Boy, have I been looking forward to preparing these croquetas de bacalao. My very first batch of homemade croquetas ever! I promise this to you right now: you will taste one croquette and you will want to go on forever. These Spanish croquetas de bacalao flavor bombs are highly addictive.
Croquetas de Bacalao
The main ingredients for the croquette filling are quite simple: salt cod and boiled potatoes. Mash it up well and season to taste. You can make the mixture very smooth and soft. Or mash the potatoes finely and then keep the salt cod more chunky because that will add more texture and extra bite to the fritters. It’s totally up to you!
I like to serve these fritters as an appetizer right before dinner, with a creamy Spanish aioli or garlic mayo as a dipping sauce. Aioli is the best match for these fish fritters, and it goes extremely well with the salt cod flavor. I like to make the fritters in advance, roll them into small balls and put them in the fridge to chill. And then I deep fry them once all my guests have arrived and enjoy their drinks.
It never takes long before that plate of fritters is empty again. Even the fish haters love them to bits! Or is it because they put too much garlic mayo on the fritters to hide the fish flavor, lol. Another way to serve these croquettes is with a green salad, for lunch. And also with some garlic mayo on the side of course. I like the crunchy light salad and then those warm fritters on top of it. Always a hit here at home!
I made croquetas de bacalao with salt cod because I just love salt cod but other croquetas are also very popular: with (cured) ham, salmon, mushrooms, blue cheese… or simply leftovers.
Do you love to make croquettes at home?
Then also check out my homemade shrimp croquettes! It’s my personal take on the Belgian brown shrimp croquette or garnaalkroket in Flemish. However I use prawns instead. Try it!
- 9 oz potatoes (250 g), peeled
- 1 lb salt cod (450 g), fresh or frozen
- 2 large garlic cloves chopped
- a handful fresh herbs parsley, chives, coriander, tarragon, dill
- 5 tbsp breadcrumbs or panko (optional)
- 1 large egg
- frying oil
Put the salt cod in a baking dish (or another large container) and add cold water until the fish is fully submerged. Let the cod soak for at least 8 hours in the fridge. Refresh the water once.
Then discard the water. Remove any skin or bones first. Dice the cod.Once the salt cod has soaked enough, get rid of the water and squeeze the excess water out of the fish. Then check the fish carefully and remove any skin or fishbones first. Chop the cod into small dice.
Place a large pan with salted water over high heat until boiling. Chop the potatoes into small bits and add them together with the garlic to the boiling water.
- Cook the potatoes and garlic for 8 minutes until tender. Then remove them using a slotted spoon. Transfer this to a large mixing bowl.
Now add the diced salt cod to the hot water and poach the fish for 3 to 4 minutes. Then pour the cod and the poaching liquid through a sieve and let it drain a bit.
In the meantime mash the potatoes and garlic. Also add the poached cod to the bowl and season with a good pinch of pepper and salt. Mash them up until you get a smooth puree.
Stir well. Add the egg and chopped herbs.
Stir well. Check the seasoning and add extra pepper or salt to taste. At this point you can cover the mixture and let it chill in the fridge for a few hours. Then form little balls from this mixture. You can use 2 spoons and make quenelles or use your hands. I made 21 balls of 1 oz (30 g) each.
Place the balls on a clean plate, cover lightly with cling film and put this in the fridge for at least 1 hour. You can coat the fritters lightly with breadcrumbs if you like (optional). Then deep fry the croquetas de bacalao in hot oil (in batches if necessary) until golden. Serve hot.