28 feb 2011

Accras (fish fritters)

Accras are deep fried fish fritters traditionally made with salt cod, but you can substitute fresh cod. Different versions are popular all over the West Indies and specially French Guyana.
For some reason the hot pepper loses its power in this recipe, so you might want to use a bit more than you think is needed, especially if you like things spicy. Accras can be served as an appetizer or as an accompaniment to the main meal. Indeed, I find them so filling that I don't need much else to make a meal.

Ingredients (makes 36 accras)
  • Softened butter for pan
  • 8 ounces salt cod
  • 2 onions, peeled and minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed
  • 1 hot pepper, minced finely (more or less to your taste)
  • handful fresh parsley leaves, chopped finely
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 eggs, separated (at room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • oil for frying
How to cook it
Begin by soaking the salt cod in a bowl of cold water in the refrigerator for 24 hours, changing the water several times. to remove the salt. Place the desalinated fish in a pot of water and bring to a simmer on medium heat. Simmer for 20 minutes or until the fish is soft and flakes easily. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Remove any bones and skin from the fish, and place it in a mixing bowl. Flake the fish with a fork.
Mix the fish with the minced onions, pressed garlic, minced hot pepper, parsley, lime juice, and salt and pepper to taste.
Stir in the flour, then beat in the water and egg yolks. Finally, stir in the baking soda.
In a separate bowl beat the egg whites until stiff, then fold them into the batter.
In a Dutch oven or similar sturdy cooking vessel, heat 1 inch of oil until it is hot. Drop the batter by spoonfuls into the hot oil. Don't crowd the accras - you'll need to do several batches. Cook until golden brown, turning once. Total frying time is about 2 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towel.
Serve hot with lime wedges or your favourite dipping sauce.

© Text and image: Upon The Key

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