Haitian Pate (Salt Codfish Patties)

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Haitian Pate

Prep Time: 6 hours
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 6 hours 45 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 305kcal


For the dough:

  • 1 cup cold water
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 cup lard
  • 1 egg

For the filling:

  • 1 lb dried salted cod
  • 1 onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • ½ scotch bonnet pepper
  • 1 shallot
  • ¼ tsp thyme
  • 2 tsp parsley
  • ¼ tsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • ½ tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tsp adobo seasoning
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp olive oil


  • Put the fish in a large pot and cover it with water. Allow it to sit and soak for 2 hours.
  • Drain the water from the fish and replace it with fresh water.
  • Put the pot with the water and fish on high heat and bring to a boil. Let it boil for 20 minutes, then drain the water.
  • Once the fish has cooled off enough to touch, use your hands to flake it apart into a new bowl and set aside.
  • To make the dough, add the salt and 2 cups of flour into a large mixing bowl. Mix with a whisk then make a well in the center.
  • Pour in 1 cup of water and 1 tbsp of vinegar into the well. Mix with your hands until combined.
  • Cover a large surface area or countertop with flour and dump the dough on top.
  • Knead the dough for 2 minutes or until it becomes fully incorporated, firm, and sticks together.
  • Roll the dough into a ball and cover it with plastic wrap. Put it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  • Remove the dough from the fridge and roll it out to a ¼ inch thick rectangle on the floured surface.
  • Smear the lard on the surface of the dough, leaving an inch margin around the edges.
  • Fold the dough into thirds (like a letter) and place it on a baking tray. Cover it and put it in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes.
  • Take the dough and roll it out again the same way.
  • Fold as before, then put it back in the fridge for another 30 minutes.
  • Repeat the rolling, folding, and fridge for 5 more times (give or take a couple, depending on how tired you’re getting). The more folding, the more layers.
  • Refrigerate again.
  • Finely chop the parsley, thyme, rosemary, scotch bonnet pepper (but make sure to deseed and destem it first), shallot, and garlic. Dice the onion.
  • In a skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat.
  • Add all the diced and chopped ingredients and stir for a minute or until the onion becomes translucent.
  • Add to the skillet the cod, lime juice, ½ cup of water, vinegar, pepper, and adobo.
  • Stir everything together to make sure the flavors mix, then cook for around 10 minutes. While it cooks, continue stirring so everything cooks evenly and nothing sticks to the pan.
  • Add the tomato paste to the skillet and stir into everything else. Cook for another minute then remove from heat.
  • Preheat the oven to 400F and prep a large baking tray with parchment paper.
  • Remove the dough from the fridge and roll it out, leaving it ½ inch thick.
  • Cut out the dough into squares or circles about 2 ½ inch across. I find the easiest way to do this is with a pizza roller, cutting the dough like a grid, so I get a lot of squares at once.
  • Put a spoonful of cod filling on one side of each dough square before folding the other side over.
  • Press the edges of the dough together with the prongs of a fork.
  • Put each shaped patty onto the prepped baking tray.
  • Whisk an egg and use a pastry brush to brush it over the top of each patty.
  • Put in the oven and bake for 45 minutes, or until the top of the dough is golden and flaky.
  • Allow to cool on a wire rack before serving.


Calories: 305kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.002g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 261mg | Potassium: 592mg | Fiber: 20g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 2915IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 774mg | Iron: 15mg

This Haitian pate is a new flavor for me! I have never cooked with dried fish before, so I was interested to try this. This is a savory, well-spiced fish filling encased in a soft, flaky pastry dough. The saltiness of the filling and the delicate texture of the pastry is a unique combination that you won’t want to miss out on.

The main this to remember about this dish is that it requires several hours to make. The cod needs to soak and the dough needs to be refrigerated several times for the best, flakiest end result. Because of that, make sure to plan this out beforehand so you’re not scrambling at dinner time. If you want a taste of Haiti but don’t have a ton of time, consider this Haitian mac and cheese dish.

Notes & Tips

These delicious cod patties can be stored in an air tight container at room temperature for 2-3 days or in the fridge for a week. I prefer them served at room temperature, but you can eat them cold or hot too.

If you’re unfamiliar with cod, you can read up on it here for tips.

This is one of those recipes that has parts you can prep beforehand. To save time when preparing, consider making the dough the day before, or starting it and doing a few turns. The colder it is before baking, the better layers you will get.


The most exhausting part of this recipe is making the pastry dough. It can also be difficult if you have a small kitchen, because you need such a large surface area for shaping. An easy way to solve that problem is by buying premade pastry dough at a store.

Lard is easy enough to get at a lot of grocery stores, but if you can’t find it or don’t want to use it, you can exchange it for ¾ cup of shortening and ¼ cup butter. Mix the shortening and butter together with about a cup of flour to hold it together. Use it as you would the lard.

This Haitian pate is a great finger food for parties or snack to grab on the go, so you can enjoy it all the time.

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