Pasteis de Bacalhau are one of the most popular foods in traditional portuguese cuisine. Pasteis de Bacalhau ( Cod Fritters), are usually eaten as a snack or an appetizer. they are made with salted cod, potato, onion and lots of parsley, and if that didn't convince you yet… its fried!
These very popular fritters are seen and sold in every cafe around portugal, and even the portuguese cafes in the united states!
While it might be easier to buy some, nothing beats homemade Pasteis de Bacalhau! They are very simple to make and i promise it's worth dealing with the smell of cod fish for a few days..
Pasteis de Bacalhau can be eaten as an accompaniment to a delicious plate of rice, like this one.
20 oz. (600 g) salted cod fish
30 oz. (800 g) potatoes
4 medium eggs, seperated
¼ cup (100ml) olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pinch nutmeg
½ cup chopped parsley
salt & pepper
Vegetable Oil for frying
In a bowl, cover the salted cod with cold water, and let it soak for 2 days, changing the water every 8 hours (about 4/5 times)
Boil the potatoes in water with salt for about 20/ 25 minutes, drain and mash them well.
In another pot, boil the cod until tender. Drain, let it cool and flake as small as you can with your hands, making sure all skin and bones are removed.
On a large saucepan, sauté the onions and garlic in a little olive oil, just to sweat the onions, add the flaked cod and let it simmer for about 5 minutes, mixing it occasionally.
Then add the mashed potatoes, nutmeg, parsley and mix it well. Check seasoning, add pepper & salt if needed. Add the yolks one by one.
Beat the egg whites and add them to the potatoes / cod mixture and mix it well.
Pour the oil in a deep heavy skillet or pot and place it on high heat.
Dip 2 tablespoons into oil and shape the pasteis using 2 spoons as if you were making quenelles (egg shape). The mixture will be quite soft. (At this point you can freeze them up to a month.)
Add the pasteis one by one, turning them over until golden brown about 2/3 minutes
When done, remove and place them on a plate with a paper towel to drain any excess of oil.
Makes about 25/30 pasteis