Black Cod Fritters

This follows the technique for making the famous Spanish Bacalao which uses salt cod that first must be soaked and rinsed several times. Using black cod simplifies the process. Here bite size fish cakes, dipped into rich, spicy, aioli make a great tapas style appetizer. Recipe from our friend and James Beard Award-winning chef, John Ash.

Serves 6


  • 1 1/4 pounds medium floury potatoes such as Yukon Gold or Russet
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 6 green onions finely chopped
  • 1-pound black cod fillet
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon lemon or to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • 3 cups dried white breadcrumbs such as panko
  • Olive oil, for shallow frying
  • Smoked paprika aioli (recipe follows)
  • Lemon wedges and fresh herbs, to serve


Cook the potatoes, unpeeled, in a pan of lightly salted boiling water for about 25 minutes or until tender. Drain. As soon as they are cool enough to handle, peel the potatoes, then mash with a fork or use a potato masher.

Pour the milk into a pan, add half the onions and bring to a simmer. Add the black cod and poach very gently for 10 minutes, or until it flakes easily. Remove and drain the cod and flake it with a fork into a bowl, discarding any bones and skin.

Add 4 tablespoons of mashed potato to the cod and beat them together with a wooden spoon. Work in the olive oil, then gradually add the remaining mashed potato. Beat in the remaining green onions and the parsley. Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper to your taste. Add egg to the mixture and mix it until thoroughly combined. Chill until firm.

Shape the chilled fish mixture into 12-18 balls, then gently flatten into small round cakes. Coat each one in flour, then dip in the remaining beaten egg and coat with dried breadcrumbs. Chill until ready to fry.

Heat about 3/4-inch oil in a large, heavy frying pan. Add the fritters and cook over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes. Turn them over and cook for another 3 minutes until crisp and golden. Drain on paper towels and serve with the aioli, lemon wedges and herbs.

Smoked Paprika Aioli

Makes about 3/4 cup

  • 4 large blanched garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon or so olive oil
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika or to taste
  • Lemon juice to taste
  • Salt and drops of hot sauce to taste

Mash the garlic thoroughly with the side of a chef’s knife and stir in with the rest of the ingredients until smooth. Store refrigerated for at least 1 hour to allow flavors to blend before using.

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