Last updated on 01-Dec-2021
Out of the many dishes made with salted cod in Portuguese cuisine, the simple-but-delicious Pataniscas de Bacalhau (Salted Cod Fritters) are a great option to round up an easy meal when accompanied by some creamy Rice with Beans (Arroz de Feijão) and a fresh salad. Humble, homey and family-style, total comfort food, and I LOVE it!
If you are in Portugal (or have been), you may recognize the name and know these are some tasty treats. And if you haven’t tried them, you don’t know what you’re missing!
I find pataniscas very hard to resist. I’ve ordered them at many restaurants and then tried a few recipes at home, tweaking and adjusting until getting to the version I’m sharing below, which is up there with the best we’ve had so far.
They are best when served hot, right after frying – light and fluffy on the inside, and crispy golden on the outside – but if you have leftovers, the best way to reheat and crisp them up again is to place them in the air fryer for a couple of minutes (an oven or toaster oven will work too, but not as well). They are very satisfying with chunks of cod, fresh specks of parsley, and pair up nicely with a drizzle of lemon and/or a dash of hot sauce.
This recipe makes about 12 large fritters to serve as a main dish, but you can also make mini pataniscas to serve as a yummy snack or appetizer. I’m sure they will be a hit! They are also quite easy to prepare – just be careful and don’t let the oil get too hot, or the fritters (especially the larger ones) may brown on the outside and stay raw on the inside.
For some additional yummy variations, note that the same dough can be used as a base for pataniscas with shrimp (use small shrimp, deveined and shells removed), tuna (canned, drained), shredded chicken, and/or vegetables such as zucchini (courgette), grated carrots, chopped fresh mushrooms, spinach, etc.
I’m sure you’ll love these pataniscas, so when you try these (don’t forget the Rice with Beans!), come back and let us know in the comments. Or share pictures and tag @vivahappyblog on Instagram and Facebook. We’d love to see them! 🙂
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Salted Cod Fritters (Pataniscas de Bacalhau)
- Electric mixer
- 350 g salted cod pre-soak to remove excess salt and shred into small pieces
- 1 onion medium or ½ large, grated
- 3 tbsp parsley finely chopped
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup beer 120ml or 4oz
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- black pepper ground, to taste
- vegetable oil enough to deep fry
- In a large bowl, mix the pre-soaked and shredded cod (small pieces) with the grated onion and the chopped parsley.
- Separate the yolks from the egg whites, add the yolks to the cod mixture and reserve the whites in a medium bowl.
- Add the beer to the cod and mix well.
- Then add the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper and mix again.
- Beat the egg whites into firm peaks and gently fold in the dough. Let the mixture rest for a few minutes.
- Heat the oil (180°C / 350°F) in a large skillet. Add large spoonfuls of dough to the oil, and let them fry until golden on both sides, turning as needed.
- Remove the fritters from the oil when ready and drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Repeat with remaining dough until finished.
- Transfer to a serving platter, sprinkle with more chopped parsley, add some lemon wedges, and enjoy!
- The recipe yields about 12 large fritters to serve as a main dish, and they go very well with the traditional Rice with Beans and a simple salad.
- You can make mini pataniscas by frying smaller portions of dough and serving them as snacks/appetizers.
- The same dough can be used as a base for pataniscas with shrimp (use small shrimp, deveined and shells removed), tuna (canned, drained), shredded chicken, and/or vegetables such as zucchini (courgette), grated carrots, chopped fresh mushrooms, spinach, etc.
- Don't let the oil get too hot, or the fritters (especially the larger ones) may brown on the outside and stay raw on the inside.