Salt cod fritters

Salt cod fritters

Bolinho de bacalhau

This is Brazil
Stuart Scott

Bolinho de bacalhau are a national favourite and can be found at bars, markets and street stalls all over the country. This recipe is ideal for making in advance and freezing, and the fritters can be cooked straightfrom the freezer.


Quantity Ingredient
300g dried salt cod, (see glossary)
1 lime, sliced
1 litre vegetable stock
dash white wine
500g all-purpose potatoes, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
1 egg, separated
2 tablespoons fresh coriander leaves, chopped
pinch salt
1 tablespoon plain flour, (optional)
oil, for deep frying
lime wedges, to serve


  1. Soak the cod in cold water overnight, changing the water at least once.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Put the drained cod in a roasting tin and cover with the lime slices. Pour in the stock and white wine. Poach the cod in the oven for 20 minutes. Leave to cool, then gently peel o the skin from the cod and break the flesh in half, removing the spine. Shred the cod with your fingers, removing any bones.
  3. Meanwhile, boil the potatoes until soft, then drain well and mash.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a small frying pan and sauté the onion over a medium heat for 3 minutes, or until just tender.
  5. Combine the cod with the potatoes, onion, egg yolk and coriander. Whisk the egg white in a small bowl, then add it to the cod mixture along with the salt.
  6. Use your hands to combine the mixture. Add the flour, if needed, to help the mixture hold its shape. Shape the mixture into balls or croquettes and refrigerate for 15–20minutes.
  7. Heat 2.5 cm of oil in a deep, heavy-based frying pan or saucepan to 180°C, or until a cube of bread dropped into the oil turns golden brown in 15 seconds. Cook the fritters in batches for 3–4 minutes per batch, or until golden brown. Remove the fritters using a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Serve the fritters with lime wedges.


  • If you don’t have time to change the soaking water, you can soak the cod in milk for the sameresult. Try adding a cube of mozzarella to the middle of the fritters for a cheesy surprise.
This is Brazil
Fernanda de Paula
Shelley Hepworth
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