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Taste of the Caribbean: Saltfish Buljol

Taste of the Caribbean: Saltfish Buljol
Buljol by Patrick Bennett
Buljol by Patrick Bennett

Today’s busy modern lifestyles often relegate breakfast to an afterthought. What’d you grab this morning while rushing out the door to catch the train, or beat traffic? Cereal bar? Banana? Bagel? Whatever it was, it’s unlikely to have had the spice and flavor of Saltfish Buljol.

Growing up with Trini parents, I often awoke to the smell of Buljol, especially on weekends when we had more time to ease into the day (prep time is about 45 minutes). You won’t need much coffee with this special treat either, as it packs enough hot pepper to wake even the groggiest souls.

Ingredients
  • 1/2 lb saltfish (salted cod)
  • 1 or 2 large tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp fresh hot pepper, chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped or sliced
  • 1 sweet pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 – 2 tbsp olive oil

Directions:
First, break the fish into pieces and place in saucepan with cold water. Gradually heat to boiling and throw away water. Repeat until the salty taste is removed (fish should taste fresh). Remove skin and bones and break pieces of fish into even smaller pieces. Finally, blend the fish with the remaining ingredients, and you’re all set for a spicy Caribbean breakfast treat.

Buljol is great with roast or fry bake, bread, crackers, or even that bagel I mentioned earlier. Any way you have it, just be sure to have some ice-cold water around – you’re gonna’ need it!

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