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Saltfish, Plantains, and Eggs

  • Author: Jasmyn Crawford


Haitian breakfast of salt-preserved cod simmered in a spicy tomato-based sauce served with plantain.



1 pound saltfish (preserved codfish/bacalao)

3 tablespoons neutral oil

1 medium yellow onion, sliced into inch rings

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 sprigs thyme

⅓ cup tomato paste

3 tablespoons Haitian Epis

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1 scotch bonnet or habanero

small handful parsley, leaves and stems roughly chopped, plus additional to garnish

small handful cilantro, leaves and stems roughly chopped

salt to taste 

2 semi-sweet plantains (greenish-yellow in color), cut in half widthwise 

4 hard-boiled eggs, to serve


  1. Rinse the saltfish and soak in a large bowl for 20 hours in cool water, changing the water every few hours to remove excess salt. When the fish feels tender and rehydrated, drain water and give it a final rinse. Taste the fish, it may still have a bit of salt but it should not be overwhelming.
  2. Shred the fish into bite-sized pieces using a fork or your hands, set aside.
  3. Cut the plantains in half then score the skin lengthwise. Add them to a medium saucepan filled with water. Boil on medium heat for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Remove the skin before serving.
  4. Heat the oil in a large saucepan set over med-high heat. 
  5. Add the onions and saute until translucent, about 5-7 minutes.
  6. Add garlic, thyme, and tomato paste. Stir for 1 minute, you want the tomato paste to cook a bit to deepen the flavor.
  7. Stir in the epis and dry spices, stirring constantly to prevent spices from sticking and burning in the pan.
  8. Pour in  2 cups of water, being sure to scrape the bottom of the pan to create your sauce.
  9. Add scotch bonnet, shredded fish, fresh herbs, stir.
  10. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and let simmer for 10 minutes.
  11. Taste for salt and add it if necessary. Serve with plantains and eggs.