep it on a medium heat setting. If you have a food thermometer try and keep the temperature around 350F.

Fry the Bajan Fish Cakes in oil, either in a pot over medium heat or a portable deep fryer!

Gently scoop and drop tablespoon sized globs of batter into either the deep fryer or heated oil pot. The batter should start to sizzle immediately if it doesn’t, your oil is not hot enough.

As the Bajan fish cakes cook, gently turn them using a fork or a spoon. Make sure not to splatter yourself with hot oil (oil burns suck!). When the fishcakes are a dark golden brown all around they should be finished. Scoop the fish cakes out of the hot oil with a slotted spoon or a mesh strainer.

Bajan fish cakes are perfect dipped in a spicy mayo, or Caribbean pepper sauce!

Let the fish cakes sit and drain on a clean cloth or paper towel to absorb excess grease. The fish cakes should ideally be fried right before serving so they can be eaten hot. Skewer the fishcakes with little toothpicks and serve! You can make a simple little dipping sauce by mixing mayo and ketchup with some garlic powder and a drop of hot sauce.

Bajan Fish Cakes made with Canadian Salt Cod are the perfect summer finger food! Eat them hot and served with some pepper sauce or spicy mayo!

Tried the recipe? Rate and comment the recipe below, then take a picture and tag me on Facebook & Instagram: @earthfoodandfire . For more from scratch recipes follow me on Instagram & Pinterest

Real Bajan Fish Cakes

An easy to make fritter like fish cake, these Bajan Fish Cakes can be found all over Barbados. Perfect finger food for BBQ's, family gatherings or parties!
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Caribbean
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2 dozen fish cakes
Calories 1483kcal
Author Markus Mueller | Earth, Food, and Fire

Ingredients

  • 3/4 lb salt cod
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1.5 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp chopped herbs such as chives parsley, thyme or marjoram
  • 1/8 tsp Bajan pepper sauce or any hot sauce
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 cup water

Instructions

  • Boil the salt cod twice, each time straining of the water. Cool the fish and flake it with a fork.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients.
  • Add in the cooled flaked salt cod, mixing it in well with your hands.
  • Lightly beat the egg and mix it with the water and hot sauce before adding to the dry ingredients.
  • Mix the fish cake batter with a wooden spoon until smooth.
  • In a pot with hot oil, or in a portable deep fryer, fry tablespoon sized globs of fish cake batter until golden brown, about 4 minutes.
  • Scoop out the fried fish cakes and let them drain on paper towel before serving with your favorite dipping sauce.

Notes

Use caution with hot oil, when frying the Bajan Fish Cakes.Oil can easily splatter causing severe burns.

Some of the links in this post lead to affiliate sites through which Earth, Food, and Fire may earn a small commission (at no increased cost to you) should you make a purchase. This allows us to stay online and keep creating awesome content! For more info check the Affiliate Disclaimer.  All recipes, and opinions are 100% my own.

 


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2 Comments

  1. From your pictures it looks like you had a fantastic vacation!
    These sound great, I know we would all enjoy them!

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