Chunky Portuguese cod fritters

Chunky cod fritters with aïoli

  • serves 4 as a starter
  • Easy

Pastéis de bacalhau are served everywhere in Portugal, from cafés to restaurants and school canteens. This version comes from London's TĀ TĀ Eatery and can be made in advance and frozen, so they're ready for a snack or unexpected guests


Try these salt cod fritters then check out more Portuguese recipes.



  • Maris Piper potatoes 200g
  • skinless cod fillet 250g
  • milk for poaching
  • coriander chopped to make 2 tbsp
  • shallot 1 large (about 50g), finely chopped
  • port 3 tbsp
  • nutmeg a grating
  • eggs 3
  • plain flour 2 tbsp, plus more for dusting
  • panko breadcrumbs 150g
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • lemon cheeks or wedges to serve


  • egg yolks 2
  • Dijon mustard 15g
  • lemon 1, zested and juiced
  • garlic 1 clove, crushed
  • vegetable oil 400ml


  • Step 1

    To make the aïoli, whizz the egg yolks, mustard, lemon zest and juice, and garlic, in a small blender. With the motor still running, slowly add the oil: drop by drop to begin with, then, when the emulsion starts to thicken, gradually increase the amount of oil you’re pouring. The result should be thick and smooth. Season well with salt and cover. Keep in the fridge for up to 2 days.

  • Step 2

    Boil the potatoes whole with the skin on. Drain, leave to cool until you can touch them, and peel (you should be able to do this with your fingers). Cut half of the potatoes into small cubes, and mash the other half with a fork. Leave to cool completely.

  • Step 3

    Cover the cod in milk, in a pan, and poach for a few minutes, until cooked. Drain and flake the cod with your hands.

  • Step 4

    Mix both potatoes, cod, coriander, shallots, and port in a bowl and season with 2 tsp of fine salt, a good grinding of pepper and a small grating of nutmeg. Add 1 beaten egg and 2 tbsp of flour to bind the mixture together. Form the mixture into 8 squares or balls or quenelles by hand, and chill for 30 minutes, to firm up.

  • Step 5

    Beat the remaining 2 eggs in a bowl, and the panko crumbs in another. Dust the chilled fritters with flour, then coat in the egg and the crumbs. Heat 3cm-4cm of oil in a large frying pan, until hot but not smoking. Fry the fritters for a few minutes on each side until golden, crisp, and cooked through. Scoop out of the oil and drain on kitchen paper. Serve the fritters with a dollop of aïoli and a cheek or wedge of lemon.

Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 699
  • Fat 45.5g
  • Saturates 4.7g
  • Carbs 43.9g
  • Sugars 4.5g
  • Fibre 2.6g
  • Protein 24g
  • Salt 3.4g