Trinidadian Saltfish Buljol

Joined Jan 3, 2002
This is a easy dish from Trinidad and Tobago;

Saltfish Buljol

1/2lb. salt fish
1-2 Large Tomatoes, finely choppoed
1/2tsp. fresh hot pepper, chopped
1 onion, finely chopped or sliced
1 sweet pepper, finely chopped
1-2tbsp. olive oil
1/2 hot pepper finely chopped

1. Scald saltfish in hot water. Leave for a couple minutes for fish to soften.
2.Shred fish into small pieces
3.Blend fish with tomatoes, onion and peppers.
4. Heat olive oil and add to the fish mixture.
5.Serve with hard-boiled eggs, hps and sliced avocado

This dish is usually served with Coconut Bake which is a flat bread made on a "tawah" otherwise known as a griddle or in the oven. This is my version of the Coconut Bake recipe

Coconut Bake

4cups flour
2tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tbsp salt
1tbsp yeast or 4tsp baking powder
1 1/2tbsp shortening
1 1/2c milk

1. Combine 2cups flour, sugar, salt ,yeast and shortening in a large bowl.
2. Warm milk only until lukewarm. Add to dry ingredients and knead together.
3. Add remaining flour and knead for about 10 mins.
4. Roll out flat on greased 10" pizza tray or on griddle
5. Prick holes with a fork over the entire bake
6. Leave to raise for about 10-15 mins.
7.Bake in oven at 375 for 20 mins or on griddle at low- medium heat.
8. Serve hot.

The bake can be left to raise to suit your desires. Some folks like to leave their bake very thin others like it thick. The amount you knead it can also give it a bread-like effect but locals tend not knead it so much. This also tastes great with cheddar cheese if you add the cheese just as it comes out of the oven. Enjoy!
Joined Jul 31, 2000
Thanks for the recipe islandflava,

This dish reminds me of aki and salt cod, Is the saltfish a salt dried fish?If it is, you do not need to do a triple cold water soak to remove the salt and bloom the flesh?

Just curiuos, Thanks agian
Joined Jan 3, 2002
Yes the saltfish is dried and you could use the cold water method however, what I usually do is just bring the water to a boil and that softens the flesh enough to use but not remove all the salt. I believe that the type of saltfish varies so you might need to adjust to suit what you have and the amount of salt you want to remain. It is quite similar to the Jamaican saltfish and ackee dish.
Saltfish can be added to other dishes in a similar way like saltfish and pumpkin, spinach, ochroes, tomatoes (tomato choka). In fact you could add saltfish to anything in that way. Also we do different one-pot dishes along that line like pumpkin rice which is rice, pumpkin and saltfish or saltpork cooked all together with coconut milk. It is something like paella or our version,pelau. If anyone is interested I could post the pelau recipe. :lips:
Joined Jan 3, 2002
Thanks Rachel, I am glad to be here. I just remembered that I didn't include any coconut in the coconut bake recipe I posted earlier. For those interested, you need to add 1 grated coconut to it. I know that there are coconut flakes available but I can't say how the conversion goes. Here we use a fresh coconut, chop and grate the insides. You could blend it too.

Now for the pelau recipe


2c. uncooked rice
2c. cooked pigeon peas ( or beans, black eye)
1 chicken , cut up into small pieces
2 carrots,chopped
4c. coconut milk
Seasonings: thyme, chives, garlic, celery.
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1/4c oil

1. Marinate chicken with paste made from seasonings and salt for at least half and hour.
2. Heat pot and add oil and brown sugar.
3. Burn brown sugar until bubbling.
4. Add chicken and marinade. Leave to cook for 15mins.
5. Add cooked peas, rice, carrots and coconut milk to the pot.
6. Bring to the boil on high heat, then lower heat to its lowest point.
7. Leave to simmer for 30mins or until coconut milk dries out and rice is edible.
8. Serve with coleslaw, potato salad or any salad of your choice.

Bottled browning could be used instead of burning sugar. If you choose to burn sugar you could omit the oil as it you would get the same result. Also any meat or any combination of meat could be used in pelau. The amount of peas could be increased also. The only thing that should remain consistant is that there should be 2x the amount of liquid in the pot as the amount of rice eg 1c rice, 2c liquid etc. Enjoy and let me know how it turns out!:lips:
Joined Jul 24, 2001
Welcome Islandflava!

It's funny how recipes carry so much History with them, history that connects people although in our case, here, links Seas that are long away the one from the other...

I come from a place- an area of Greece that is Called Mani, it's a kind of cape. Two large rocks that jump into the sea.
Those people there, lived out of two things. Olive Oil and ...Piracy :)

They were professional Pirates :)

So, since they were pirates, they were capable sailors and for this reason they were hired by the English Navy to do some of the trade of the Eastern Mediterraenan ( That's why they don't have to pay tuition to Cambridge nowadays :p)
They carried for the Englishmen resins and they were getting paid in Salt Fish!
Englishmen pass to us along with their fish their recipes :)

So, in my tiny village that overlooks the mediterranenan ,we eat salt fish they way you do in Trinidad , excluding the avocado:)

Lovely ha?

My village is called for 4000 years now Kardamyli, the name stayed unchanged in the centuries and is the place from which the ships of Greeks started their journey for the Trojan War and where Ulysses started his journey :)

To your recipe, I would just add a pintch of resins just to remember where I come from :)

I suspect that you , in Trinidad, took the recipe from the englishmen too...
Globalization is a long sad (?) story.

Post your recipes , we might find more common thins that link our seas ...

* This one was for the tickle monster*


Joined Apr 4, 2000
Such a lovely tale Athenaeus. Always had a thing for pirate stories.

Could you please explain one thing. What is the resins you mentionned?
Joined Jan 3, 2002
Thank you for the warm welcome! Athenaeus we do have similar history. Trinidad and Tobago was colonized by the English for a period in our history and they imported saltfish in the days of slavery as a main form of protein. This was also useful because of the lack of refrigeration in those times and in the hot climate meat spoiled easily. There was much snobbery regarding salt fish before the Second World War, but as food became scarce and salt fish became more and more expensive, it was gradually accepted by all classes as a worthwhile protein substitue. For the same reasons of refigeration we aslo used saltpork and saltbeef. Also through the salting process we have what is fondly known as "salt butter" or "creole butter" which as the name implies is a salt butter that is orange. My mother tells me about how they had to wash that butter over and over to get the salt out of it to make cake for Christmas! LOL. Now we can't do without in most of our creole dishes eg Pelau.
We also have a very deep East Indian culture here in Trinidad with them contributing many great recipes, some unique to Trinidad&Tobago. We are a twin island state but I live in Trinidad so excuse me if I leave Tobago out sometimes! There are only about 1.5 million people here but we have many different foods. I will post some of those Indo-Trinidadian recipes if anyone is interested.:lips:
Joined Jul 24, 2001
Although we weren't a colony of none at least officially ( we are just an economic colony now) I am sure we have many similar stories. You mentioned the influence of the culture of east india, in many ways we are connected to this area also :)
Linguistically ( YES! You heard well ) mostly and of course since Greeks are connected linguistically to an area many other people are the same time...

You have salted pork also ( although our recipe is more like a confit) but for another reason. They had only one pork to eat for a whole year...
Maybe the englishmen were disgusted to eat your fresh food that's why they brought theirs from home salted.

I think many people here are interested in culinary traditions and not because it's a trend... ;)
I hope you participate more. I would like to learn more about your place and of course how things reflect on your place :)

Isa... Iwas talking about raisins... :rolleyes:
Joined Jan 4, 2002
Thanks for your recipe for T S B also nice to see Mani Greece it reminded me of Greece which I have visited this year especially Santorini. Nice to have some more recipes.In our island salted cod was the protein for the poor,here to we where colonized for 150 years.Now, cod is very expensive to buy. In Malta salted cod is left in water for 48 hours changing the water for 3 times.:eek: :bounce: :lips:
Joined Jan 3, 2002
There is so much history connected to our foods. I think every dish is connected in some way to our history. We are fairly new to being an independent republic, only 36yrs old. So we have been colonized for most of our existence by the English, Spanish and I think Portugese. Subsequently our dishes reflect their influence as they were here just recently, the last of the colonizers being England. Most of our parents remember the Queen being the head of the country. ;)

The East Indians though came here as indentured labourers to replace the African ex-slaves who were striking for better wages. The Indians came here with their families, religions and culinary culture about 150yrs ago. :bounce:

It is all very interesting, I was getting some info about buccaneers and saltfish in Trinidad, when I do I will post. Apparently even though there was fresh fish available, the slaves were there to cut sugarcane and not fish hence the use of saltfish plus the refidgeration part I mentioned earlier. The East Indians were brought in to cut cane after slavery was abolished and the former slaves sought improved conditions. This caused quite a bit of animosity between the races but it never stopped them from enjoying each others culinary traditions especially at festival times eg Divali (festival of lights ) and Eid-ul-Fitr ( Muslim holy day). Ms. Universe 1998 ( an afro-trini) was from T&T and she made a roti shop famous by mentioning how much she loved their boneless beef roti. Apparently a T&T roti is very unique in its preparation and not done like those in India and is therefore considered a true trini dish! :lips:
Joined Jul 31, 2000
islandflava, Thank you for sharing abit of your country with us.
It's through traditions and history we all grow somewhat closer.

More recipes please!
Joined Jan 3, 2002
Thank you so much for the warm welcome and the interest in my country's dishes. I will post recipes regularly. I am particularly humbled by the warmth of everyone on this board. Thank you again.:smiles:
Joined May 26, 2001
Let me add my greetings! How wonderful to have another part of the world -- and another little-known cuisine (to many of us) -- represented here.

My question: I recently bought a small jar of a Jamaican item, Solomon Gundy. Do you know anything about its origin, or have any recipes for it? I think somewhere I've heard it called "Herring Gundy" as well. I'd love to be able to make it, rather than have to buy it.

For those who have never had it, it's a spread made from smoked herring, oil, vinegar, hot peppers, and spices. It's very zippy and great on a cracker with drinks! It would be terrific for a Super Bowl party.

Oh,I just realized: don't worry if you can't answer this. After all, it's from an entirely different country, with a different culture. I'm not trying to put you on the spot. ANY recipes and information you post will be most welcome!
Joined Jul 31, 2000
Suzanne, In a island book I have I found a little bit out about solomon gundy. It says it originated in France and dates back to The reign of Louis X10, Whe "Salmonbundy" was an elaborite salad made with many minced ingredients.

Joined May 26, 2001
Which leads to the possiblity of another thread: the evolution of food names. Thanks for the idea, cc!
Joined Jan 3, 2002
Ok here is what I've found, because until you asked I had never heard of it before. I hope this is what you were looking for.

"Herring Gundy

u.s. virgin islands

This dish obviously derives from the period, before 1917, when the islands, St Thomas, St Croix and St John, were Danish. The name is a corruption of salmagundi, a word of unknown origin used as early as 1674 to describe a dish of chopped meat, anchovies, eggs, onions, oil and seasonings. A similar term, salmigondis, is used in the French kitchen to describe a ragout of several meats, reheated.

2lb. salt herring
2lb potatoes
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 tsp. finely chopped hot red or green pepper
3oz. Small pitted green olives, chopped
4 medium diced, cooked beetroot
4 medium freshly grated carrots
4 hard-boiled eggs
8 fl.oz salad oil
3 tbsps. vinegar, preferably cane or malt
Freshly ground pepper
Parsley sprigs
Lettuce leaves

Wash the herrings, drain and soak overnight in cold water to cover. Drain, pat dry with paper towels, remove the skin and bones, and put the fish through the coarse blade of a food mill. Peel the potatoes and cook until tender in salted water, Drain, mash and combine with the herring. Add the onions, bell pepper, hot pepper, olives, 1/3 of the beetroot, 1/4 of the carrot and 1 of the eggs, finely chopped. Add the oil, vinegar and a generous amount of the freshly ground pepper. Mix well. Chill, if liked. Mound on a serving platter and surround with small heaps of diced beets, grated carrot and chopped egg. Garnish with parsley sprigs and lettuce leaves. Serves 6 as a main course, 12 as a first course." Caribbean Cooking, Elizabeth Lambert Ortiz
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