Recipe Post: Shark and Bake

by Emily on October 13, 2011 · 3 comments

in Food,Recipes

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Shark and Bake."]Shark and Bake.[/caption] A few weeks ago, I went to my friend Whit's grandmother's apartment in Queens to learn how to cook a dish I've wanted to make for years. Meet the Trinidadian deliciousness that is Shark and Bake. Shark is, well, shark. And bake is (one of) the delicious bread that West Indians eat at many meals, but most frequently for breakfast. You can fry it or you can make me giggle by making "baked bake." Whit's talented cousin Maya created a video about our night making dinner below. (I'm the one in the blue shirt with the dimple, holding the rum. Obvi.) Recipe and photos after the video.
We got our shark at a fish shop in Brooklyn near the Franklin C train stop. It's on Fulton across from a Payless Shoe store and next to a fruit market with a blue awning. No idea what it's called, but there are lots of fish shops that carry shark in Crown Heights in Brooklyn as well as in Chinatown and in Queens. Tip your fish guys for fileting and cleaning your fish! Tip from Grandma: When choosing your shark meat, look for a center that's red not grey. Whit's Grandma is one of the most elegant women I've ever met.

Of cooking at home, Grandma says: "I tell my friends that I eat in a five star restaurant every day because I cook my own food and I enjoy my own food."

Whit's cousin, budding filmmaker, taping Grandma and the shark.


Marinating shark.


Flouring the shark bites.


Frying shark (you can see how one side is browned).


Grandma boils cinnamon sticks and clove while cooking fish to get rid of the fishy odors. It works!


The hardest part for me to learn: Rolling the bake dough into smooth, neat balls.


Frying the bake.


The women of the family.


My plate of shark and bake, along with some delicious hot sauce from Trinidad. What they call the sauce is so rude I can't even print it (it's named after the guy who makes the sauce), but it sounds much better when said with a Trinidadian accent!


Outtake: This is my friend Patrice, ready as if to catch a shark flying through the air.


For more Mouth of the Border posts about West Indian food and culture, click the photo below from this year's West Indian Day Parade.



I love sharing details about upcoming tasty trips and adventures, so you won't want to miss a bite. As always, please feel free to chat with me on Twitter, join our group on Facebook and keep up with new posts here by subscribing.


  • Anonymous

    This was a wonderful post, Emily!!  I’m really happy I was able to be a part of it. That night was awesome, we must do it again soon!! My g-ma is always game!

    • emilyspearl

      Would you send it to your Gma or show it to her when you get a chance? I wanted to say thank you again for the hospitality (and patience with me while I was trying to roll the bakes). And, yes, I am always game for more cooking adventures. YAY!

      • Anonymous

        I most certainly will!!

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