Trinidad saltfish accra

25.4.22 | Recipe by Renz

A popular Caribbean finger food, saltfish accra is a delicious combination of salted cod mixed in a batter with fresh herbs and fried till golden brown. Perfect as an appetizer or a snack.

A bowl full of fried saltfish accras with a pepper dip in the background.

I have mentioned before that we are full of street food right? The Caribbean has so many small things we love to make to eat.

Accra is one of the popular ones. And it's popular on every island. Regardless if you call it saltfish fritters, accra, or saltfish cakes, this fried dough of saltfish (salted cod) is a favorite.

It's a thing that could be a snack or an appetizer. It shows up at casual events or even the most elegant of parties.

Nice round balls of saltfish and some nice spicy dip. Just yum.

And you know using saltfish in different forms is just another large part of our food... saltfish run down is another great saltfish dish.

What is saltfish accra?

Salt fish accra is a fried fritter made using salted fish. You might see it also being called saltfish cakes, salt fish fritters.

This is not to be confused with Haitian accra which is made using malanga.

It is almost the same as Jamaican saltfish fritters, the difference is that those are usually flat, while ours are more pillowy and round in shape.

Salt fish is fish that has been dried and preserved by salt-curing. The fish is usually cod fish, also called bacalao. It sits in the salt, drying until there is no moisture left in the fish. Then the preserved fish is packaged.

To then use this fish for fritters, or any other dish, it is desalted prior to use then mixed in with the flour, and fresh seasonings and fried till a nice golden brown.

Where to get saltfish?

You can find salted cod in most groceries.

For sure you will see it packaged in the Caribbean and Latin American groceries. I also find it regularly at Publix supermarket in the seafood area.

I best advise you to get the boneless salt fish. Save yourself some work of having to go through and remove a lot of bones yourself.

Ingredients to make saltfish accra

Ingredients for accra

  • salt fish.
  • green onion or chive.
  • flour.
  • black pepper.
  • water.
  • garlic cloves.
  • vegetable oil for deep frying.
  • baking powder.
  • pimento peppers (optional).
  • scotch bonnet pepper, hot pepper, hot sauce.
  • onion.


  • Paper towels
  • Deep pot
  • Ladle
  • Food processor

How to remove salt from saltfish

Saltfish comes in with extra salt for preservation. Prior to use, we need to get rid of the excess salt.

There are two ways you can do that.

You can put it into boiling water and leave it to boil to remove the salt. You will check occasionally and change the water as needed till you get the fish to the salt level you prefer. If I use this method I usually change the water about twice. Be careful with over boiling as it can make the fish rubbery.

Another way is to put the fish in cold water for 30-minute intervals, changing the water out every time till the salt is removed. Test the fish for saltiness along the way. This is my preferred method.

You can also leave the saltfish to soak overnight in a bowl of water (if you plan ahead).

Some are a little saltier than others and may require more soaking time.

How to make saltfish accra

After that is done, we chip the saltfish up into little pieces while removing any bones and/or skin that would be inedible.

Once everything is chopped up finely, we just need to mix it all together with water.

In a medium bowl, combine the shredded fish with everything but the flour and the water.

At this step taste your mixture for seasonings and adjust if needed.

Then add the flour and incorporate it well.

To the flour mix add the water and combine well.

We want the mixture to be fully incorporated and create a sticky paste.

The paste looks like this.

Combine mixture of ingredients for making saltfish accra.

Traditionally, accra made in Trinidad is round in shape and is done with deep-frying.

So on medium heat, heat your oil in a pot that will allow you to deep fry.

Once heated, using a cookie scoop or I take an overloaded dinner spoon full of the flour mixture and drop it in the oil.

Fry for about 3 minutes until golden, then flip.

Take out from the oil, and put to drain on paper towels.

What to eat accra with?

Traditionally it's paired with your favourite sauce. The list of what you can try:

Can you bake accra?

Yes, these can be baked for a less oily version. And can even be done in your air fryer.

For the regular oven, drop the mixture on a grease-lined baking sheet and bake for about 10 - 15 minutes at 350 degrees, testing for doneness.

In the air fryer, give it a spritz of oil prior to air frying and fry for about 6 minutes.

A bowl of fried saltfish accra on paper towel.

How to use accra mix

You may see now that brands are selling accra mix in stores for you.

It's actually flour mix, already seasoned up. You are just supposed to add the saltfish.

You would need to remove the excess salt as mentioned above, shred the fish and add it to the mix following the provided instructions.

I find that I still need to add a few things to make it "fresh". I would add some thyme, celery, and pepper to the mixture.

Additions & Substitutions

Seasonings - You can use a lot of other seasonings in the batter to dress it up. Add celery, fresh thyme, chadon beni, green seasoning.

- can use pollock instead of cod

A close up of a ball of fried saltfish accra (saltfish cakes).

Storing & reheating saltfish fritters

Accra is only good up to two days after making. Longer periods of storage start to degrade the quality.

It can be placed in a Ziploc bag or an air-tight container in the fridge. I like to wrap leftovers in a paper towel and then place them in the container.

To reheat, I wrap it in a paper towel and place it in the microwave, and warm up in 40-second spurts. You can also warm up in the air fryer or toaster oven.

Tips & Tricks

I don't taste any salt. You may have removed too much salt with the salt fish. So test for salt when you add the herbs to the salt fish and you can also test for salt with the first batch you fry and adjust the mixture then.

Keeps things "fine". Shred up the ingredients as small as possible. Using a food processor to combine everything is a plus. This would make sure you have a good paste. Sometimes the bell peppers burn quickly if they are too big.

Don't like to deep fry? You can use less oil and fry. Use less batter and flatten them while frying. You will have to flip when golden so the other side will fry.

Make sure your oil is hot all the time. Even after doing some batches, the temperature can fluctuate. I use my instant read thermometer to check it. Check the temp between batches to ensure they get cooked well.

A picture of a hand dipping accra into some tamarind chutney.

I know you would love this accra, so here are some other street food recipes:


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