How to desalt codfish for cooking

desalting codfish

Desalting codfish is easier than you think. Only water, a bowl, and patience are needed to remove the salt from your favorite dried cured fish. Follow the tips below to desalt codfish.

Salting food is an ancient method used to preserve food. Fish, a standard and staple food in many countries, has been salted for centuries. Many fish have been salted either as part of a cooking process or for preservation. Codfish is one of many types of fish sold salted in the Caribbean.

Cod is one of the common fish salted for preservation. The salting process is not difficult. The cod is covered with enough salt for days and cooked when needed. During the salting period, the salt absorbs the fish moisture and dehydrates the flesh preventing bacteria growth.

How to desalt Codfish

Salted Codfish is sold in different packaging. You may also find it without any packaging, similar to the photo from Pixaby below. The cod is a bit wet and salty when sold in a plastic bag. This type of packaging is usually commercialized. You may also find the codfish in a plastic bag after it has been packaged by the selling store. This method is generally done by local and smaller stores.

Salted Cod Fish
Salted Cod Fish – Photo Credit Pixabay

Desalting codfish is simple and easy. You have two options.

Option #1

Thoroughly rinse the fish under running water. Fill up a bowl with enough water to cover the fish. Soak in water overnight or for at least 6 to 8 hours. Remove from water, rinse, and soak in fresh water for 4 to 6 hours.

Remove the fish from the water, then dry the scales thoroughly. Discard the water. Cook the fish accordingly.

Millet Grits with Cod Fish

Option #2

Thoroughly rinse fish under running water. Fill up a pot with enough water to cover the fish. Boil under medium heat for 10  minutes or until the foam appears, then remove from the heat and rinse well. Fill up the pot with water again and boil a second time for ten more minutes.  Remove from water, and let cook. When completely cooled, remove scales, rinse, and pat dry.

Useful Tips for desalting codfish:

  • Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of vinegar or lemon juice to the water when soaking or boiling.
  • If you feel that the fish needs more time to desalt, soak it in the water a third time for a few hours.
  • You will need a large bowl, and if you don’t want to touch the fish with your hare hands, food prep disposable gloves are very useful, and you can get them on Amazon.
desalting codfish

Here are a few recipes to try:

How to make CodFish Fritters (Accra de Morue)

Fresh Codfish with Mustard Sauce

Coconut Seared Codfish with Roasted Potatoes and Kale Salad

Brandade de Morue or Codfish au Gratin

Crispy Pan-Fried Potatoes with Codfish

A Caribbean Treat, Chiquetaille de Morue or Spicy Shredded Salted Codfish

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