When I used to live in NY, I always bought saltfish from my local Korean grocers but now that I’m in Hicksville, I don’t see it as often so I make sure when I visit NY to buy enough to bring back home to last a while. Recently I was in the seafood section of a large supermarket and lo and behold, I saw saltfish. I excitedly pointed it out to my PIC and as it was his first time seeing it packaged, he came over to read the label. “Why do you call it saltfish? Cuz it says right here salted cod, so basically it’s just cod. What’s this saltfish you keep talking about?” he says. And I go “Well you see it says salted right? And cod is a fish right? Salted Fish. Salt Fish. Saltfish”. Then I had to go into the long detailed explanation of how saltfish is made. For those who are not familiar, saltfish is fish that has been salted and cured in the sun, is a very common part of Caribbean people’s diet. Saltfish is imported from places in Europe into other regions but it is a big part of many West Indian dishes. To this day, saltfish and breadfruit is my favorite West Indian dish. There’s no breadfruit around me and certainly no ground provisions, so a little rice with boiled plantain usually have to suffice.
I don’t have my own recipe to share because I never measure anything when making saltfish. You may see pics of what I used but trust me, I added more of each stuff (to my taste). If you’re interested in making saltfish buljol or stewed saltfish feel free to check out In Mama’s Kitchen for their simple and flavorful recipe. I will share the method in pictures however.
Here are my ingredients:
Tomatoes, cucumber, green pepper and onions (chopped, julienned, sliced and diced)
Here’s the saltfish after I had boiled out most of saltness and shredded it.
I added oil to a pan and when it was hot, I added my onions and peppers to saute for about 3 minutes.
Then I added the cucumber and tomatoes and let them all cook together for about 5 minutes (till soft)
I added some black pepper, ketchup and a little bit of thyme and allow them to cook for another 2 minutes.
After this, I added the shredded saltfish and let cook down on very low heat for about 15-20 minutes. I wanted all the flavors to meld
Here’s my saltfish just before I was ready to serve
The only problem I have when I make this dish is that I think my PIC is starting to like saltfish more than me. I’m very territorial where food is concerned and more and more, I’m seeing that there’s always a fight for who gets the last serving of this. Being the sweet person I am, I always let him have it. Grrrrrr.
Bye For Now….