Pataniscas de Bacalhau

Pataniscas de bacalhau close up

Codfish… The love that the Portuguese have for this fish is no secret. Our cuisine is full of cod recipes (see our Bacalhau à Brás or Pasteis de Bacalhau), that serve all tastes: grilled, boiled, roasted, fried and even raw!

The one we bring you today is one of those that, in addition to being simple, is very versatile, as it can be served as a Petisco or as a Main Course, in this case accompanied by tomato or bean rice.

Raw codfish

This recipe starts with the preparation of a simple batter, mixing flour, egg and sparkling water (which you can substitute for beer, for a special touch…).

After the base is completed, it’s time to add flavor to the batter, which we achieve by adding chopped garlic, onion and parsley. We mix it all together to get a batter as homogeneous as possible.

Parsley being chopped

In parallel, we cook the cod (no more than 5 minutes!) and shred/chip it as soon as it cools down a bit. Next, by adding the cod to the batter we finish the preparation phase.

Now, is time to fry these little wonders…

After covering the bottom of a frying pan with oil and olive oil, and with the help of a spoon, we are going to fry small portions of our mixture, on both sides, until golden.

To finish we sprinkle chopped parsley and squeeze some lemon on top.

Then, it’s time to enjoy this delicacy! Accompanied with some “malandrinho” rice (that’s how we call our juicy rice…) or together with other Petiscos, Pataniscas de Bacalhau will be a success at your table! We have no doubts about that…

Pataniscas de bacalhau com arroz de feijão

As with most of Portuguese recipes, Pataniscas de Bacalhau has some variants that you can explore for yourself.

When preparing the batter, you can choose to:

  • Replace (or supplement) the use of sparkling water with beer or milk;
  • Separate the yolk and from the egg white. In this case, the egg white, after being beaten to a stiff peak, is added to the batter when all the other ingredients have already been mixed. Wrap it only, so as not to lose the velvety that the beaten egg white brings to the Pataniscas de Bacalhau.

Now that you know the basics, why not try a hands-on cooking class with us, at Homecooking Lisbon, and became a “master” in the art of preparing Pataniscas de Bacalhau?! Check our Traditional Portuguese Cooking Class or Portuguese Petiscos Cooking Class to learn this ancient recipe by heart!

Several Petiscos on a table

Pataniscas de bacalhau close up

Pataniscas de Bacalhau (Codfish Fritters)

Homecooking Lisbon
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course, Petiscos
Cuisine Estremadura
Servings 4 people


  • Frying pan


  • 250 g codfish 1 portion ("posta")
  • 1 onion small chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped
  • 100 g flour
  • 100 ml cold sparkling water
  • 1 egg
  • olive oil
  • oil
  • 2 tbsp parsley
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste


  • In a pan, cook the codfish in water for 5 minutes;
  • Shredd the codfish in small portions;
  • In a bowl, prepare the batter by mixing the flour, egg and sparkling water. Whisk everything together until you reach a smooth batter;
  • Add the chopped onion, garlic, parsley and shredded codfish to the batter. Season to taste with salt and pepper;
  • Cover the bottom of a frying pan with olive oil and oil and heat it up;
  • With the help of a spoon, fry small portions of the batter until golden brown on both sides. Fry until the batter is over and add oil and olive oil as needed;
  • Serve fried, hot or at room temperature, with lemon and sprinkled parsley on top.


Pataniscas de bacalhau may be served with no side, as a Petisco, or together with some beans rice or tomato rice, as a Main Course.
Keyword Codfish, Egg, Parsley

One Comment In This Topic

  1. 5 stars
    You can’t eat just one or two…
    As a meal or snack, it’s so good!

    And easy to make. I’ll use this recipe to impress friends in my next get together 😉

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