Fry bake and saltfish is a popular street food in the Caribbean and an Afro-Caribbean staple dating back to slavery. My grandmother was famous for this dish in her hometown of Sangre Grande in Trinidad and Tobago and this is one of my most requested recipes from family & friends. I’ve also enjoyed variations of this dish in Jamaica, Guadeloupe, Dominica, St. Luca, Barbados, Antigua and Flatbush, aka Little Caribbean N.Y.C.
Author’s Note: Measurements and time are best guesstimates. —Shelley Worrell
1 hour 30 minutes
vegetable oil, plus more as needed
salted cod (or herring)
sweet or pimento peppers, chopped
culantro or cilantro leaves, chopped, plus more for garnish
Mix flour, baking powder, salt, sugar (and milk) in a large bowl. Add water, gently knead until the dough is sticky. Dust with flour and continue kneading until smooth. Cover with a damp towel and let dough rest for 30 minutes or more. Separate dough into balls.
Heat oil on high heat in a cast iron skillet (dough should be covered based on width/depth of pot). Roll balls with rolling pin into ¼ circles. Cut into triangles. Fry on both sides in hot oil until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
Boil salted cod over high heat for 15 to 20 minutes (repeat or soak overnight to remove additional salt if desired). Drain and rinse with cool water. Shred salted cod and gently toss with chopped vegetables. Heat oil with garlic clove for 2 to 3 minutes over low heat. Drizzle garlic-infused oil over salt fish. Garnish with additional chopped culantro or cilantro.
Enjoy with pepper sauce, ground provisions (plantain, cassava, green banana), and avocado.