In Brazil, parties go on for hours and people don't like to sit down and have a full meal. Brazilians strike a great balance between drinking and eating, which means that people can prolong their gatherings. They like to socialise, so canapés are a great option: you get the whole party going and people just nibble. Bolinho de bacalhau, or cod fritters, are a national favourite and can be found at bars, markets and street stalls all over the country. You can find cured codfish in most delis.






Skill level

Average: 2.7 (23 votes)


  • 300 g salted codfish
  • 1 lime, sliced, cheeks reserved to serve
  • 1 litre (4 cups) vegetable stock
  • dash of white wine
  • 200 g potatoes
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp plain flour or cornflour
  • vegetable oil, to deep-fry

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Resting time 15 minutes

Soaking time 12 hours

You will need to begin this recipe 1 day ahead.

Soak cod for 12 hours overnight, changing the water at least once. (If you don’t have time to change the water, soak in milk for the same results.)

Preheat oven to 180°C. Place codfish in a roasting pan. Top with lime slices. Pour in stock and a dash of wine. Poach in oven for 20 minutes or until cooked. When cool enough to handle, peel away and discard skin. Break fish in half and remove the spine. Use fingers to shred fish into a large bowl, removing and discarding any bones.

Meanwhile, boil potatoes in a medium saucepan until tender. Drain, then mash. Add to codfish. Add coriander.

Heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium. Cook onion for 3 minutes or until soft. Add to fish mixture.

Separate egg and add yolk to fish mixture. Use a fork to whisk egg white in a small bowl to loosen. Add to fish mixture, along with a pinch of salt. Use hands to combine. If mixture is too wet, add flour to help bind it together. Shape into balls or croquettes and rest for 15-20 minutes.

Add enough oil to a deep frying pan to reach a depth of 2-3 cm. Heat to 180°C. Fry fritters, in batches, for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper towel. Serve with lime cheeks.



• You can add a cube of mozzarella to the middle of the fritters for a delicious gooey surprise.

• This recipe is ideal for making in advance and freezing. Simply fry straight from the freezer and serve!