Trinidad Saltfish Accra (recipe)

Trinidad Saltfish Accra

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? :D

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
——————————————————————————–

INGREDIENTS:

1 egg
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


METHOD:

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

Trinidad Saltfish Accra

10. Serve hot with pepper sauce.

Trinidad Saltfish Accra

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

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Passionate foodie, founder of Trinigourmet and Caribbean Lifestyle Maven. Author of "Glam By Request: 30+ Easy Caribbean Recipes"

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  • http://twitter.com/georgiap/statuses/1552074429 georgiap (Georgia Popplewell)

    @jovanreid An accra is a salted codfish fritter – tinyurl.com/7wuhyp

  • Helen

    More fried food. Yummy!!!

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      :D

  • Helen

    More fried food. Yummy!!!

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      :D

  • Marsha

    We haveta call she ‘Sweet Han Nikki’ :)

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      hahaha :D Tantie Niki? lolz :D oh wait Nikki Crosby already have that one :P steupz

  • Marsha

    We haveta call she ‘Sweet Han Nikki’ :)

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      hahaha :D Tantie Niki? lolz :D oh wait Nikki Crosby already have that one :P steupz

  • http://devonyoung.com/ Devon

    Oh that’s making my mouth water!

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      nyam! :D wish I coulda saved some for ya :) they went fast :lol:

  • http://devonyoung.com/ Devon

    Oh that’s making my mouth water!

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      nyam! :D wish I coulda saved some for ya :) they went fast :lol:

  • http://bunnyfoodfoo.blogspot.com BuddingCook

    :) Looks so good.

    Consider yourself tagged :D

  • http://bunnyfoodfoo.blogspot.com BuddingCook

    :) Looks so good.

    Consider yourself tagged :D

  • http://culinarytypes.blogspot.com T.W. Barritt

    Perfect puffs! How delicious!

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      thanks! :D

  • http://culinarytypes.blogspot.com T.W. Barritt

    Perfect puffs! How delicious!

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      thanks! :D

  • http://nevena1.blogspot.com radmila

    I’m trying these right now as I write this.
    The batter is just resting….
    :)

  • http://nevena1.blogspot.com radmila

    I’m trying these right now as I write this.
    The batter is just resting….
    :)

  • http://nevena1.blogspot.com radmila

    They turned out fantastic Sarina..thanks, this is a keeper recipe for me.

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      OH WONDERFUL!! I’m so glad to hear that :D *HUGE GRIN*

  • http://nevena1.blogspot.com radmila

    They turned out fantastic Sarina..thanks, this is a keeper recipe for me.

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      OH WONDERFUL!! I’m so glad to hear that :D *HUGE GRIN*

  • Perkyshai

    Hey Question… what kind of salt fish do you use? I remember my aunt using salt cod, but is there an acceptable substitute?

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      Hi Shai :) I use salted cod. Some people use tuna (canned and shredded) or even tinned salmon. The flavour may be different but if you are unable to find salted cod sometimes you have to be innovative :) I imagine that other forms of salted fish would be acceptable as well :) Thanks for asking!

  • Perkyshai

    Hey Question… what kind of salt fish do you use? I remember my aunt using salt cod, but is there an acceptable substitute?

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      Hi Shai :) I use salted cod. Some people use tuna (canned and shredded) or even tinned salmon. The flavour may be different but if you are unable to find salted cod sometimes you have to be innovative :) I imagine that other forms of salted fish would be acceptable as well :) Thanks for asking!

  • Robert

    Hi Sarina, I read this recipe and it seems that this is the same thing that we call Stamp-and-Go or saltfish fritters in Jamaica…..they are very nice. We just make them larger and flatter (smile)….hope you’re still logging on.

  • Robert

    Hi Sarina, I read this recipe and it seems that this is the same thing that we call Stamp-and-Go or saltfish fritters in Jamaica…..they are very nice. We just make them larger and flatter (smile)….hope you’re still logging on.

  • http://Trinigourmet Patti

    THESE ARE TWO RECIPES FROM THE 1945 COOKERY BOOK BY PHYLLIS CLARK CALLED: WEST INDIAN COOKERY. PUBLISHED FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO, BY THOMAS NELSON ANSD SONS EDINBURGH!

    TRINIDAD ACCRA
    1/2lb.FLOUR (2 CUPS FLOUR) 1/2 CAKE FLEISCHMAN’S YEAST OR 1/4 OZ.OF OTHER YEAST
    1/2 TEASPOON SALT.
    MIX 3 OZ SALTFISH
    2BLADES CHIVES
    PIECE GARLIC
    THYME
    1/2 SMALL ONION
    PIECE RED PEPPER OR 1/4 TEASPOON BLACK PEPPER
    11/2 CUPS WATER
    METHOD: SCALD THE FISH TWICE , THEN REMOVE SKIN
    POUND FISH WITH ONION, GARLIC, THYME , PEPPER TOGETHER TILL FINE.
    SIFT FLOUR AND SALT INTO BOWL.
    MIX YEAST TO PASTE WITH LITTLE OF THE WATER ,THEN ADD THE REST OF THE WATER AND STIR INTO THE FLOUR UNTIL A SOFT BATTER IS FORMED.
    ADD THE FISH AND BEAT FOR 2-3 MINUTES ,
    STAND IN WARM PLACE TO RISE FOR 2 HOURS .
    FRY BY THE SPOONFUL IN SMOKING HOT OIL.
    DRAIN AND SERVE WITH FLOATS
    THE FLOAT RECIPE TO FOLLOW.

    FLOATS
    1 LB. (4 CUPS OF FLOUR. )
    4 OZ SHORTING (1/2 CUP)E.G LARD
    11/2 TEASPOON SALT
    1/2 FLEISHMANS YEAST OR 1/2 OX OTHER YEAST.
    WARM WATER
    METHOD:
    SIFT FLOUR AND SALT TOGETHER.
    ADD SHORTING USE TIPS OF FINGERS OR A FORK , MIX THOUROUGHLY ‘TILL IT LOOKS LIKE FINE CRUMBS . MIX YEAST TO A PASTE WITH A LITTLE WARM WATER .THEN ADD THE SHORTING .ADDING ENOUGH WARM WATER TO MAKE A SOFT DOUGH . KNEAD WELL UNTIL SMOOTH .
    PUT TO RISE IN WARM PLACE FOR 2 HRS OR UNTIL MIXTURE IS TWICE THE ORIGINAL SIZE .
    CUT INTO SMALL PIECES EGG SIZE AND ROLL INTO BALL SHAPE .
    PUT TO RISE AGAIN FOR 20 MINUTES .
    FLATTEN OUT 1/8 IN. THICKNESS AND FRY IN SMOKING OIL .
    DRAIN AND SERVE HOT WITH TRINIDAD ACCRA.

    I CAN ONLY PRESUME THIS IS THE WAY MAMA USE TO TO MAKE IT WAY BACK THEN.

    )

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Robert – That’s how mom told me they looked in Jamaica too :) But she said the taste was the same :D Stamp n Go is a really cute descriptor :)

    Patti – Thanks for taking the time to type that all out :) What a treasure that cookbook must be, is it a family heirloom! It’s so interesting to see how true the recipes have remained, and yet the little ways they were also different ‘back in the day’ :D Look forward to seeing you around here again!

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Robert – That’s how mom told me they looked in Jamaica too :) But she said the taste was the same :D Stamp n Go is a really cute descriptor :)

    Patti – Thanks for taking the time to type that all out :) What a treasure that cookbook must be, is it a family heirloom! It’s so interesting to see how true the recipes have remained, and yet the little ways they were also different ‘back in the day’ :D Look forward to seeing you around here again!

  • Candace

    I am proud to say that i have my Accra batter “resting” right now and by 8:15 they will be in the pot well on their way to becoming little fried morsels hahaha but yes my mother would be so proud! Looking to conquer your Pholourie & Buljol recipes! wish me luck

  • Candace

    I am proud to say that i have my Accra batter “resting” right now and by 8:15 they will be in the pot well on their way to becoming little fried morsels hahaha but yes my mother would be so proud! Looking to conquer your Pholourie & Buljol recipes! wish me luck

  • Candace

    omg! just perfect like really i love them so much… and most importantly my other half loves them now take into consideration the fact that she has had bad experiences with salt fish in the past and this is her first taste of accras yay i sing your praises lol

  • Candace

    omg! just perfect like really i love them so much… and most importantly my other half loves them now take into consideration the fact that she has had bad experiences with salt fish in the past and this is her first taste of accras yay i sing your praises lol

  • Helen

    Happy New Year Sarina. Where are you? I miss your blog postings. Anyway, today I made the saltfish accra using your recipe. They were excellent! Crispy and not greasy. I hope to see a new blog soon.

  • Helen

    Happy New Year Sarina. Where are you? I miss your blog postings. Anyway, today I made the saltfish accra using your recipe. They were excellent! Crispy and not greasy. I hope to see a new blog soon.

  • Rose

    Hello

    My name is Rose, I’m currently doing a project on trinidian hors d’euvre, this website has been very helpful.I found a trinidian hors d’oeuvre which is call “Alloo Dum ” not sure how it’s look like, would you know where I could find a picture of this Hors d’oeuvre?

    Best regards

    Rose

  • Rose

    Hello

    My name is Rose, I’m currently doing a project on trinidian hors d’euvre, this website has been very helpful.I found a trinidian hors d’oeuvre which is call “Alloo Dum ” not sure how it’s look like, would you know where I could find a picture of this Hors d’oeuvre?

    Best regards

    Rose

  • Keith ( trini in australia)

    Wow!!! this recipe was great! i never real had accra before at home… now i know what i was missing!!! compliments to the chef!!!

  • Keith ( trini in australia)

    Wow!!! this recipe was great! i never real had accra before at home… now i know what i was missing!!! compliments to the chef!!!

  • Terrie

    My Mother has been gone a long time and I remember well her making accra and float…I don’t think she put yeast in her floats….and I am now drooling for a taste of these delicious treats…thanks for the recipe…Terrie

  • Terrie

    My Mother has been gone a long time and I remember well her making accra and float…I don’t think she put yeast in her floats….and I am now drooling for a taste of these delicious treats…thanks for the recipe…Terrie

  • Nici

    Just by chance would you happen to have a great recipe for floats?

  • Nici

    Just by chance would you happen to have a great recipe for floats?

  • Cindy

    Hi Sarina, Ive tried accra b4 and they are great. My mom makes the best accra though. Can’t wait to have her make some more for me. Just to add though, instead of pepper sauce, have you ever tried eating this with mango chutney or tambrind sauce… I dare you… it is great, that is how we have them all the time, of course the chutney/tambrind sauce is spicy…lol.

    Keep up the good work and all the best…

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      I’ll give that a try Cindy, thanks for the recommendation! :D

  • Cindy

    Hi Sarina, Ive tried accra b4 and they are great. My mom makes the best accra though. Can’t wait to have her make some more for me. Just to add though, instead of pepper sauce, have you ever tried eating this with mango chutney or tambrind sauce… I dare you… it is great, that is how we have them all the time, of course the chutney/tambrind sauce is spicy…lol.

    Keep up the good work and all the best…

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      I’ll give that a try Cindy, thanks for the recommendation! :D

  • Chataigne

    Sarina,

    Maybe I can add to the confusion about accra! What is called phoulourie in Trinidad made with yellow peas is called accra when made with skinned blackeye peas. In St. Lucia, it’s just called blackeye pea accra to distinguish it from accra de morue, or saltfish accra. Actually, accra in Brazil and West Africa is a blackeye pea accra, not a saltfish accra. West Africa is where accra originates, so nice that they named a city after it:)

    Now here’s the thing, in Brazil and Nigeria, people sometimes grind dried/smoked shrimp or crayfish into the blackeye pea accra batter for extra flavor. Rasta or vegetarian just happy with straight blackeye pea accra without even egg (an’ is good, too), but for a kashrut gyul, you might try grinding you saltifish into blackeye pea accra an’ see if you like the taste.

    Bwoy, dat last line sound like it coulda win Groovy Soca Monarch, eh?

  • Chataigne

    Sarina,

    Maybe I can add to the confusion about accra! What is called phoulourie in Trinidad made with yellow peas is called accra when made with skinned blackeye peas. In St. Lucia, it’s just called blackeye pea accra to distinguish it from accra de morue, or saltfish accra. Actually, accra in Brazil and West Africa is a blackeye pea accra, not a saltfish accra. West Africa is where accra originates, so nice that they named a city after it:)

    Now here’s the thing, in Brazil and Nigeria, people sometimes grind dried/smoked shrimp or crayfish into the blackeye pea accra batter for extra flavor. Rasta or vegetarian just happy with straight blackeye pea accra without even egg (an’ is good, too), but for a kashrut gyul, you might try grinding you saltifish into blackeye pea accra an’ see if you like the taste.

    Bwoy, dat last line sound like it coulda win Groovy Soca Monarch, eh?

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Hahaha! :) True dat :) I’m loving your global insights Chataigne, you sound like a really international foodie! :) I did not know about blackeye pea accra and will definitely check it out! My mother isn’t a fan of blackeye peas but we’ll see if she likes it if she isn’t told ;)

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Hahaha! :) True dat :) I’m loving your global insights Chataigne, you sound like a really international foodie! :) I did not know about blackeye pea accra and will definitely check it out! My mother isn’t a fan of blackeye peas but we’ll see if she likes it if she isn’t told ;)

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Hahaha! :) True dat :) I’m loving your global insights Chataigne, you sound like a really international foodie! :) I did not know about blackeye pea accra and will definitely check it out! My mother isn’t a fan of blackeye peas but we’ll see if she likes it if she isn’t told ;)

  • Ru-Anne

    Hey ! Thanks for this fantastic recipe. I used it today and it was on par !! It came out superb … and next time I guess that i will have to make a little more !!
    By the way, I did not have any eggs available to use but with everything else recommended it still came out great !!
    Thank you so much ! :)

  • Ru-Anne

    Hey ! Thanks for this fantastic recipe. I used it today and it was on par !! It came out superb … and next time I guess that i will have to make a little more !!
    By the way, I did not have any eggs available to use but with everything else recommended it still came out great !!
    Thank you so much ! :)

  • Renee

    thanks so much for this recipe. Batter resting now as i type this!! :)

  • Renee

    thanks so much for this recipe. Batter resting now as i type this!! :)

  • Renee

    thanks so much for this recipe. Batter resting now as i type this!! :)

  • alia

    I just wanted to say that this recipe was great. My mother had tried to make some the other day with another recipe and they were’nt nearly as good as these! lol! thanks again.

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