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Buñuelos de bacalao

Salt cod fritters with piquillo pepper sauce

Bacalao, or dried salt cod, plays a prominent role in Spanish cuisine and is delicious and versatile. Here, the salt cod, after an overnight soak, is flaked, formed into fritters and deep-fried. Served solo, with lemon wedges or with a sidekick like garlicky aioli, these little fried nuggets are the perfect finger food.
Adapted from The Food of Spain, by Claudia Roden

Buñuelos de bacalao


  • 9 ounces baking potato, peeled and quartered

  • 2 tablespoons flour

  • ½ pound salt cod, soaked overnight

  • ½ teaspoon baking powder

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 4 to 5 tablespoons beer

  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley

  • 2 cloves garlic, mashed to a paste

  • Oil for frying


  1. Boil the potatoes in salted water until soft. Drain and mash.

  2. Remove any skin or bones from the cod. Poach the cod for 2 minutes, then drain. When it’s cool enough to handle, finely shred with your fingers.

  3. Mix the cod and potatoes in a bowl, and add salt and pepper to taste. Add the eggs, garlic, flour, baking powder, beer, and parsley and beat very well. Let rest for 2 hours in the fridge.

  4. In a wide skillet, heat ½ inch of oil to 350ºF (until a small piece of bread sizzles when you drop it in but does not brown too quickly).

  5. Drop small portions, about 2 tablespoons, of the cod mixture in the oil, in batches, and cook over medium heat until the little fritters are golden, turning them over once.

  6. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fritters as they are done to paper towels to drain.

  7. Salt the fritters and serve with Piquillo sauce.

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