how long should you boil salt fish

How to desalt and cook salt cod easily for a flavorful, tender, and savory fish fillet. This incredible cured fish is high in protein and low in fat, making it an excellent choice for any meal!

Salted cod is very popular in many countries around the world, especially in Europe and the Caribbean. People have been preserving fish in salt for centuries as the salt draws out the moisture. You may think that desalting and cooking cod is very complicated, but I promise you, it isn’t!

I am really excited to share this recipe with you! Salted cod is healthy with lots of omega-3 fatty acids, it’s high in protein and low in fat, and it’s relatively inexpensive. The best thing is that it’s super simple to make and so versatile. You can add it to all sorts of dishes – from salads to stews and fritters.

Directions. Soak salted codfish in water for 1 hour to release salt. In a medium saucepot, with enough water to cover the salted codfish, boil for 15 minutes.
how long should you boil salt fish

How to Desalt Salt Cod

If you have a very large cod fillet, you can first cut it into 2 or several pieces. It’s easiest to do so with scissors.

Then, carefully rinse the fish with fresh water. Make sure you cover the fish with water in a large bowl and gently rub it to remove the salt. Alternatively, you can do this directly under running water.

You can repeat this 2-3 times if you feel like there’s too much salt left, but don’t worry as you still need to soak the fish in water. You will see how much salt is left behind when discarding the water.

Then soak the fish in some more fresh cold water and keep it in the fridge for 12-24 hours, in an airtight container. Make sure to change the water every few hours.

Chef’s note: it’s best to use a ceramic or glass container as these materials are resistant to salt.

Optionally, you can remove the skin before cooking. To do that, pull the flesh with your fingers away from the skin. I usually like to keep the skin on and skip this step.

Salt Cod vs. Fresh Fish

Although salted cod is not fresh, it has many benefits, namely the taste. The process of salting cod produces a very mild taste – it’s savory but not salty or too overtly fishy. Arguably, it has a nicer texture and flavor than fresh cod. But what I like the most, though, is that you can pair salted cod with so many different flavors, particularly salads, like Simple Quinoa Salad with Walnuts and Avocado, Easy Tuna Salad with Mixed Vegetables, or High-Protein Grilled Salmon Avocado Salad Bowl.

It’s also delicious with rice (like this Simple Breakfast Fried Rice with Egg) or grains, in general, like quinoa.

In addition, for more of a Caribbean flavor, I think salt cod is amazing with a serving of Coconut Bake, Buljol salad, and Spicy Roasted Eggplant Dip (Baigan Choka/Bharta).

Before cooking the cod, though, you need to rehydrate and desalinate it by soaking it in cold water first. It does take a bit of preparation, but it is totally worth it! Don’t worry, it’s really simple, too!

A fillet of salt cod fish. A quality salt cod will come both with bones and skin.

How-To Boil Off Your Salt Fish At Home | Recipes By Chef Ricardo


How do you know when saltfish is cooked?

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and cook until fish flakes easily when prodded with a fork, about 40 minutes.

How long to leave salt fish in water?

Overnight Soak Method Cover the bowl and let the saltfish soak overnight. The following morning, drain off the salty water. Remove the bones and skin (if using bone-in salt fish). Pry off a piece of the fish from the meatiest part of the fish and taste it.

Can you cook saltfish without soaking it?

Prior to cooking, saltfish must be rehydrated and soaked overnight in water. This removes most of the salt. It is important, however, not to remove all the salt from the fish, as that’s where it gets its great flavor.

How do you soften salt fish?

Wash and soak the saltfish overnight or for at least 2 hours. It’s best to soak the fish overnight, as the longer the saltfish soak, the more the salty taste reduces. Place the saltfish in a pot with fresh water and put to boil for 15 to 20 minutes. This helps to soften the fish and remove more of the salt.

How long do you boil salt fish?

Let the salt fish boil for 20 minutes; drain, and when cool enough to handle, your fish is ready for you to use in any recipe calling for that type of fish. Add the salt fish to a pot of hot water. Let the water cover the fish. Place the pot on high heat and bring it to a boil. Let it boil for 25 minutes. Drain. Add a fresh batch of hot water.

How long does it take to boil fish?

Place the fish in the water and boil for 10 to 12 minutes or until fish flakes easily. Arrange the fish in a wire basket, and submerge it in the pot. Wait for the water to return to a boil, which may take 2 to 3 minutes, and then allow the fish to boil until you can flake it easily with a fork, which should take approximately 10 to 12 minutes.

How do you cook salt fish?

If it tastes very salty, add the fish to a pot and pour in hot water to cover the fish. Set it on high heat and bring it to a boil. Let the salt fish boil for 20 minutes; drain, and when cool enough to handle, your fish is ready for you to use in any recipe calling for that type of fish. Add the salt fish to a pot of hot water.

How long do you boil Cod?

Once you’ve soaked the fish, rinse off any excess salt. Place the cod in a pot with lots of water. Add a squeeze of lemon, if using. Bring it to a gentle boil and cook for about 10-12 minutes. Don’t boil it vigorously, though, because the fish could become tough and rubbery.

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