Spicy Salt Cod Cakes

Serves 4


  • 6-8 oz salt cod
  • 2-3 quarts whole milk
  • 5 tbsp canola oil, divided
  • ¼ cup onions, chopped
  • ¼ cup celery, chopped
  • ¼ cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup crushed, canned tomatoes
  • ¼ cup parsley & cilantro combined, chopped
  • few pinches of crushed red pepper
  • black pepper for seasoning
  • 1 tsp Portuguese allspice
  • kosher salt for seasoning
  • 2 lightly whisked eggs
  • 1-2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup flour for dredging
  • chopped parsley for garnish (optional)


  1. The day before serving, rinse some of the salt off of salt cod and place in 1 quart of milk in a covered bowl. Refrigerate for 24-48 hours, draining and changing with 1 quart of new milk after every 12 hours
  2. The next day, discard the milk and rinse the cod under cold water. Julienne or dice the fish and set aside
  3. In a sauté pan, heat 3 tbsp oil over medium heat. Add onions, peppers and celery, tomatoes, cilantro, parsley and garlic. Sauté 1-2 minutes
  4. Season with crushed red pepper and Portuguese allspice
  5. Add the cod and sauté for about 4 minutes, breaking up the cod with a wooden spoon. If the cod still seems firm and not soft and flakey, add ¼ cup of juice from the canned tomatoes, and allow to simmer until the most of the liquid has been absorbed
  6. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly before placing into a mixing bowl
  7. Stir in the eggs and breadcrumbs
  8. Form the mixture into 8 cakes, ¼ cup per cake. If the mixture seems wet and will not hold together when formed, add more breadcrumbs
  9. Dredge the cakes in flour; pat off excess flour
  10. In a medium sauté pan, heat the remaining 2 tbsp of canola oil over medium-high heat. Pan-fry the cod cakes in batches, 2 minutes per side. Remove the cakes from the pan and drain on a paper towel-lined plate and serve warm with Laura's Stewed Fava Beans!