Codfish Balls

This image courtesy of Tom Eckerle

Makes12 codfish balls, or 4 to 6 codfish cakes

Cooking Methodfrying


Total Timea day or more

OccasionBuffet, Family Get-together, game day

Recipe Coursehot appetizer, main course


Taste and Texturerich, salty


  • 1 cup salt cod, shredded (about ½ pound)
  • 1 cup hand-mashed boiled potatoes
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • Freshly milled black pepper
  • ¼ cup milk plus additional milk for soaking the salt cod
  • Dried unseasoned bread crumbs
  • Lard or vegetable oil


  1. Soak the cod in cold water to cover for 12 hours, changing the water two or three times.

  2. Soak the fish in milk to cover for another 6 hours.

  3. In a bowl, shred the fish and mash together with the potatoes.

  4. Combine with 1 of the eggs and pepper to taste. Shape the mixture into walnut – sized balls.

  5. In a shallow bowl, combine the remaining 2 eggs with the ¼ cup milk. Place the bread crumbs in another shallow bowl.

  6. Dip each ball in the egg and milk mixture and roll in the bread crumbs. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

  7. Fill a large skillet with 1½ inches of melted lard or oil. Set over moderately high heat.

  8. When the oil just begins to simmer, add as many balls as will fit without touching.

  9. Fry quickly, turning, until golden brown.

  10. Drain on paper towels and cover to keep warm.

  11. Fry the remaining balls and serve hot.


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I used swai and didn't soak the fish before hand. I really liked this recipe and would make again. Here is my blog post on it:

This recipe left out one vital step --- even after soaking the salt cod overnight in water and then for 6 hours in milk --- IT STILL NEEDS TO BE POACHED IN SIMMERING WATER FOR AT LEAST 6 TO 10 MINUTES !!!! Thank heavens I didn't serve this to company ----the texture was good but it tasted like pure saltwater. Hope you can correct this !!! Carol


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