Light! Fluffy! Crispy! These little, yummy morsels will have you searching out salt cod at your supermarket and be happy you did. Salt cod croquettes have been the hit of the party every time I’ve made them, and with good reason! I’ve recently switched to a gluten-free batter so now everyone can enjoy them.
The first time I made these salt cod croquettes was several years ago. I was having a party and had lots of good friends and family over. I had found a recipe for Salt Cod Fritters online and couldn’t wait to try it!
I had a pile of other nibbles already out and started frying up the fritters. By the time I finished frying up the second batch, the first batch was gone. And I hadn’t even tried any! I made sure to snag a few from the second batch before I put them out to the hungry hordes. But I knew I had a keeper and one which would do good service at many gatherings in the future.
In the years since that first time, I’ve found out that I can fry the croquettes ahead of time and put them in the oven to warm them up. Which is great for two reasons.
- I get to eat some croquettes before everyone else descends.
- I don’t need to fry while I’m having my party.
Because who wants to be standing over hot oil while your guests are there?
Not me! Make things ahead is my motto. And not a bad motto to have if you are entertaining. 🙂
Another motto I have, since I have friends who are gluten-free, is to switch to gluten-free flours when I can. As I know from my Gluten-Free Shrimp Fritters, rice flour is wonderful in fritters and croquettes. So I switched to rice from flour and gave it a test. Thumbs up all around from the family! And the batter worked just the same as I was used to.
This is the recipe I made at my most recent Christmas party last year. I made them ahead and stirred in the rice flour, and recrisped them in the oven once my guests arrived. Everyone could enjoy and I wasn’t standing over a pot of hot oil during the party. Win/Win. 🙂
– Happy Eating, Annemarie
Light, fluffy, and crispy! These Spanish salt cod croquettes with aioli are bite-sized fish fritters perfect for a tapas party. As an added bonus, they can be made ahead and then just reheated in the oven!
- 10 oz salt cod
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 medium (8 oz) yellow potato, diced to 1/2 inch
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 5 tbsp rice flour
- 2 large eggs
- vegetable oil, for frying
You will need to soak the salt cod for 24-48 hours before making the croquettes. Rinse the salt cod thoroughly and then put it in cold water to cover and seal the container. Change the water several times during the soaking period. You can taste the cod to see if it's sufficiently desalted. Once it's done soaking, drain the cod and continue with the recipe. If the cod is done and you're not ready, just put the drained cod back in the refrigerator.
When you are ready to make the batter, put the cod in a medium saucepan and add enough water to cover the cod by 1-2 inches. Add the bay leaf and bring the water to a simmer over medium low heat. Let the cod simmer for 10-12 minutes, or until you can easily flake the cod with a fork. Drain the cod and set aside until it's cooled enough for you to handle. Once the cod is cool enough, pick through the cod to remove any bones or skin, and then add it to a food processor and pulse until it is finely shredded.
In the same saucepan, bring the potatoes to a boil and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and mash the potato in a large bowl. Add the shredded cod, garlic, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper as needed to your taste.
Once again in the same saucepan, add the water and oil and bring to a boil over medium heat. Sprinkle the rice flour into the water while stirring constantly. Keep stirring until the batter is smooth. (You can also use a whisk. I have found that a whisk makes for a smoother batter. However, the batter will get stuck in the whisk and need to be shaken out.) Take the saucepan off the heat and let it cool for a few minutes while you continue to stir. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring each in until fully combined. Now it's time to add the cod. Add it in and combine thoroughly. Let the batter cool to room temperature.
To fry the croquettes, fill a high-sided pot with about 3 inches of vegetable oil and heat over medium heat until the oil reaches 350F. Adjust the heat as needed to keep the oil near 350F. Add batter by the spoonful to the oil and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer the croquettes to a towel lined plate and, either eat immediately, or move them to a cooling rack set over a baking sheet. When you are ready to eat, heat them in a 350F oven until hot and crisp.
- Adapted from Spanish Salt Cod Fritters by Leite's Culinaria
- If gluten isn't a problem for you, you can replace the rice flour with all-purpose flour.
- I've made both versions over the years and they've always been a hit whenever I put them out.
- Absolutely use a food processor to shred the cod. Theoretically, you can use a cloth and rub the cod in the cloth to shred it. I tried it once when my processor was dirty. I washed the processor.
- The saucepan I use to cook the cod has a steamer basket that fits over the top. I will often steam the potatoes at the same time I'm cooking the cod.
- I use my #100 disher to portion out the croquettes. This disher makes rounded teaspoons and small croquettes.
- I have made the croquettes without waiting for the batter to cool. It works just fine either way.
- If you are making them ahead, once cool transfer them to a sealed container and put them in the fridge until you are ready to reheat them.