Caribbean Cod

Caribbean Cod

The first time I went to Ghana in 1992 I recall a cousin of my father’s colleague saying when he attended college in the United States it had been a culture shock for him. However, when he first visited Jamaica, well, that felt like home. The first time I went to Jamaica I was mistaken for a native and had a version of the Caribbean Cod. Each island has a unique take on this dish.

The Ghanaian gentleman is Akan, Ashanti to be precise. Not coincidentely, in the 17th Century the British brought mostly Akan people to Jamaica to be enslaved on sugar plantations. But as soon as the ships reached the shore, many men and women escaped and fled into the mountains where they lived and battled with the British until slavery was abolished. Many present day Jamaicans are descendants of these valiant people known as Maroons. A dish that I have enjoyed in Montego Bay and other parts of the Caribbean like Grand Cayman is fish bathed with tomatoes, garlic, peppers and onions. Usually prepared with scotch bonnet peppers or habaneros as they are called in Spanish, I made an less tongue tingling version of my favorite Caribbean Cod in honor of Healthy African Food Week. I pray the ancestors are pleased! #healthyafricanfoodweek

Caribbean Cod Fish Stew

  • 1.25 lbs. Wild Caught Cod (approx. 3 large pieces of fish)
  • 3 Tbsp. Palm Oil
  • 3 Tbps. Red Onion
  • 2 Tbsp. Garlic
  • 2 Tbsp. Ginger
  • 2 Tbsp. Fresh Cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 2 Cups Tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp. Anchovy Sauce
  • 1 1/2 Cups Okra
  • 2 tsp. Jamaican Curry Powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Real Salt
  • 1 tsp. Thyme
  • 1 tsp. Seasoned Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Allspice
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1 Large Jalapeno

Heat a large saute pan on medium and add palm oil which is solid at room temperature. Finely mince onions, ginger and garlic and add to oil. Salt the fish on both side and add to the pan. Rough chop the tomatoes and okra and add to the pan along with the spices. Mix the anchovy sauce with the cup of water and add to the pan. Add the sliced the jalapeno, seeds and all. Reduce heat and cook on low for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the fish is cooked in the center. Serve with the grain of your choice; I chose organic yellow grits, euphemistically known as polenta, as my grain; black beans and collard greens rounded out the meal. Serves 4 to 6.

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