Boy, have I been looking forward to preparing these croquetas de bacalao!
I have eaten these salt cod fritters numerous times in restaurants. Especially as a tapas bite next to a good glass of local Spanish wine. You might also come across them under another name: buñuelo de bacalao or salt cod fritters.
My salt cod croquettes contain cooked potatoes.
However sometimes people also add a mixture of potatoes and a thick bechamel type of white sauce. But no matter what they contain, these salt cod fritters always taste great! I have honestly never come across a portion of croquetas de bacalao that wasn’t good.
As long as you make them with love, then you are all set!
So after eating piles of these delicious Spanish treats, I decided to try my hand at making them at home myself. From scratch!
And here is the result: 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.
Make sure to make loads of them. I never seem to make enough of them.
You can always freeze the croquettes for later of course!
Croquetas de Bacalao (Salt Cod Fritters)
I have said it earlier on.
The main ingredients for my salt cod croquette filling are quite simple: salt cod and simple boiled potatoes.
Mash it up well and then season the potato filling 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!
How To Serve Croquetas de Bacalao
I like to serve these fritters as a hot appetizer as a pre dinner bite with a glass of wine. And with a creamy Spanish aioli or garlic mayo as a dipping sauce alongside it. Aioli is the best match for these fish fritters, and it goes extremely well with the salt cod flavor.
What I do is make the fritters in advance, in the morning for instance. 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 seem to love them to bits, believe me! 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 for instance. And of course with another good dollop garlic mayo on the side of course. I like the crunchy light salad and then those warm fritters on top of it.
That’s always a hit here at home!
These salt cod croquettes are super easy to make and also highly addictive!
Have you ever making croquettes from scratch?
I made croquetas de bacalao with salt cod because I just love salt cod. But other croquetas are also very popular here in Spain: 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.
Croquetas de Bacalao Recipe
- 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.