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Jamaican Saltfish Fritters Recipe

If you’re searching for a delightful taste of the Caribbean, Jamaican Saltfish Fritters should be at the top of your culinary bucket list. This crispy, savoury fritters are a beloved dish in Jamaica, combining the richness of salted codfish with a delectable batter of flour and spices. Below is an authentic recipe to help you master the art of creating the Best Jamaican Saltfish Fritters.

Jamaican saltfish fritters recipe

Why do Jamaicans eat salt fish?

Jamaicans have a deep-rooted tradition of eating salted fish, which has become an integral part of our culinary heritage. The tradition of salting fish dates back to a time before freezers and refrigerators, when preserving fish with salt was a practical way to ensure a stable food supply during long sea voyages. The practice continues today, and salted fish has become an essential ingredient in various Jamaican dishes, including saltfish fritters.

What is saltfish fritters made of?

Saltfish fritters are made from a combination of salted codfish and a flavorful batter. The salted codfish must be soaked and boiled to remove excess salt before use. The batter typically includes ingredients like all-purpose flour, chopped scallions, diced bell peppers, onions, thyme, scotch bonnet pepper (for some heat), black pepper, and sometimes a pinch of salt.

Cod fish fritters recipe

Do you put eggs in saltfish fritters

Jamaican saltfish fritters do not include eggs in their recipe. The primary ingredients for Jamaican saltfish fritters are salted codfish, flour, spices, herbs, and various vegetables. These ingredients are combined to create a flavorful batter, which is then deep-fried to achieve crispy, golden fritters.
Unlike some other fritter recipes that may use eggs as a binding agent, Jamaican saltfish fritters rely on the natural texture and starch from the flour to hold the batter together during frying. The omission of eggs in the recipe contributes to authentic Jamaican saltfish fritters’ unique texture and taste.

What flour for saltfish fritters

The most common flour used for saltfish fritters is all-purpose/plain flour. It provides a good balance between lightness and structure, resulting in crispy yet tender fritters. Self-raising flour is not typically used in saltfish fritters as it contains baking powder, which could alter the texture and rise of the fritters. Stick to all-purpose flour for the best results.

Saltfish fritters ingredients

Saltfish fritters ingredients
  • Saltfish: You have two choices with saltfish: the traditional or the boneless, skinless saltfish. With the former, you have the task of deboning and scaling the fish, which you don’t have with the latter. Saltfish with bone and skin tend to have more salt than saltfish without, so you will spend more time removing the excess salt. The recipe below sticks with the traditional choice, as saltfish with bone and scale flakes better and have a more fish texture than saltfish without.
  • Flour: As mentioned above, the saltfish fritters recipe uses all-purpose/plain flour.
  • Thyme:Thyme is a herb that is essential to Jamaican cooking. If you leave it out, it with alter the taste of the fritters.
  • Seasoning: Black pepper is a must for this recipe, but you won’t need much because you also use scotch bonnet pepper. However, salt is optional, and you only use a little if you feel you have washed away all the salt from the saltfish when preparing it.
  • Vegetables: I only used scallion, tomato, and scotch bonnet pepper in the recipe below. But bell pepper and yellow onion are often used when making saltfish fritters. You don’t have to saute the vegetables before adding them to the batter. If you chop them finely, they will cook when frying the fritters.

How to make salt fish fritters

First you have to prepare the saltfish. Since salt fish is very dry you have to boil it to put the moisture back in the fish.

How do you remove salt from saltfish
  1.  Prepare saltfish: Boiling the saltfish also remove some of the excess salt from the fish and make it easy for you to remove the fish skin and fish bone. Flaking the salt fish is easy once the fish is boiled.
  2. Pre veggies: Finely chop all the vegetables so they cook easily. Remember to deseed the scotch bonnet pepper.
How to make salt fish fritters
  1. Make batter: The mixture shouldn’t be a hard dough but you don’t want it to be too runny either. If it is too runny it will absorb too much of the frying oil. Instead of a having a nice chewy fritter, it will be oily and saggy.
  2. Fry batter: Before adding the batter to the oil, making sure it is hot enough. This way, the saltfish fritter won’t soak up too much of the oil.

What to eat with saltfish fritters?

Saltfish fritters are incredibly versatile and can be enjoyed in various ways. In Jamaica, they are often served as a savoury breakfast or snack, on their own are along with other sides like fried plantains, bammy, and festivals. You can also serve them with a fresh salad or a side to your rice and peas meal for something heartier.

Saltfish fritters

Can you freeze salt fish fritters

Yes, you can freeze saltfish fritters for future enjoyment. To freeze them:

  1. Allow the cooked fritters to cool completely.
  2. Place them in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until solid.
  3. Once frozen, transfer the fritters to a resealable freezer bag or an airtight container.

You can store it in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. When ready to eat, reheat the fritters in a preheated oven until warm.

How many calories are in saltfish fritters

The calorie content of saltfish fritters can vary depending on the specific ingredients used. On average, a serving of saltfish fritters (approximately three fritters) can contain around 200 to 250 calories. However, it’s essential to note that this is just an estimate, and the actual calorie count may differ based on your recipe and portion size.

Easy saltfish fritters
Jamaican saltfish fritters recipe

Jamaican salt fish fritters

Learn how to make this saltfish fritters.
4.55 from 24 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Snack
Cuisine: Jamaican
Keyword: Jamaican salt fish fritters
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories: 229kcal
Author: Lesa


  • 113 g (¼ lb) Saltfish
  • 250 g (2 cups) Plain flour
  • 1 Small tomatoes finely chopped
  • ½ Scotch bonnet pepper seeds remove and finely chopped
  • ½ tsp Dried thyme
  • 1 Stalk scallion finely chopped
  • ¼ tsp Black pepper
  • Salt (optional)
  • Water
  • Cooking oil


  • Wash the excess salt off the fish. Place the washed fish in a pot cover with water and put to cook for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Remove saltfish from heat. Pour away boiling water. Wash the saltfish in cold water to cool the it.
  • Remove the skin, debone the fish then break it into small fish flakes.
  • In a mixing bowl, add the flour, saltfish flakes, and all the other ingredients.
  • Slowly add the water and mix all the ingredients together until you get a sloppy paste. Not too runny.
  • Heat cooking oil in a frying pan on medium to low fire.
  • Place fried fritters on kitchen rolls paper towels to absorb the excess oil.


  • You can also add bell pepper and yellow onion when making the saltfish better.
  • Only add salt if you feel you have washed the fish too much. The saltfish should add enough flavour to the fritters, so you shouldn’t need it. 


Nutrition Facts
Jamaican salt fish fritters
Serving Size
330 g
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
Polyunsaturated Fat
Monounsaturated Fat
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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  1. 5 stars
    You had me at your title. These fritters look and sound so good. I’ve made corn fritters before, but now I’m trying yours!

  2. 5 stars
    Yum! This looks so good! I’ve always wanted to make saltfish fritter and I finally tried it, loved it. Thanks for a great recipe

  3. My fritters came out perfect for the first timer making them. I was very chuffed with the results. Will definitely make them again. Very straight forward receipe

  4. 5 stars
    My wife is Jamaican and I’m a Newfy. Cooking salt cod is a tradition in our house.Xmas We start with Salt fish in Ackee for breakfast. Then Fish fritters for lunch. Than Jamaican roast beef for supper.
    6 scotch bonnets later we smile.

  5. 5 stars
    I hadn’t made Saltfish fritters in years so I decided to follow your recipe in an effort to not waste my ingredients. They cooked to perfection and we’re gone the same evening despite my making double the recipe. It was a little tricky trying to gage the right amount of water. I cooked one first to test, it was too runny so I added a little more flour.

  6. Hi Lesa! Can I make festivals in my Ninja Air fryer? Trying to be healthier though some recipes are worth the extra calories :))

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