Typically of Caribbean island food, (how many times has my best friend Simone told me “it’s not fishcakes, it’s fritters”) EVERYONE wants to claim buljol as their own. Some say it’s Bajan, some say it’s Trini. One thing everyone will agree on is that it’s delicious. Perfect for Sunday breakfast.
I’m having a bit of a quiet weekend and I haven’t left the house – so I thought there’s no better time to make myself a lovely comforting sunshine breakfast this Sunday morning. Here’s what you need to recreate this delicious recipe.
One pack of saltfish. All of the older generation soak saltfish – and would probably tell me I’m doing this wrong – but older doesn’t mean right – you absolutely do not need to soak and boil the hell out of saltfish to remove the salt. This method is JUST as effective, much quicker – and doesn’t leave your house smelling of fish!
Boil a kettle, put the saltfish in a bowl, pour boiling water over the salfish to cover. Allow the water to cool completely, drain the water and then pour cold water over the saltfish and drain again. Done. Nothing more to it – I promise it will not be salty.
Hand chop or quickly blitz the saltfish in a hand blender, put aside.
In a bowl add the following ingredients:* 2 or 3 chopped spring onions (use mostly whites and a little of the green part) * quarter of a cucumber diced or sliced thinly * half a red sweet pepper, chopped * handful of cherry tomatoes quartered * half a scotch bonnet pepper diced * quarter of a lime, squeezed * dash of black pepper
Add the saltfish to the above mixture, drizzle extra virgin olive oil over it and mix to combine – but not too much. Put in the fridge.
Separately – the best thing to have with buljol is fried dumplings – or if you can’t be bothered to make them – a french stick of bread.
You need:* 2 cups (yup sorry – American measures) of self raising flour * 1 tsp of salt * 3 tbsp unsalted butter – this is probably a quarter of a block * cold water * cooking oil
In a bowl, combine the flour and salt. add the butter, and using your fingers – work it into fine crumbs (think like you’re making pastry).
Gradually start to add water (carefully!) and combine with your hands so that it starts to resemble a dough, make sure it’s not sticky – if it becomes sticky add flour but try to avoid getting to this point!
Knead it – but not too much. I found it easier to do this in the bowl I was using to make the mixture.
Once in a bowl, wrap in cling film and put in the fridge for 15 mins.
After this time it’s ready to be fried! Break off into decent sized pieces and use the cling film and the palm of your hand to flatten slightly.
Using a dutch pot (thanks to my foodie bessie Chanelle for letting me know that I can deep fry in my dutch pot) add vegetable oil, not too much – just enough so that you’ll be able to fry one side of the dumplings and then turn. Allow the oil to be quite hot but not enough to cook the food too quickly as then you risk the insides not being cooked.
You probably want to fry each side for around 3-4 mins. You will know the inside is cooked by tapping on the dumpling. It should sound hollow.
Happy Sunday – and Happy Mother’s Day.