With all the requests I’ve been getting via the facebook fan page and comments on the youtube channel, I finally decided that it was time to make good on my promise and post the recipe for saltfish accra. The fact that I had a craving for some salt fish accras had absolutely nothing to do with it – that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Many of you may know this as being cod fish fritters, saltfish fritters and/or fish cake, as it’s common for our food to have different names according to the island you call home. Basically the same ingredients, but we may have our own way of personalizing the overall recipe.
After posting the video for this saltfish accra on Youtube, a viewer mentioned that she usually use milk instead of water when making the batter for frying. I have to agree that this would be an excellent addition to an already wonderful recipe. Thanks to user “NadSSmith21″ for the suggestion… I will try that next rongs.
1/2 lb boneless salt fish (dry salted cod)
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 small onion finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced (use a garlic press if you have one)
2 shado beni leaves (or 1 tablespoon cilantro) chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped scallions
1/4 teaspoon chopped thyme (I like using fresh, but if all you have is dried, use 1/2 the amount)
1 teaspoon minced hot pepper, red pepper flakes or pepper sauce
dash fresh ground black pepper
¼ to 1/2 cup water
pinch of sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon parsley chopped – optional
Vegetable oil for frying (about 3 cups)
We’ll stat by preparing the salted fish for use. In a large pot, cover the fish with water and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes. TIP : leave your kitchen window open or have the fan above your stove on to ventilate the scent. The scent of boiling salted fish is not for everyone.
While the salt fish boils (to remove the excess salt it was cured in and to rehydrate it), we’ll prep the herbs, garlic, pepper and onion.
After 20 minutes of simmering, drain the salted fish and rinse under cool water a couple times. Now squeeze out all the excess water and shred. You can certainly shred with your fingers, but it may be a bit chunky. The other option is to use a food processor or as I did… I placed the chunky piece mortar and with aid of the pestle, I gave it a good pounding. You can see the difference in the pictures below. Even though we used boneless salted fish, do keep an eye out for any bones which may have sneaked in.
Up next it’s time to make the batter. In a large bowl, add the flour, baking powder, sugar, garlic, onion, pepper and all the herds we diced earlier. Give that a good stir, then add the shredded saltfish and give that another stir. Now add the egg and stir again. Finally… tart adding water and stirring. The goal is to get a thick batter. I ended up using close to 1/2 cup water. Remember the suggestion we got via Youtube about using milk instead.
Now that the batter is ready, it’s time to heat the vegetable oil on a medium/high heat. As this comes to temperature for frying… start adding heaping teaspoon full amounts to the pan. Since I don’t have an oil thermometer I can’t tell you exactly what temperate the heat should be at (sorry). Try not to crowd the pan with too many accras. It should take a couple minutes on each side and you’ll notice they will start to float as they cook. I flipped mine a couple times each side to achieve the perfect golden brown color accras should be.
Be sure to have a draining station set up (paper towels) to allow all the excess oil to saturate. If you find that it’s getting dark quickly it may mean you have to turn the heat down a bit or risk having accras that are raw in the middle.
I believe this batch of batter made about 12 accras… could be a couple more but I was busy eating as they were coming out of the oil, so I don’t have an accurate count on the paper towels.
This is an excellent party finger food or snack and it goes well with a spicy tamarind dipping sauce. Please don’t do as I did and eat fresh out of the fryer (though it’s best served warm/hot) as your mouth/tongue will pay the price.