Pataniscas de Bacalhau – Salt Codfish Cakes
Did you know that there’s an old Portuguese saying?
“There are 365 recipes for Bacalhau – one for each day of the year.”
Try this easy and delicious recipe for Pataniscas (Salt Cod Fish Fritters). They are similar to clam fritters made in New England but these are pan fried into a flat shape.
This recipe brings me back sweet memories of my dear mother who taught me how to make them when I was a little girl. We would make these on Sunday mornings for family trips to the beach or during family trips with a long driving distance. We’d stop half way into the trip at the roadside rest stops to enjoy these along with good Portuguese cheese, presunto, bread, and Portuguese wine.
If you love Bacalhau you’ll love these. They’re so simple yet so good, the intense flavor of the Bacalhau, combined with the sweetness of the onions and parsley in the batter gives this classic a taste, which you’ll crave again and again.
Serve them as an appetizer, or as a main dish with my rice recipe. Oh by the way, make extra because they taste even better the next day! Enjoy!
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1 lb boneless Salt Cod (Bacalhau)
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 small minced onion (or Scallions)
2 teaspoons fresh minced parsley (or 1 tsp dry)
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt to taste
1 cup of cold water from poaching the bacalhau
1/2 teaspoon baking soda optional
1/4 cup Olive oil for frying
1/4 cup Vegetable oil for frying
Hydrate the Cod in water for 1-2 days in cold water in refrigerator changing the water 2 times a day.
Cook the Salt Cod in boiling water for about 5-8 minutes. Let it cool, and then shred it into flakes. Reserve 1 cup of water and let it cool.
In a bowl, mix onion, parsley, bacalhau, flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and the olive oil, and mix well. Beat the eggs with the cold water and add to the bacalhau mix. Stir well to incorporate.
Add more salt and pepper is desired. Note: I like a pancake like texture and appearance so I make a thinner batter. If you like a thicker style flat cake use less water.
In a heavy skillet, add half of both oils to reach 1/4 inch in pan and heat to medium.
Note: (You may use all veg oil, or corn oil if you wish).
Test the oil temp by placing a tiny amount of batter in oil. If batter sizzles it’s ready to fry in. (If you see the oil begin to smoke, lower the heat.)
Spoon silver dollar size pancake batter into pan. Pat them down to cook flat into oval shapes to about 1/4 inch. Cook until golden brown on each side.
Place them onto paper towels or use brown paper lunch bags to absorb any grease. Serve hot or cold….Top with squeezed lemon if desired. Make a double batch because they’re better the next day.
Watch this video for the demonstration. Note that my recipe is slightly different.