I could eat these bite-sized balls of gorgeousness until the cows come home. In fact, I find cooking them is a nightmare, as I just can’t resist eating them as fast as I fry them!






Skill level

Average: 3 (79 votes)


  • 125 g (4½ oz) salt fish fillet
  • 225 g (8 oz) cold mashed potato
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp spring onions (scallions), finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp West Indian pepper sauce
  • ½ tsp of Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tsp of light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp English mustard powder
  • plain (all-purpose) flour, enough to shape the balls
  • groundnut oil, for frying
  • salt and freshly ground
  • black pepper
  • lime wedges, to serve
  • red pepper mayonnaise, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Soaking time 24 hours

To prepare the salt fish, soak it in a bowl of water for 24 hours, changing the water five or six times. Transfer the soaked fish to a saucepan, cover with water and then bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes until the fish is tender. Drain the fish, leave it to cool and then flake.

Add the fish to the mashed potato in a large mixing bowl and stir together well. Then add all the remaining ingredients, except for the groundnut oil, and check for seasoning. The mixture should be fairly stiff, yet workable.

With floured hands, shape the mixture into about 12 balls. Heat the oil in a deep saucepan over a medium heat until it is hot, then shallow fry the balls in batches for about a minute on each side or until they are golden brown. Serve with lime wedges, mayonnaise and a tomato, red onion and parsley salad.


Recipe and image from The Pepperpot Club, Jonathan Phang (Hardie Grant, $49.95, hbk)