Green fig and saltfish is a simple trini meal I like to partake of once in a while. And, with banana trees in my backyard this dish is always welcome. When the bananas are full, I just use my trusty sharp cutlass ( machete) and with one clean cut, I cut the bunch of green bananas.
A Bunch of Green Fig (bananas)
To acclimatise you all with the conventions used with quantifying ( Big word people! Big Word!) green bananas I'll explain a bit. Fig is our trini term, and by extension Caribbean term, for bananas, so don't get confused with the other "fig". A bunch is the bunch of bananas; a hand refers to one of the smaller "bunches" that make up the large bunch; a grain of fig refers to one of the individual bananas that make up the hand. I hope you're not that confused. Anyway the pictures below will give you a better idea.
By now you may realise that saltfish is really a staple food in our trini diet. We eat saltfish in accras, buljol with fry bake and also dumpling. It is a wonderful addition to the trini menu and also a life saver coming close to month end, when the fridge starts to look empty and you start to get creative with the little that you have. Trinis know what I'm talking about! Ent? 🙂 lol So, I hope you enjoy this trinistyle way of cooking saltfish or salted cod as most will know it. Enjoy Green Fig and Saltfish... as trini as it could get!
Green Fig and Saltfish Recipe
GREEN FIG AND SALTFISH
1 hand of green fig (bananas)
1 ½ pounds saltfish
3 pimento peppers, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 carrot, grated ( large side of grater)
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
½ large sweet pepper
1 pinch salt
½ tbsp. oil
½ cup water
A grain of fig. Mark the green fig (banana) with a knife as shown.
Place in a pot of water add one half tablespoon of oil and a pinch of salt.
Boil until the skin changes colour and the bananas are tender.
The peeled, green bananas. Note: We usually leave the bananas in the water until we're ready to serve. This keeps the bananas soft.
Boil the saltfish for about twenty minutes. Clean and break into smaller pieces.
Note: Even after boiling the saltfish, it may still be a little salty. To remedy this problem, place it in a bowl of water and squeeze the pieces of saltfish, handfuls at a time, and place in another bowl when finished. That should get the excess salt out. Don't over squeeze though; we need some salt to flavour the rest of ingredients.
In an iron pot, sauté the onion and garlic over a medium flame until translucent. Then add the pimento peppers.
Add the sweet pepper. grated carrot and tomatoes. Cook for 2 minutes
Add the saltfish and mix thoroughly .Add about ½ cup water and let simmer for 1 minute.
The finished saltfish. Serve over the green fig (bananas).
Green Fig and Saltfish FAQs:
What should I do if the saltfish dish is too salty:
Most times the boiling of the saltfish and draining would remove most of the salt. However, if you find your saltfish still too salty, add a bit of liquid in it, and drop in a few peeled potato slices. The potato will absorb some of the salt. Then remove the potato and discard. You can also, soak the saltfish in water for a few minutes. Discard the water, then boil it.
More recipes to come.
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Green Fig (Banana) And Saltfish
- 1 hand of green fig bananas
- 1 ½ lb saltfish boned
- 3 pimento peppers chopped
- 1 small onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 carrot grated ( large side of grater)
- 3 med. tomatoes chopped
- ½ large sweet pepper
- ½ tbsp. oil
- ½ cup water
- Mark the green fig (banana) skin with a knife lengthwise. Place in a pot of water add ½ tablespoon of oil and a pinch of salt. Boil until the skin changes colour and the bananas are tender. Peel the bananas before serving.
- Boil the saltfish for about twenty minutes. Clean and break into smaller pieces. Squeeze out excess salt from the saltfish. In an iron pot, saute the onion and garlic over a medium flame until translucent.
- Add the pimento peppers, sweet pepper, grated carrot and tomatoes. Cook for 2 minutes Add the saltfish and mix thoroughly.
- Add about ½ cup water and let simmer for 1 minute. Serve over the peeled green fig (bananas).