Categorized |Fish, Vegetarian

My take on saltfish buljol.

saltfish buljolThough close to the real deal, this recipe is NOT how traditional saltfish buljol is made. My dad would tell us that his grandparents buljol was very simple.. shredded saltfish topped with hot oil. Sliced onions, hot peppers and tomato if you were lucky enough to have those things. In the Caribbean saltfish is “king”. Used on it’s own or as a flavour enhancer, it’s now found in many dishes up and down the Caribbean chain of islands. Gone are the days when saltfish was considered a “poor man’s” meal and ever since the decline of the cod population in eastern Canada, it’s become very expensive.

In my recipe I used salted Alaska pollock, but you’re free to use cod, hake or any other dried salted white fish you may have available to you. I would also recommend that you get the boneless variety to avoid having to remove the tiny bones when preparing this dish.

You’ll need…

1/4 lb dried saltfish
1/2 medium onion sliced very thin
1 medium tomato cubed
1 clove garlic chopped very small
1/4 cup green bell pepper cubed
1 green onion (scallion) chopped thin
dash of black pepper
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Place the salted fish in a deep bowl and boil enough water to completely cover it. After the water reaches boiling point (I use our electric kettle) pour it over the fish and allow it to soak for about 15 minutes or until it’s cool enough to work with. This water will help remove most of the “salt” that was used to cure the fish, or you’ll be stuck with a very salty dish. Not only does the hot water help remove the excess salt, it also makes the fish a bit tender and easier to shred.

Drain and rinse with tap water, then shred the fish into tiny bits. Try and squeeze out any remaining water that it may still have as best as possible.

saltfish with onions

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Now slice, dice and chop the pepper, onion, tomato, scallion and garlic and add to the bowl with the shredded saltfish. Give it a good dose of fresh cracked black pepper and mix. Finally, heat the olive oil in a frying an and just before it starts to smoke, pour the heated olive oil onto the everything in the bowl. Mix thoroughly and serve.

ingredients for saltfish buljol

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salted cod

Saltfish buljol can be served with ground provisions, rice and dhal, stuffed into fry bake, on sandwiches and as a topping for crackers. Add a bit more tomato, green and red bell peppers and toss in some shredded cabbage and you’ll have a great salad.

Did you know?

Saltfish and the dishes made from it are known by many different names, for example baccalà (Italian), bacalhau (Portuguese), bacalao (Spanish), bacallà (Catalan), morue (French), klippfisk/clipfish (Scandinavian), saltfiskur (Icelandic), bakalar (Croatian), and buljol (Caribbean).

Please leave me your comments below.

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21 Responses to “My take on saltfish buljol.”

  1. Rasta says:


  2. Dreevay says:

    Good….Now add some avacados

  3. jah haitian says:

    I LOVE!!! saltfish, In Haiti we make a sauce of the fish and eat it with rice taste so good with lime but then again what food doesn’t lol, Anyways I love the site i’m always able to find a gem from my lovely Islands peace and love people.

  4. shelia says:

    The Buljol recipe——finger licking GOOD!

  5. sonia says:

    from Barbados in the West Indies, my family normally does it on Friday nights or Saturday lunch. I came looking for a quick pepper sauce recipe but I found lots more . thanks, keep up the good work

  6. noel says:

    This is NOT VEGETARIAN fish! It is a pescatarian recipe. Fish are NOT vegetables they belong to the category animal. At best they are Aquarian.

  7. Maria says:

    OMG!…i know this recipe ( italian baccala) and I havent had it in eons. Love the island touches I could add to it to make it familiar to both myself and my san fernando man.

    Perfect. It is Friday so fish it is. Thx Chris.

  8. Naida says:

    Hey Chris I make this the same only I put some vinager and cilantro and some hot pepers. delicious.

  9. kathy says:

    i grew up on this dish in our family it is a traditional christmas morning breakfast with a pastel on the side….thank you so much for the boiling water trick to get the salt out i have been letting it soak overnight

  10. Bee says:

    I finally got around and put this together from my husband and I. I must say it was a light & tasty dish. easy recipe to follow =)

  11. I’ve never tried saltfish before but I’ve seen it for sale in my local market. It is good to find out how to cook a dish with it and how to take out the excess salt … think I’ll have a go. Thanks for the tips and recipe
    .-= Cookie @ recipes around the world´s last blog ..Any Day is the Perfect Time for Chocolate Cheesecake =-.

  12. Angela says:

    This how I like my saltfish prepared with the veggies still a little crisp. But in Jamaica we don’t call it buljol… we called it stewed saltfish or cook up saltfish.

  13. gorachael says:

    this is the way i love my buljol :D
    and i like the vegies to be stil a bit firm not totally cooked till it’s soft

  14. Lorna says:

    I love bulfol. I also use the same recipe with boiled cassava and fry them up together. Great!!!


  1. […] My son introduced me to the delights of saltfish. Very salty, needs a good soak, but so good for so many dishes. Here’s one that I came across recently, one which I will try tonight… well with a few variations.. (love onions, but they don’t like me!) Salfish Buljol […]

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