Suriname is a tiny country in South America, but has a very mixed population. It is about one-tenth larger than Michigan. The population is one of the most ethnically varied in the world. So each ethnic group preserves its own culture and food.
One of our specialties are fish balls (bakkeljauw balletjes), a tasteful, white cod-fish. It is cut, cleaned and salted and cured in cool conditions for a few weeks in Lofoten (Norwegian) then shipped by container to Suriname, where the fish first dried, and than cut in handy pieces and vacuum packed for sale in Suriname, Guyana and the Caribbean island under the name of Bakkeljauw. Also known as ‘baccaloa in spanish’
1 lb (450) grams of salted cod-fish (bakkeljauw) weighed after boning and skinning
3 big garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped
oil for frying
1 medium egg, lightly beaten
1 big chopped onion
1 teaspoon finely chopped parsley
2 tablespoon tomato ketchup
1 teaspoon thinly sliced chopped celery
1 teaspoon freshly ground fine black pepper
1-2 teaspoon seeded and finely chopped chili pepper (depends on your taste)
salt to taste
1/2 cup white dry breadcrumbs
Place the cod-fish (bakkeljauw) in cold water, in a glass bowl for about 1-2 hours. Discard the water and place the cod-fish in a saucepan with enough water to cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat and simmer for 10 minutes. If the fish is too salty, change water and boil again for about 5 minutes. Remove the saucepan from heat, drain, and set aside to cool. When the cod-fish is cool enough, remove any bones or skin. Squeeze out excess water, then flake the cod-fish into small pieces and set aside.
Cook the potatoes in a pan of simmering water for 20 minutes. Drain well and mash with a potato masher. Put the cod-fish and potato mixture in a mixing bowl and add the chopped onions, garlic, chili pepper, celery, parsley, tomato ketchup, medium egg and mix thoroughly. Add second egg if your mix is too dry.
Cover the bowl and place the mix in the refrigerator for about an hour.
Make little balls or small cakes with a tablespoon and than roll your balls in the breadcrumbs.
Heat some oil in the frying pan and fry on medium heat on each side, until your balls (cakes) are golden brown and cooked through.
Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Serve warm with chutney.