Feasting on codfish cakes is a real Bermudian treat. Typically, bountiful during the Good Friday holiday but can be found on most local restaurant menus. These fish cakes are made with lots of cod, potato and strong flavorful herbs that compliment the salty codfish quite well. Serve it on a hot cross bun for a comforting sweet and satisfying sandwich. Most Bermudians have come to love them with all the trimmings. Trimmings include, lettuce, tomato, onion, hot sauce and sometimes cheese. Try it on a scone or coffee roll for breakfast. For the healthier person, adding slices of avocado can be a real treat. I prefer mine on a hot cross bun with vanilla icing cross, ketchup. tomato and fried onions.
Fish Cake Origins
Codfish was a protein staple back in those days as a result of being inexpensive and an economically wise ingredient. Salting cod was necessary because the refrigerators were not yet invented. Early Bermuda settlers came up with the idea of a codfish breakfast. It comprises of codfish, potatoes, sliced avocado, fried bananas, hard boiled eggs, Johnny bread and sauce – either egg, onion or red. Every family prepares the dish differently. Salted codfish first came to Bermuda as part of the trading route in the Atlantic Ocean. Grand Turk and Salt Cay provided the best salt and east coast of America up to Newfoundland provided the cod. The fish was caught, dried then traded for goods.
As the years went on and cooking large meals became a thing of the past, a modern adaptation of the breakfast was introduced. This was the infamous fish cakes. Although you will still find traditional codfish breakfast available on Sunday mornings, codfish cakes have become the hybrid.
Prior to cooking salted cod you will need to allow it to soak overnight in a bowl of water. This will reduce the level of salt present in the fish before cooking. All you need to do is boil the potatoes in a large pot and when they are halfway cooked, add the soaked fish. Its a one pot meal. But if you want the trimmings you’ll have to make them separately. Codfish cakes have the same beginning process as the traditional breakfast.
Other fish cake options include salmon, hashed shark or rockfish cakes.
Fish Cake Recipe
- 2 lbs. of boneless salted codfish
- 4 pounds of potatoes
- 1 chopped onion
- ½ tsp of thyme, parsley, curry powder, black pepper
- flour seasoned with salt, pepper and pinch of curry for coating
- 1 egg yolk
- avocado oil for shallow frying
- First, soak codfish overnight in cold water.
- Secondly, peel, cut and roughly chop potatoes. Add potatoes to boiling water and when halfway cooked add in the soaked codfish.
- Allow fish to cook until potatoes are fully cooked, then drain excess liquid.
- Next, add egg yolk and seasonings to potatoes and fish. Then and mash with a potato masher until well mixed.
- With an ice cream scooper, portion the fish cake mix and roll into balls. Place balls on lined cookie sheet. Place cookie sheet in refrigerator over night.
- On a plate, add flour with seasoned salt, pepper and pinch of curry. Mix together and pass codfish cake ball through the flour until lightly coated.
- Finally shallow fry in frying pan until golden brown on each side.