Jamaican Saltfish Fritters also known as Stamp and Go are a delicious savoury fritter recipe. These tasty treats come together in no time by combining a batter of veggies, seasonings, and salted codfish. It’s then fried until golden and crispy with a soft chewy center! Serve for breakfast, as an appetizer or enjoy as a snack throughout the day!
If you love this recipe, you’re definitely going to enjoy these Jamaican Fried Dumpling recipe, Jamaican Festival Recipe and these classic greens; Jamaican Callaloo as part of a traditional Jamaican breakfast!
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Saltfish Fritters (Stamp and Go)
Yesterday was Father’s Day. The older I get, the more I treasure being able to express my love to my father. It’s not just on special occasions, but everyday. I’m appreciative for a great father – a hardworking, resilient, hilarious, vibrant dad. This post is all for him!
I remember waking up as a little girl to the smell of these seeping in beneath the bedroom door. I knew that meant “daddy’s making fritters!”. He didn’t make them all the time, so when he did every now and again, it was the BEST feeling ever.
If he headed out to work before we woke up, he’d leave them covered on the stove, ready for when we woke. I’m so blessed to have these memories, and so happy I can share them with you all – so let’s get into this recipe!
You’ll Love This Recipe and Here’s Why
- One Bowl Deliciousness – this recipe comes together by creating the batter in one bowl, frying in a pan and serving while hot!
- Versatile – you can essentially switch up the ingredients, namely the veggies in this recipe to your preference and liking.
- Flavourful with Great Texture – these fritters are generously seasoned and lightly fried creating a delicious golden crispy exterior with soft chewy centers.
What Are Jamaican Saltfish Fritters (Stamp & Go)?
Saltfish Fritters are a popular appetizer or breakfast recipe in Jamaica, and other islands throughout the Caribbean. It’s made by combining ingredients to make a loose wet batter and then lightly frying in oil.
What is Saltfish Fritters Made Of?
Saltfish Fritters are made with a flour, salted cod, tomatoes, onions, scotch bonnet pepper (optional), and other ingredients to season the mixture. The batter is formed and then dropped into hot oil to be fried to golden perfection; crispy on the outside, soft on the inside.
Each island will make their fritters with slightly different ingredients. However, the method remains the same and the outcome; crispy outside with soft centers will remain constant.
Where Did Saltfish Fritters Originate?
Like many dishes that involve combining simple ingredients into quick tasty snacks it is said to have come about during the long voyages between Europe and the islands. The name is said to have derived from the 18th-century British sailing ships.
What Do These Fritters Taste Like?
Think of these fritters as a savoury Caribbean style fish cake, with a denser texture. It has flavours from the veggies, curry powder (mainly for colour), and of course the salted codfish.
Some may refer to saltfish fritters as the following names, depending on where you are from:
- Flittahs (Flitters)
- Codfish Fritters
- Stamp and Go
What is Salted Codfish?
This is referred to simply as saltfish in the islands, also known as salted cod, salt cod, bacalao, bacalhau or baccalà. It is a type of preserved meaty white fish that has been salt-cured and dried until all the moisture has been extracted.
How to Prepare Saltfish for Cooking
There are two common methods to remove the excess salt from saltfish. One involves soaking the fish overnight in water, alternatively you can also use the boiling option.
It’s important to note, the aim is never to remove all the salt from the fish completely but to simply rehydrate and remove some of the salt.
Method One: Overnight Soak (Desalting Saltfish)
- Soak in Water – rinse fish and place the fish into a large bowl and add boiling water until fish is fully submerged. Cover the bowl and let the sit at room temperature overnight.
- Drain and Taste – in the morning, drain off the salty water and pick off a piece of the fish to check for saltiness. Note, thicker/inner pieces may need more soaking time.
- Repeat if Necessary – this time you will not need to soak overnight, instead, add the fish to a pot of boiling water and allow to boil for 10 to 15 minutes or until desired taste is reached.
Method Two: Boiling (Desalting Saltfish)
- Rinse – rinse your salted codfish in water and cut into smaller pieces.
- Bring to a Boil – add the fish to a pot of boiling water. ensure the water covers the fish. Let it boil for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Drain and Repeat – drain salt water from pot, taste test your fish. If still salty, add a fresh batch of hot water to the pot and repeat the steps until desired taste is reached.
Once the excess salt has been removed, flake the fish using your hands or a fork and proceed with the recipe.
Ingredients and Ingredient Notes
- Flour – all purpose or counter flour is the base ingredient for these fritters.
- Curry Powder – this adds a little colour as well as flavour to the fritter. Betapac Limited Curry Powder or the Montego Jamaican Style Mild or Spicy Curry Powder are my favourites.
- Yellow Onion – use one small onion, chopped finely.
- Tomato – small, diced well.
- Bell/Sweet Pepper – any two colours or one will do. I prefer green and red as it gives a burst of colour, equal parts (1/4 cup green, 1/4 cup red).
- Salted Codfish – I prefer using boneless salted codfish, see notes above for more information.
- Baking Powder – you need just a touch, and this is the rising agent used to get a soft center.
- Scotch Bonnet Pepper – this is a key ingredient for flavour and spice, be sure to finely chop them as use as desired.
- Water – use cold water, and this is what’s used to bind the ingredients together into a wet loose batter.
- Cooking Oil – this is used for frying. You can use any kind of neutral cooking oil with a high smoke point such as vegetable, avocado or canola oil.
How to Make This Recipe
- Remove Salt from Salted Codfish – fill a medium sized pot with water and bring to a boil. Rinse fish, cut into smaller pieces, and boil for about 10 to 15 mins. Drain then rinse in cold water, repeat the process as many time as needed.
- Prepare Vegetables – tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, and scotch bonnet pepper.
- Combine Ingredients – in a medium mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients, vegetables and fish; add in water gradually. Mix until well incorporated with medium thick consistency.
- Fry – Heat oil in a non-stick pan then drop generous spoonfuls of batter into the pan. Fry until golden-brown, crisp and cooked through.
- Remove and Drain – remove fritters from oil and place on a wire rack to drain excess oil.
Recipe Notes and Tips for Best Results
- Add More Veggies – you can add in or swap out additional vegetables and herbs. For example, green onions, additional spices, and thyme work well with this recipe.
- Type of Codfish – I recommend using boneless, salted codfish.
- Don’t Overcrowd the Pan – when frying the fritters do not overcrowd the pan to ensure an all around golden crispness.
- Desalting Saltfish – when boiling the salt out of the fish foam will appear on the top of the water. May close attention, and you may want to lower your heat to prevent the water from boiling over.
- Batter Consistency – make sure your batter isn’t too runny! It should be a medium thick consistency as pictured above. If it’s too runny add about a tablespoon more of flour. If too thick, thin it out with some water.
Recipe Variations and Substitutions
- Curry Powder – this is optional, however recommend but you can also use turmeric or paprika for colour.
- Escallion (Green Onion) – you can add this for additional layer of flavour, texture and colour.
- Bell Pepper – use any colour variation you have on hand.
- Saltfish – swap out the saltfish, for another type of white firm fleshed fish or shrimp.
- Scotch Bonnet Pepper – this can be hard to find, depending on location alternatively you can use habanero or your favour hot pepper.
Watch My Story Below for Step-by-Step Instructions
Make Ahead Instructions
I don’t recommend making the fritters a day ahead, or even hours ahead as they are best served fresh. However, you can prepare the veggies and saltfish ahead of time and combine when ready to make.
Saltfish fritters are often served warm and on its own. However, it can also be served alongside other Jamaican breakfast classics such as:
- Jack Mackerel in Tomato Sauce
- Salt Mackerel
- Steamed Cabbage (with or with saltfish)
- Jamaican Callaloo (with or with saltfish)
- Boiled Green Banana
- Steamed Veggies
- Bacon and Eggs
These fritters are best enjoyed when they’re freshly made, but they can still make great leftovers if needed.
Once they have cooled completely, transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Should you need to reheat; place in aluminum foil and wrap tighty. Warm in oven set to 375 degrees fahrenheit until fully heated through.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
No, you do not use egg as a binder in this recipe. Water is used to combine all the ingredients into a wet loose batter, then it is fried until formed.
If you can’t find salted codfish, you can also use fresh codfish that has been cooked and flaked or broken down into bite-sized pieces.
You can choose the quick boil method to desalt the codfish or you can soak the fish in water overnight in order to rehydrate the fish, then remove the excess salt (you will still need to boil for about 10 mins). The quick boil method is much faster and can be done in approx. 15 – 20 mins.
More Jamaican Breakfast Recipes to Try
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Jamaican Saltfish Fritters
- 2 cups Flour
- 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
- 1 tsp Caribbean Curry Powder
- 1/2 Tomato small, diced
- 1/2 Yellow Onion small, chopped
- 1/2 Bell Peppers small, green and red, equal parts
- 2 cups Salted Cod Fish
- Scotch Bonnet Pepper finely chopped, as desired
- 1 cup Water more or less as needed
- Cooking Oil for frying fritters
Desalt Fish (Additional Methods Listed Above)
- Fill a medium sized pot with water and bring to a boil. Rinse fish, cut into smaller pieces, and boil for about 10 to 15 mins. Drain then wash in cold water. Taste a piece of the fish to gauge the saltiness. If it's to your liking, pick it apart into smaller bite-sized pieces. If it's too salty, repeat the process.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients and whisk together. Add the fresh ingredients; tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, and fish to the mixing bowl then add in water gradually. Mix until well incorporated with medium consistency – see notes section.
- Heat oil in a non-stick pan then drop generous spoonfuls of batter into the pan. Fry on each side until golden-brown and crisp (about 3-4 minutes per side).
- Remove from oil and place on a wire rack to drain excess oil, serve warm and enjoy!