Bolinhos de bacalhau, which literally means cod balls, are the most delicious fish cakes you'll ever have. They are a typical dish representative of the rich and varied Brazilian cuisine. In Brazil, they are available everywhere and they're just perfect to serve during family gatherings. Here's a tip: Serve them as a snack paired with a refreshing caipirinha and you will be the envy of your friends.

Just a warning: these cod balls are addictive. See more below for this wonderful recipe. It's worth it all the work. I'm sure you'll love it.


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Salted Cod and Potato Balls
Makes 24 balls

Ingredients for the cod:
12 oz of salted cod fillets
1 quart of milk

Preparation of the cod:

1. In a bowl, place the cod and add water to cover it. Soak the cod overnight, changing the water at least 4 times. 

2. Drain the cod. Fill the bowl with the milk and soak the cod, covered and refrigerated, for 6 more hours.

3. Drain the cod, discard the milk and pull into small shreds. Reserve.

Ingredients for the balls:
2 medium russet potatoes 
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons of olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup of onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup of tomato, finely chopped
1/4 cup of flar parsley, chopped
1/4 teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper
1 eggs lightly beaten
1 tablespoon of milk
1 cup of bread crumbs
3 cups of frying oil


1. Put the potatoes to boil in water with salt. Once boiling, reduce the heat and simmer for 18 minutes.

2. Drain the potatoes and with a fork make a coarse puree. Reserve.

3. In a skillet over medium heat, add olive oil and make a sofrito with garlic and onion. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, parsley and pepper and cook for 5 minutes.

4. Add the cod and cook for 3 minutes, stirring to coat in the sauce.

5. Transfer the cod with the sauce to the bowl with the potatoes. Stir. Correct the seasoning, cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.

6. Put the breadcrumbs on a plate.

7. In a bowl mix the egg with the milk.

8. Dip the balls one by one into the egg mixture with milk.

9. Bread the balls with bread crumbs and place in a shallow dish, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate several hours.

10. Just before serving, heat the oil in a pan frying or deep frying pan and fry the balls in groups of 6, until golden.

11. Serve hot.

Image via phandcp/Flickr

Topics: salt cod  brazilian recipe  hispanic heritage month