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close up of fritters

Jamaican Saltfish Fritters

Delicious crispy Jamaican saltfish fritters make the perfect breakfast, lunch or appetizer - gluten free
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Jamaican
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 8 fritters
Calories 165kcal
Author Charla


  • 2 cups of saltfish shredded(see post for unrefined version)(270g)
  • 1 cup of gluten free flour 140g(Bob red mills 1 to 1 flour)
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 small tomato chopped
  • 1 garlic clove chopped finely
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 5 sprigs of fresh thyme or ½ tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 cup of water 8oz/ 250ml
  • ½ bell pepper chopped (optional)
  • Olive or coconut oil for frying I used ¼ cup, non stick frying pan
  • scotch bonnet optional, I used ½ for extra heat!


  • Place the shredded saltfish in a medium sized bowl
  • Mix together the onion and garlic until fully combined
  • Pick the leaves from the stems of the thyme and sprinkle in along with the black pepper into the saltfish.
  • Add the scotch bonnet (if using), tomato and fold in so all of the ingredients are evenly distributed.
  • Add the flour and then slowly mix in the water to form a smooth batter - shouldn't be too runny nor too thick.
  • Preheat a sturdy non stick frying pan on medium heat and pour in the oil (I used a total of ¼ cup for the entire batch) and spoon a small amount of the fritter mixture into the frying pan. repeat...being careful not to overcrowd the pan.
  • Reduce the heat to low-medium and cook each side until golden brown, carefully move the pan from side to side to distribute the oil evenly (helps the fritters cook quicker).
  • Once cooked place each fritter on some paper towel to absorb any extra oil
  • Repeat the above 3 steps with the rest of the batter.


  • Don't spoon too much of the batter into the frying pan. The fritters will naturally increase somewhat in volume which is why I don't use raising agents.
  • Don't pile on too much batter onto each fritter. In order for them to crisp up well they shouldn't be too dense when cooking in the pan.
  • Make sure your batter isn't too thick nor too runny. It should be a medium consistency, if it's too runny add a tablespoon more of flour. If too thick, thin it out with a splash of water.
  • The membrane of the scotch bonnet is where the heat is, how much you use it up to. 
  • If you don't care for heat then leave out the scotch bonnet.
  • If you cannot get hold of scotch bonnet use a harbanero or chilli instead
  • Feel free to add scallion and bell peppers -½ if using. Add them along with the onions, just mix them in!
  • I used a total of 270g of shredded fish to make my saltfish. That's 2 cups worth in total. If you aren't using the method then use a pack of saltfish 
  • Make sure to use a non stick frying pan to eliminate using an excess amount of oil. It will take awhile for it to crisp up with the amount of oil I used but it's healthier than deep fat frying your fritters.


Calories: 165kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 22mg | Potassium: 212mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 404IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1mg