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Caribbean Food Made Easy
by Levi Roots

Sweet potatoes are a staple in the Caribbean and this is one of the simplest ways to cook them. It's real no-fuss fast food: just bake the potato and bung in the saltfish and okra. Those who like sweet and salty flavours together will love this dish. You could use smoked haddock instead if you like, which will avoid the saltfish soaking process.
Serves 2


    • 2 sweet potatoes
    • 250g (9oz) saltfish
    • 2 tbsp sunflower or groundnut oil
    • 1/2 red pepper, deseeded and finely diced
    • 1/2 green pepper, deseeded and finely diced
    • 1 spring onion, chopped
    • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
    • 2.5cm (1in) piece of root ginger, finely chopped
    • 1 hot red chilli (ideally Scotch bonnet), deseeded and finely chopped
    • 6 okra, trimmed and finely chopped
    • leaves from 2 sprigs of thyme
    • 2 knobs of butter, to serve


1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F. Prick the sweet potatoes with a fork, wrap in foil and bake in the oven until completely tender (it will take about 40 minutes).

2. Meanwhile, make the filling. Wash the saltfish in warm water, then put it into a pan of cold water and bring to the boil. Drain, add fresh cold water to the pan, put back the saltfish and repeat the process. After draining for the second time, taste a little bit of the cod and see how salty it is. If it is still too salty, bring to the boil in fresh water for a third time.

3. Heat the oil in a frying pan and put in all the vegetables and flavourings. Cook these until the peppers and onion are soft, then flake and add the saltfish. Cook for another 4 minutes or so, until everything is tender.

4. Split the cooked sweet potatoes, add a knob of butter, and spoon the filling inside. Serve immediately.

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