These road snacks are possibly named for the way travelers would stamp their feet at food stands to hail vendors. This recipe, adapted from one given to us by Jamaican food columnist Jacqui Sinclair, pairs the fritters with a sauce made with culantro, an herb with a cilantro-like flavor. It first appeared in our November 2011 issue along with Betsy Andrews’s story Good Morning, Jamaica.
Culantro Sauce Ingredients
- 2 cups mayonnaise
- 1⁄2 cup finely chopped culantro or cilantro
- 1⁄4 cup finely chopped parsley
- 1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
- 2 tsp. lime zest
- 1 tsp. finely chopped basil
- 1 tsp. finely chopped thyme
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1⁄2 Scotch bonnet or habañero chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Ingredients for the Fritters
- 1 lb. dried salted cod
- 1 tbsp. canola oil, plus more for frying
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 small yellow onions, minced
- 2 scallions, finely chopped
- 1⁄2 Scotch bonnet or habanero chile, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
- 2 cups flour
- 3 tbsp. baking powder
- 2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. ground black pepper
- 6 eggs, lightly beaten
- Make the culantro sauce: Whisk together all ingredients in a bowl; season with salt and pepper; chill.
- Make the fritters: Place cod in a 2-qt. saucepan, and cover by 2″ with cold water; bring to a boil over high heat, and cook for 20 minutes. Drain cod, return to saucepan, and repeat process twice more. Transfer cod to a bowl, and flake with a fork into large chunks; set aside.
- Heat oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat; add garlic, onions, scallions, and chile, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper; add eggs, and stir until dough forms. Add reserved cod and cooked vegetables, and stir gently until combined.
- Pour oil into a 6-qt. Dutch oven to a depth of 2″, and heat over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer reads 350°. Using a tablespoon, drop rounds of dough into oil, and fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes; repeat with remaining dough. Using a slotted spoon, transfer fritters to paper towels to drain briefly. Serve immediately with culantro sauce.