By Nicole Lewis | March 9, 2012

Salt-Cod Fish Cakes

You can find a version of fish cakes in pretty much every marine-based food culture. Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Caribbean cultures all have their version of a dish made from salt-cod. It’s no surprise that salt-cod is so widely used as its cheap, keeps forever, and is unassumingly delicious.

In the Caribbean, salt-cod is used to make fish cakes, which are actually more of a fritter than a cake. Fish cakes are a common street food in many Caribbean islands, so it makes for a good snack. The fritters are light, fluffy, and very satisfying. This version is a riff on the fish cakes that are more common to Trinidad and Tobago or Barbados. To add in extra flavor I added red peppers and plantains. When fried, the plantain’s sweetness adds a layer of flavor to the savory snack and the red peppers keep the fritter crunchy and bright. I’ve also paired it with a mango slaw for added sweetness.

You can find salt-cod in most Caribbean markets. Generally you can find salt-cod filets, which will save you from having to pick out all the small bones. Before using the fish it has to be rinsed to remove the excess salt. Trust me, you do not want to skip this step! Remove the excess salt from the salt-cod by covering the fish in cool water in the refrigerator for 12hrs changing the water at least once after a few hours or place salt-cod in a pot of cool water and bring it to a boil and let simmer for 2-3 minutes. Pour off water and repeat.

Photo:Endless Simmer

For more great recipes, follow me on Twitter (@MarcusCooks)

Plantain and Salt-Cod Fish Cakes with Mango Slaw Recipe

Servings: 2
Calories: 205 per serving
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 25 mins


  • 2 tspoil
  • 1 cupyellow onion
  • 1/4 red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 habanero pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 cupall purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoonbaking powder
  • 1 ripe plantain, diced
  • 1 egglightly beaten
  • 3/4 cupmilk
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1/2 lbsalt-cod
Mango slaw
  • 1 mango, julienned
  • 1 red pepper, julienned
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, julienned
  • 1 clove garlic, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • Juice from one lime
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • Salt to taste


1.In a medium sized bowl toss mango, red and yellow bell peppers, garlic and cilantro with lime juice and honey. Add salt to taste. Refrigerate until ready to use.
2. In a heavy frying pan saute the onions, red pepper, and habanero pepper until the onions are just wilted and translucent. Transfer vegetables to mixing bowl and add frying out to the pan.
3. In a mixing bowl mix flour and baking powder, sauteed peppers and onions, plantains, egg, milk, melted butter, and flaked salt-cod until combined.
4. Drop a tablespoon of the mixture at a time into the hot oil making sure not to crowd the pan. Fry fish cakes until golden brown on both sides.
5. Serve warm with mango slaw (combine ingredients in a bowl and mix) and garnish with fresh cilantro, enjoy!

You Might Also Like:

Featured Recipe

More Recipes

Meet the Team

About The Team

Whether it’s finding the best goat tacos in LA, spotting a well-worn vintage bag in Sweden, or interviewing the “crab man” selling seafood on a corner in Harlem, we tell stories seen from Chef Marcus Samuelsson‘s point of view. MarcusSamuelsson.com strives to create conversations about food, nutrition, culture, art, and design. We want to find Read More


Streetbird Rotisserie
Marcus’ Bermuda
Eatery Social Taqueria
Red Rooster Harlem
Ginny’s Supper Club
Uptown Brasserie
American Table Cafe and Bar
Kitchen and Table
American Table Brasserie and Bar
Marc Burger