Sold in many European delis, salt cod (baccala) needs to be soaked in cold water for 48 hours before being cooked. They are traditionally rolled in day-old breadcrumbs, but this recipe from chef Guy Grossi uses panko crumbs for an extra crispy shell.
- 500 g salt cod (baccala)
- 80 ml (⅓ cup) olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 200 g (1⅓ cup) plain flour
- 200 ml milk
- white pepper, to season
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 150 g panko crumbs (see note)
- vegetable oil, to deep-fry
- lemon wedges, to serve
- aioli, to serve
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.
The following recipe has been tested and edited by SBS Food and may differ slightly from the podcast.
You will need to begin this recipe 2 days ahead.
Soak the salt cod in cold water for 48 hours, changing the water 3–4 times.
Remove the skin and bones from the baccala and chop into 1 cm pieces. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 4–5 minutes until softened but without colouring. Add the baccala and continue to cook for 3 minutes. Add 150 g (1 cup) of the flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the milk, reduce the heat and cook, stirring constantly, for 15–20 minutes until a thick paste forms and the fish has completely broken down. Season lightly with white pepper.
Transfer the mixture to a blender and blend until smooth. Spread onto a tray lined with baking paper and allow to cool.
Place the remaining flour, egg and panko crumbs in three separate dishes. Roll tablespoons of the cooled mixture into logs. Roll the croquettes in flour, then dip in egg and coat in panko crumbs.
Heat 10 cm vegetable oil in a deep saucepan to 170°C.
Deep-fry the croquettes, in batches, for 2–3 minutes until golden brown. Serve immediately with lemon and aioli.
• Panko are Japanese breadcrumbs famed being super crispy. You can find panko crumbs in Asian supermarkets and select supermarkets.
Photography by Alan Benson