Saltfish is a very common ingredient in many Jamaican dishes.
I grew in the States thinking it was very common but as an adult now realize it’s not and have to trek to a market about 35 blocks from my apartment just to find it. Even when I have asked grocers more local to my area if they carry it, after much description and confusion they usually still have no idea what I am talking about.
Saltfish is fresh fish, usually cod in terms of Jamaican cookin, that has been salt-cured and dried until all the moisture has been extracted. With most Jamaican recipes I boil the fish to rehydrate it and to also remove some of the salt. The process is to put the saltfish in a pot over high heat and cover with water. Bring the water to a boil and then pour out the water. Replace with new water and repeat the process 2-3 times. You should taste the saltfish after each boil to check how salty it still is. You can use your discretion as to how salty you would like your saltfish to be. Than you are ready to go to make dishes like Ackee & Saltfish or Saltfish Fritters.
Oh and also, it’s delicious.
Photography by Tiffanie Graham