Saltfish sancoach with rice and split peas

A simple yet scrumptious salt fish stew from the Dominican Republic that is traditionally cooked on a Friday, this fragrant recipe from Ella and Godfrey Bandt has been passed down through the generations
Saltfish sancoach with rice and split peas
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes plus advanced soaking time
  • Effort: easy


For the sancoach

  • 225 g salt cod
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 x 400 g coconut milk
  • 3 tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 handfuls chopped parsley

For the rice and split peas

  • knob of butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 5 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
  • 500 g split peas, washed and drained
  • 500 g long grain rice, washed and drained
  • 1 x 400 g can coconut milk

Tips and Suggestions

Try using reduced fat coconut milk in both the sancoach and the rice. For more information on healthier eating see


1. Rinse the salt cod in warm water then put into a pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and bubble for about 5 minutes until the salt dissolves. Drain and rinse again, then leave to soak in cold water overnight.

2. For the rice and split peas: Heat the butter in a large saucepan and fry the onions until translucent. Add the cardamom pods and garlic and cook for a minute more, then stir in the split peas and coconut milk along with a pinch of salt. Simmer the peas for 20 minutes or until softened.

3. While the peas are cooking, put the rice in a pan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Cover and cook for 15 minutes or until tender, then drain and fluff up with a fork. Fold into the pea mixture and then leave on a low heat to keep warm.

4. For the sancoach: Heat the oil in a large frying pan and gently fry the onions over a medium heat until softened, then stir in the garlic and fry for a minute more. Pour in the coconut milk and boil for 10 minutes, until it begins to thicken, then add the sliced tomatoes and cook for a further 5 minutes. Drain the salt fish and flake it into pieces, then add to the sancoach. Once warmed through, stir through the parsley and serve with the rice and split peas.

Rate This Recipe