Saltfish Buljol Recipe

Published on October 8th 2023 by Jennifer Dodd.
Last updated on April 1st 2024
This recipe, developed through the collective effort of at least six experts, underwent meticulous research and testing for over three months. Learn more about our process in the art and science behind our recipes. This post may contain affiliate links. Read our Disclosure Policy.
Close up view of Saltfish Buljol

Saltfish is one of the tastiest ways to enjoy some fish. Usually made from cod salted and dried in the sun using this technique to preserve the fish, this was done before every household-owned refrigerator. Saltfish Buljol is a salad from Trinidad that uses rehydrated saltfish tossed with onions, bell peppers, scotch bonnets, and a drizzle of olive oil. It's then eaten as a snack and for breakfast with warm fried bread or scooped with crunchy crackers.  

How long should you soak saltfish?

Saltfish should be soaked for 12 hours to rehydrate the fish. 

Why has my saltfish gone pink?

Saltfish can turn pink due to a few reasons. One is that the fish wasn't properly bled out; the bleeding process is meant to draw out all the blood reserves from the fish, removing toxins resulting in fresher fish. The second reason is that the saltfish somehow got into contact with a form of moisture. Either way, if your saltfish turns a different color, it should be discarded and not consumed. 

What does the word Buljol mean?

It's said that the name bujol comes from the French words brulé, meaning to burn, and the phrase gueule, meaning muzzle. The words were fused in Trinidad, changing it into buljol.

What is the fastest way to desalt salt fish?

The fastest way to desalt saltfish is to add the fish to fresh boiling water, drain off the water, and continue the process while tasting the fish to ensure the salt levels are to your liking.  

Author: Jennifer Dodd
Average: 5 (2 votes)
Total rating includes sum of all comments and anonymous votes.

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Time & Serves

Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
25 mins
4 persons


  • 1/2 pound Saltfish, soaked in water for 12 hours

  • Water for cooking the Saltfish

  • 1 small Yellow Onion, diced small

  • 1 small Bell Pepper, diced small (use any color or a combination of different peppers) 

  • 1 small Scotch Bonnet, seeds removed, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil 


Remove the salt fish from the water it soaked in overnight, giving it a rinse with cold water. Add the fish into a medium-sized pot filled with water and bring it to a boil on the stovetop. 

Soaking the fish overnight

Once the water starts to boil, drain and replace it with fresh water, repeating the process three times.  

Washing and cooking the fish three times

Remove the salt fish from the final boil, placing it onto a plate and allowing it to cool before removing it from the bones and shredding the meat into a bowl. 

Deboning the fish

Toss the salt fish with the onions, peppers, scotch bonnets, and olive oil. Wrap the bowl and place it into the fridge for 30 minutes or until it is ready to serve. 

Serving the Saltfish Buljol
Jennifer Dodd

Savor the taste of culinary excellence with Jennifer, where each dish tells a story of tradition and adventure.

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Jennifer Dodd

Savor the taste of culinary excellence with Jennifer, where each dish tells a story of tradition and adventure.

More posts by Jennifer Dodd