Herbed Codfish Cakes

This Caribbean pepper is famous for being the hottest chile pepper in the world. They come in a variety of shapes and colors(yellow, orange,green, red,chocolate). Not only are they extremely hot, but they also have a unique,distinctively fruity flavor.

It is the key ingredient in the popular Jamaican Jerk sauce. The habanero is also widely used in many different types of hot sauces. The popularity of this chile pepper continues to grow and is becoming easier to find on the grocery shelf.

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3/4 lb dried salt cod
1/2 cup self-rising flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro plus more for garnish
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/4 tsp minced seeded deveined Scotch bonnet or habanero chile
3/4 cup whole milk
1 large egg
Vegetable oil for frying


Place fish in large bowl. Pour in enough cold water to cover and soak 4 hours. Drain, add cold water to cover, and chill overnight. Drain fish and shred finely. Measure 2 cups for cakes (reserve remaining fish for another use).

Combine self-rising flour and next 4 ingredients in large bowl and whisk to blend. Add 2 cups flaked fish, onion, green onions, 1/4 cup cilantro, garlic, and chile. Stir to blend well. Whisk milk and egg in small bowl. Stir into fish mixture.

Pour oil into heavy large skillet to depth of 1/4 inch. Heat over medium-high heat. Working in batches, drop 1 rounded tablespoon of batter for each cake into skillet. Saute until brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to paper towels. Drain. (Can be made 2 hours ahead. Rewarm in 350°F oven for 10 minutes.)

Arrange codfish cakes on platter. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro.

Makes about 40.

From Bon Appetit, May 2006.