Boil & Fry: A Caribbean-cooking technique

>> Sunday, 7 August 2011

Boil & Fry is a two-step method of cooking that is used in certain countries in the Caribbean. It is very popular in my birth country, Guyana, particularly when cooking ground provisions. The boiling is self-explanatory but the "frying" really refers to a saute. Read more about Boil & Fry here.

Of all the ground provisions that can be boiled and fried, cassava and green plantains are my favourites. They work great for a savoury breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Sometimes I like my boil and fry plain - meaning just the cassava or plantain with lots of onions, herbs and tomatoes and sometimes I prefer the deluxe version. The deluxe version for me is when my "fry" includes salt fish. So good!

Fried (sauteed) salt fish or smoked herring are two much-loved side dishes that accompany many ground provision meals and they work great with boil and fry.

Boil & Fry Cassava with Salt Fish


  • 2 pounds cassava
  • Water
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • Minced hot pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs (thyme, marjoram, parsley)
  • 1 heaped cup flaked, de-salted salt fish (you can use smoked herring too)
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions (white & green parts)


  1. Peel cassava, cut into large pieces and put into pot with water that covers the cassava. Cover the pot, place on high heat and bring to a boil. When the pot comes to a boil, add salt to taste.
  2. Cook cassava until it cracks and a knife inserts easily. Drain, shaking off excess water.
  3. Heat oil in a pan until very hot.
  4. Add onions and saute for 1 minute; add hot pepper, tomatoes, garlic, herbs and salt to taste. Saute for 2 minutes.
  5. Add salt fish and toss to mix and let cook for 1 minute.
  6. Add cassava, reduce heat to medium low and toss with salt fish and aromatics to ensure that the cassava is properly coated.
  7. Let cook for 4 - 5 minutes.
  8. Sprinkle and stir in green onions, remove pan from heat and serve as is.
  9. If the boil and fry was made plain, serve with sauteed salt fish, smoked herring, fried fish or serve as is.

You can make this recipe using green plantains, sweet potatoes, yams, eddoes or a combination of ground provisions.


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