Quick Recipes and Easy

Bajan Fish Cakes

Food Affairs of Barbados is proud to have recently catered an event at Sandalo, the lavishly appointed beach front luxury villa owned by John and Stephanie Hawkins, who also reside in Berkshire, England. Guests of honor were British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his wife Cherie and family, who have made Barbados their family holiday destination for the last four years. The relaxed pool side setting with a moonlit view of the sea, accompanied by the soft sounds of live entertainment provided the perfect backdrop for this casually elegant affair.

Among the delicacies served were our Bajan Fish Cakes, well loved all over the island, and a huge hit at Sandalo. These fish cakes are simple to prepare and perfect for a lavish social dinner or a football party. Try them with our homemade Bajan Tartar Sauce


1 cup onions, finely chopped
1 cup sweet pepper, finely chopped
½ cup whole kernel corn, drained
½ cup green onions, or chives, chopped
1 scotch bonnet pepper, seeds removed and diced, or 1 tbsp Bajan peppersauce
1 cup flour, sifted
1 tbsp baking powder
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 tbsp melted butter
2 tbsp oil plus oil for frying
1 egg, lightly beaten
½ cup milk
1 lb salted cod fish, cooked and flaked


Soak salted cod fish in water for at least 4 hours, and preferably overnight, changing water a minimum of three times.

In a heavy pan heat the oil and sauté the onions and sweet pepper until soft. Set aside. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt/pepper in a bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour egg, milk and butter and mix together lightly. Fold in cooked onions, sweet peppers, hot pepper, corn, chives and fish. Batter should be thick and slightly lumpy. If the batter is too watery, add sifted flour to achieve the desired consistency.

In a large deep pan or deep stout fryer, heat cooking oil to a temperature of 340 degrees F. Drop batter by the tablespoon into hot oil but do not crowd. Cook until golden brown and drain on paper towels. Fish cakes may be kept warm in a 250 degree F oven, until ready to serve. Serve with Bajan tartar or sweet chili dipping sauce.

Chef’s Note: Dip the spoon in the hot oil to coat each time in order to prevent batter from sticking to the spoon.

Bajan Tartar Sauce

½ cup whole mayonnaise
2 tbsp mustard
2 tbsp drained sweet relish
1 tbsp finely minced parsley
1 tbsp finely minced onion
Bajan peppersauce to taste
Pinch of sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and chill at least one hour before serving.

Billy O’Dell, with his wife Carolyn, is the owner of barbadosbarbados.com BarbadosBarbados.com, an online concierge to Barbados. The O’Dells also own Food Affairs, a well loved Bajan catering company.

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