Bolinhos Bacalhau – Salt Cod Cakes

One of the most emblematic portuguese dishes that you are able to find in any cafe or restaurant without season restrains. It’s a flag dish from the Minho cuisine and especially for Porto city. Known as “bolinhos de bacalhau” in the North of Portugal and named “pasteis de bacalhau” in the Centre and South of the country.

An excellent recipe for codfish leftovers, therefore one that is always on my mind for Christmas Day or the day after.

Ingredients for 4 people:
250 g desalted salt cod
200 g potatoes
1/2 onion
1 tbsp of fresh parsley
15 ml of Port wine
3 to 4 eggs
Salt
Pepper
Nutmeg
Oil to deep fry

How to:
1. Boil the potatoes until fork tender.
2. Peel the boiled potatoes; use a fork or a food processor to mash the potatoes.
3. Poach the salt cod in water for 5 minutes.
4. Remove skin and bones from the boiled salt cod.
5. Shred the cod with your hands, with a help of a kitchen cloth, or you can even use a kitchen pestle.
6. Chop the onion.
7. Chop the fresh parsley.
8. In a bowl combine the mashed potatoes, cod, chopped onion, chopped parsley, Port wine. Season with salt, fresh ground black pepper and grated nutmeg.
9. Add the eggs one at a time. The number of eggs will change accordingly with the quality of the potatoes.
10. With the help of two soup spoons form the cakes, and deep-fry them in oil.

pasteis_massa

codfishfritters_deepfry

codfish_pasteis

Serve the bolinhos de bacalhau with a green salad and a beans rice for a complete meal. Or simple as tapas or a snack.

You can also find them in the Brazilian cuisine, one of many Portuguese recipes that was merged into other cultures. It’s named “bolinhos de bacalhau” , but the way of doing it changes slightly: the desalted salt cod is used raw, and the mixture is done only with egg yolks, the whites are whisked into stiff peaks and then folded gently into the mixture.

Bom Proveito! (Enjoy it!)

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