Salt Cod Potato Cakes


This recipe for Salt Cod Potato Cakes is from episode 3 of Fish the Dish starring Spencer Watts.

Serves: 6


  • 1/2 lb (225 g) Skinless, boneless salt cod, rinsed
  • 1 cup (250 ml) Milk
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) Parsley, chopped
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 8 Garlic cloves
  • 1 lb (450 g) Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 1 Large shallot, minced
  • 1 tsp Dried red chillies
  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Large egg yolk
  • 4 Tbsp Butter
  • 1 ½ cups (375 ml) Fine breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup (125ml) Parmesan (mix in with breadcrumbs)
  • 1 cup (250 ml) All-purpose flour
  • 5 Tbsp Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 2 Large eggs
  • Bacon jam
  • Orange zest for garnish


  1. In a medium bowl, cover the salt cod with cold water and soak in the refrigerator for 24 hours or for up to 2 days. Change the water at least three times over that time frame.
  2. Place milk, 1 Tbsp of the parsley, bay leaf, and three cloves of garlic, smashed, into a deep pan. Drain the salt cod from the water and pat dry.  Place the cod in the pan so that it is mostly submerged in the milk. Simmer over low heat for 20 minutes, until the fish flakes with a fork.
  3. Cook your potatoes in salted boiling water.
  4. Mash cooked potatoes to a coarse mash.
  5. Mince remaining 5 cloves of garlic and place in a pan with minced shallot, chilies in a pan with oil.   Cook until softened.
  6. Add garlic and shallots and chilies to the mashed potatoes.
  7. Add butter and cod to the mixture and stir to combine. Add a splash of the milk the cod was cooked in.
  8. Add egg yolk to bind ingredients together. Stir mixture until blended. Scoop out to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and spread with a spatula. Sprinkle some breadcrumbs, and parmesan over top.
  9. Refrigerate the mixture until chilled, at least 30 minutes.
  10. Preheat the oil to 375 ° F/190 °C
  11. Place chilled mixture into a bowl, add remaining chopped parsley and stir to bring all the ingredients together.
  12. Whisk two eggs in a bowl.
  13. Put flour in one shallow bowl, and breadcrumbs in another. Coat hands with flour and form into 1 inch cakes with chilled cod mixture. Dredge the cakes in flour, dip them in the beaten eggs, and coat with the breadcrumbs.
  14. Working in 2 batches, fry the cod cakes over high heat, turning once or twice until golden all over (about 4 minutes). Drain on paper towel-lined plate. Season lightly with salt once removed from the oil.
  15. Transfer to a platter and top with store bought bacon jam. Garnish with orange zest.