Salt Cod Fritters with Curry Aioli

This fantastic version of Jamaican salt cod fritters has extra onion, bell pepper and black pepper in the batter for unusually intense flavor. 

Active Time:
1 hrs 15 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 45 mins
3 dozen


Curry Aioli

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 3 scallions, white and light green parts only, minced

  • 1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • Kosher salt

  • Black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon West Indian curry powder (see Note)

  • 1 cup mayonnaise

  • 1/3 cup minced cilantro

Salt Cod Fritters

  • 3/4 pound skinless, boneless center-cut salt cod fillet

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • 1/2 cup minced onion

  • 1/4 cup minced green bell pepper

  • 1/4 cup minced red bell pepper

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 cup cornstarch

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning

  • 2 teaspoons sugar

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 large egg, beaten

  • 1 1/4 cups ice-cold sparkling water

  • Vegetable oil, for frying

  • Lime wedges, for serving


Make the aioli

  1. In a small skillet, heat the vegetable oil. Add the scallions, ginger, and garlic, season with a pinch each of salt and pepper and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until the aromatics are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the curry powder and cook until fragrant and lightly toasted, about 1 minute. Scrape the seasonings into a small bowl and stir in the mayonnaise and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper.

Make the fritters

  1. In a medium bowl, cover the salt cod with 3 inches of cold water and soak in the refrigerator for 2 days, changing the water at least 3 times each day.

  2. Drain the salt cod, transfer to a medium saucepan and add enough cold water to cover the fish by 2 inches. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the fish until it just flakes with a fork, about 20 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fish to a plate and let cool. Flake the fish and discard any bones or bits of skin.

  3. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt the butter. Add the onion, bell peppers, and black pepper and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes. Scrape the vegetables into a small bowl and let cool.

  4. In a large bowl, whisk the flour with the cornstarch, salt, sugar, and baking powder. Mix in the egg and sparkling water with a fork until almost combined. Stir the flaked salt cod and the cooked vegetables into the batter.

  5. In a large saucepan, heat 2 inches of oil to 350°F. Carefully scoop eight 1-tablespoon balls of batter into the hot oil and fry, turning occasionally, until richly browned, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fritters to a paper towel–lined plate to drain and season with salt. Repeat with the remaining batter. Serve the fritters hot with Curry Aioli and lime wedges.

Make ahead

The curry aioli can be refrigerated for 4 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.


West Indian curry powder usually contains allspice, which Indian blends often don’t, and it’s usually quite yellow thanks to a large amount of turmeric. It’s available at spice shops like Kalustyan's.

Suggested Pairing

Beer: American craft brewers are starting to explore light, crisp pilsner styles. These new versions are hoppier than the European ones, but they’re fantastic with fried foods like these fritters.

Related Articles