Bolinho de bacalhau

Bolinho de bacalhau

Cabana The Cookbook
Martin Poole

There are many variations of bolinhos, but the best known is the bolinho de bacalhau. Salt cod is a big staple of Brasilian food – it’s even served as one of the main dishes on Christmas Day.


Quantity Ingredient
300g salt cod
300g potatoes, boiled, mashed and dry, with no milk or butter
small handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
2-3 spring onions, finely chopped
3 eggs, separated
vegetable or groundnut oil, for deep-frying
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
lime wedges, to serve
Chilli mayonnaise


  1. De-salt the salt cod by soaking and rinsing it in 4–5 changes of cold water. If possible, do this over 24 hours. Drain and place it in a saucepan with enough cold water to cover. Bring to a simmer and gently poach for 5 minutes, until soft. Drain and leave to cool for a few minutes, then flake the fish and discard any skin or bones.
  2. Put the flaked cod in a large bowl and add the mashed potatoes, parsley, spring onions and egg yolks. Mix well and season with salt and pepper. In a large, clean bowl, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks, then fold them into the cod mixture.
  3. Heat the oil in a deep-fryer to 180°C. If you have one, use a mini ice-cream scoop to carefully drop rough balls of cod mixture into the hot oil. Alternatively, drop in rounded teaspoons of the mixture. Fry for 1½–2½ minutes until golden brown, then turn over and cook the other side. Remove and drain on kitchen paper. Keep warm while you fry the remaining batches.
  4. Serve warm with lime wedges and chilli mayonnaise.
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