I see plenty of recipes for accra in West Indian Cookbooks but often they bear little resemblance to Trinidad Accra. My Jamaican mother tells me that what she knows as accra is a saltfish fritter, flat, fried brown. Here in Trinidad however accra is a puffy fried dough ball, made of a highly seasoned dough into which shredded saltfish has been mixed. I’ve had it at weddings, gatherings, and of course bought it from street vendors. This recipe comes together quite quickly once the saltfish has been boiled and picked. For those of you who hate the time-intensive shredding I found that after the initial picking apart to remove the bones (and boneless saltfish is also available) by adding the chunks to a food processor/chopper for a few seconds of pulsing I was able to get a bowl of perfectly shredded saltfish, and no one is any the wiser. Aren’t shortcuts great? 😀
February 20,2009 ETA: Need to be gluten-free or cooking for someone who is? I’ve now adapted this recipe for gluten-free flours. Enjoy!
Trinidad Saltfish Accra
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 lb boneless saltfish
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon pepper sauce
1 1/4 cup flour (1 cup rice flour + 1/4 cup gluten-free white flour for gluten-free version)
1 tsp vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup water (inc. to 1 cup for gluten-free version)
1/4 cup finely chopped spring onions
1 tsp italian seasoning
Freshly ground black pepper
Pepper and salt to taste
1. Boil saltfish in sauce pan for a few minutes in 6 cups of water.
2. Throw out the water and boil for a second time in a new 4 cups of water for 30 minutes
3. Check to see how salty the fish is. If it is overly salty you will need to boil it a third time
4. Use a fork to shred salt fish, you can also use your fingers or a food processor
5. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and stir vigorously until the batter gets thick. Let batter rest for 30 minutes.
6. Teaspoonfuls of batters should be deep fried over moderate heat, until golden brown
7. Ensure that the inside of the fish cakes are well-cooked and the outside is not burnt before it is cooked
8. Carefully monitor the heat
9. Use absorbent kitchen paper to drain the fish cakes on
10. Serve hot with pepper sauce.
For more Caribbean Recipes check out the Caribbean Cooking section of Veni Mangé – the Trinigourmet Amazon Bookstore.
Makes 6 servings
This post was originally published on February 2nd, 2007. It has been updated twice since then.
Alternative terms: acra, akra, saltfish cakes