By Chris De La Rosa
This being the holiday season, I thought I’d take a classic recipe for making saltfish buljol and put a little festive spin on it, to serve at your holiday party or to take with you, as you visit family this holiday season.
We’ll follow the same basic rules of making traditional saltfish buljol (basically a fish salad) and add a few other ingredients, to help balance and brighten up the overall flavors of this classic dish.
If you want a gluten-free recipe, do keep in mind that you’ll need a gluten-free bread or cracker to serve these on, to meet with your complete gluten-free dietary needs.
2 cups of prepared salted fish (cod / shredded)
2 scallions (green part only)
1 cup diced mango
1 cup diced cucumber
1/2 cup diced tomato (seeded)
1/3 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 lemon (juice)
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 sprig thyme (chopped)
2 birds’ eye pepper (bird pepper) seeded and diced
The first step is to prepare the salted cod. Place in a deep pot, with cold water, bring to a boil, reduce and simmer for about 20 minutes (you can watch this video: How To Prepare Salted Fish For Use). Then drain, rinse with cool water and flake/shred. This process removes the majority of the salt (or it will be too salty) and rehydrates the fish.
I would recommend using deboned salted fish, as it makes for less work. But do remember to still be on the lookout for tiny bones, as you flake the fish, after boiling. Tip: after preparing the saltish, you can add it to a food processor and give it a couple pulses to get a lovely, shredded texture.
Basically all you have to do now, is dice the mango, tomato (please remove the seeds), scallion and cucumber. If you want to add more pizzazz to the dish, you can also add some chopped grapes or pineapple or, basically, any firm fruit you like.
It’s all about assembling now. In a large blow place all the ingredients and gently fold together so you keep the shape of the mango and any tender fruit you use. I would then allow this to marinate for about 30 minutes, then top on your favourite cracker or bread.
In my case, I used slices of French Baguettes. Another great idea would be to use lettuce leaves as wrappers and scoop some of the buljol in the middle and wrap them like spring rolls.
You’ll notice that we didn’t add any salt to this dish, as the remaining salt from the salted cod (or whatever salted fish you use) will be enough to season it. Be careful when handling the hot pepper and be sure to wash your hands with soap and water, immediately after.
I would not recommend assembling these (on the bread etc) until you’re about to serve it, as the bread or cracker will go a bit soggy after about 30 minutes.
This recipe is courtesy of Gourmand Award winning cookbook author and founder of CaribbeanPot.com, Chris De La Rosa. With over 450 printable recipes with step by step cooking instructions and demo videos, PLUS over 1 million social/fan connections globally every month, CaribbeanPot.com is the world’s #1 resource of Caribbean Culinary Culture. Connect with Chis on Instagram: www.instagram.com/caribbeanpot/.