Recipe from Portugal! The Portuguese Fish Cakes recipe has been in my family for as long as I can remember. They are easy to make and all you need is a little time to put them together.
They are so good that I had the first 10 so it took me forever to take the picture because I kept eating my Portuguese Fish Cakes. I admit they take a little time to prepare but are completely worth it.
Fish Cakes are very popular in many cultures and many use specific fish in the region. In Portugal, fish cakes are made with salted cod. They could also be called potato fish cakes but my family calls them Bolinhos de bacalhau along with the rest of Portugal.
We always make these during Christmas which is very popular and also for special occasions. It is the one thing that I look forward to when I come home or visit Portugal but I have to tell you, this is my mom's recipe and I think hers are the best!
Step by Step - Portuguese Fish Cakes
The recipe may take an hour and a half to make but it makes about 32 Portuguese Fish Cakes. Before you make the fish cakes you will need to soak the salt cod in cold water for 24 hours and change the water 2 to 3 times. Keep in the refrigerator overnight.
1. Peel and cut potatoes in cube size to boil the potatoes.
2. Chop the parsley finely.
5. Boil the potatoes for about 30 to 40 minutes and right before they are done put the cod fish in the pot and reduce heat to cook for about 8 minutes. The cod will fall apart and that is when I know it is done.
6. Remove potatoes and cod and drain the water completely. Remove the skin and bones from the fish and mix to together while mashing down to get rid of the water.
8. Using two tablespoon spoons and shape the fish cakes into a torpedo shape. Watch the video for how it’s made.
We also use chopped shrimp and replace the cod fish which is equally delicious. I love mini shrimp cakes just as much as fish cakes.
Ways to Serve
One of the things that is extremely popular in Portuguese culture, is Porto Wine which is commonly served with Portuguese Fish Cakes. It is a sweeter wine and Jeff's favorite! I usually serve a salad and will have different cheese plates along with olives. It's a perfect dish for a gathering on a Sunday afternoon. The fish cakes can be made in advance and served cold or just warm up 5 minutes in the oven.
Tip & Tricks
I buy vegetable oil and add a tablespoon of olive oil so it won't smoke when frying. I use my cast iron skillet to fry anything just because I like the way it evens the heat while cooking.
MORE RECIPES from Portugal
TRAVEL GUIDE to Portugal
Portuguese Fish Cakes
- 1.5 lb salt cod fish
- 1.5 lb potatoes
- 1 ½ cup onion finely chopped
- 1 cup parsley chopped
- ¼ cup garlic finely chopped
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- Vegetable oil for deep frying
- Lemons sliced
- Peel and cut potatoes in cube size to boil the potatoes.
- Chop the parsley finely.
- Chop the onion finely.
- Chop garlic very finely.
- Boil the potatoes for about 30 to 40 minutes and right before they are done put the cod fish in the pot and reduce heat to cook for about 8 minutes. The cod will fall apart and that is when I know it is done.
- Remove potatoes and cod and drain water completely. Remove the skin and bones from the fish.
- Once cool to the touch, mash the potatoes and cod together and use a potato masher to press down and remove all excess water. Do not use a food processor or blender to maintain a certain consistency.
- In a large bowl add the onions, parsley, garlic along with the mashed potatoes and cod and 2 beaten eggs. Mix thoroughly.
- Using two tablespoon spoons and shape the fish cakes into a torpedo shape. Watch the video for how it’s made.
- Fry the fish cakes for 2 minutes on each side until golden brown.
- Drain them on a plate lined with a paper towel.
- Serve hot with a few wedges of lemon.
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