This side dish is a perfect compliment to light fluffy fried bakes, coconut bakes or can be served with ground provisions. For this dish, relic from our colonial past, the main ingredient is saltfish or codfish. As the name implies, this is fresh fish that has been dried and salt-cured. In order to prepare for cooking, it needs to be rehydrated and salt removed. This can be accomplished either by soaking overnight or boiling. Note that with either method, the aim is never to remove all of the salt, enough salt should remain to taste.
It is said that Salt fish was first introduced to the Caribbean in the 16th century. Vessels from North America – mainly Canada – would come bringing lumber, and pickled and salted cod, they would return with molasses, rum, sugar and salt.
Now enough history, time for food!! 😉
Grenadian saltfish souse
1 Ib. salted dried cod / salt fish (I use the boneless one)
1 sprig green onion (scallions), chopped
4 seasoning (pimento) peppers
½ teaspoon salt/black pepper (optional)
1 onion, finely chopped (I like to also add purple onions, they are sweeter and so colourful!)
1 medium tomato, chopped
1-2 mixed sweet peppers (red, green, yellow, orange)
4 tablespoons olive oil / coconut oil
1) Soak cod in cold water for several hours, preferably overnight. Drain. If necessary boil to remove additional salt. If soaking overnight is not an option; boil the saltfish, drain, boil again to remove salt.
2) Shred saltfish into fairly small pieces with fingers and set aside.
3) Combine vegetables; green onion, purple onion, seasoning peppers, mixed pepper and tomato in a bowl, mixing well.
4) Add saltfish. Pour olive oil or coconut oil over mixture and mix well. Add salt and black pepper to taste if needed. Allow to stand for about 30 minutes.
Enjoy with a platter of freshly made Grenadian fry bakes.
You’ll thank me later!
Have a variation to this recipe? Let me know in the comments 🙂