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There is much debate between the Spanish and Portuguese as to who has the better cod fritters; we don’t want to ruffle any feathers and we’re not choosing sides, but we will say that these cod fritters are amazing! When we order them in restaurants, there’s always a moment of sheer confusion as to how these little bites came about; they’re filled with potato and fish and then fried in oil, so how are these things so light and fluffy?! Well, we’ve found out how and we’re sharing the magic with you!

Spanish Cod Fritters

Yields 2 dozen


  • 10 oz. salt cod, skinned, boned and chopped
  • 1 white onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 medium potato, diced (Yukon Gold)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • vegetable oil


  1. Place the cod under cold, running water to remove surface salt. Soak cod, covered, in a large bowl of cold water for 24 hours, changing water every 8 hours.
  2. Drain fish and transfer to a medium saucepan. Add the chopped onion and bay leaf and cover with 2-3 inches of water.
  3. Bring mixture to a boil, then let simmer over medium-low heat for 10-12 minutes, or until fish is flaky.
  4. Use a slotted spoon to remove cod to a plate and set aside. Leave onion and bay leaf in the water.
  5. Bring water back up to a boil and add diced potato. Cook until fork tender, about 10 minutes, then drain water and discard bay leaf.
  6. Combine potato, onion, cod and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large bowl and mash them all together until you form a thick paste.
  7. Add in parsley and minced garlic, season with salt and pepper and mix well.
  8. In a separate saucepan (or after rinsing out the one you were using) over medium heat, bring milk up to a low boil and slowly stir in flour. It will be lumpy– continue stirring.
  9. Once smooth, remove from heat (still stirring so mixture cools), and beat in eggs, one at a time until completely incorporated.
  10. Stir in cod and potato mixture and mix well.
  11. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, bring 2-3 inches of frying oil up to 350º F.
  12. Use 2 spoons to shape your fritters, then gently lower them into the hot oil. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through, flipping fritters over so they cook evenly.
  13. Continue with remaining fritters, then remove with a slotted spoon and set aside on a paper bag (or paper towel-lined plate) to drain.
  14. Serve immediately.

Recipe adapted from Leite’s Culinaria

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