I’ve shared countless recipes featuring the use of saltfish (Salted Cod) over the years, as it’s used a flavor enhancer to MANY dishes in the Caribbean. However, stewed on it’s own.. being the STAR of the recipe is what allows us to really appreciate the humble salted codfish. From our colonized past and slavery, we’ve perfected the art of making humble food, tasty and comforting.
3/4 lb prepared salted Cod (any salted fish will work)
8 tomatoes (ripe)
1 bell pepper (cut into strips)
2 pimento peppers (optional – sliced)
1 large onion (sliced)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 cloves garlic (smashed)
2 tablespoon parsley chopped
1/2 scotch bonnet pepper (sliced)
3 scallions (chopped)
1 tablespoon capers
1/2 cup olives
5 sprigs thyme
3 + 1 tablespoon olive oil
1 -2 tablespoon tomato paste
Note: If doing this recipe gluten free, be sure to go through the entire list of ingredients to ensure they meet with your specific gluten free dietary needs. I used boned (bones and skin removed) salted cod as it makes for
easier work. But do go though and make sure there’s no bones left back during processing.
Roast the tomatoes over a charcoal or propane flame, or you can also roast them in your oven. Roast on direct heat for about 5-10 minutes.
Set the roasted tomatoes aside to cool down in a bowl, then remove the skins and discard along with the core/stems. Save the juices which accumulate at the bottom of the bowl. Chop into 1/2 inch pieces.
Prep the other ingredients. (chop, dice, smash)
Prepare salted cod and set aside. (soak in water overnight or boil in water, drain and shred into chunks.. explained further in the video below) .
Heat a wide pan on medium heat, then go in with the olive oil, followed by the onion, garlic, thyme and black pepper and drop the heat to low to gently cook. Give it a toss, then add the bits of slated cod.
3 minutes later add the scotch bonnet, pimento and bell peppers. Mix well to combine everything. Take the heat back up to medium and cook for 3 minutes. Remember to NOT use any of the seeds nor white membrane surround the seeds from the Scotch Bonnet or it will be SPICY! Be sure to wash your hands immediately after with soap and water.
Now add the chopped roasted tomato (and juices) and stir well. Add the capers and olives.. and bring back to a boil. Go in with the tomato paste for a bit of color, sweetness and to help create a lovely sauce. Cook with the lid on.. as it comes to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 3-4 minutes.
Taste for salt and adjust. I didn’t add any as the salted cod will have some salt remaining and capers can be a bit salty as well. Turn off the stove, top with the remaining olive oil and parsley.
While not a ‘traditional’ way of making Stewed Salted Cod in the Caribbean, I dedicate this version to my ancestors, who paved the way for me to make and enjoy such stunning food. Serve with boiled ground provisions (cassava, yam, dasheen, eddoes, sweet potatoes green banana), roasted or steamed breadfruit, bread, rice or rock it on flour dumplings or even pasta.