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Albondigas de Bacalao

This recipe for Albondigas de Bacalao has been reproduced courtesy of Orce Serrano Hams -

Orce Serrano Hams market a range of authentic Andalucian cured meats, in particular Serrano Hams, olive oils, vinegars and wines. The business is situated in the heart of the Andalucian countryside, which is the home of Serrano Hams, and ships direct from Spain. All of the products are locally produced with many being used in local restaurants and tapas bars where Serrano Ham is a great favourite. If you are looking for a taste of real Spain the Orce Serrano Hams can supply you with it!

If you would like to find out more about Orce Serrano Hams and the Serrano Hams then have a look at the article entitled Jamon Serrano / Jamon Iberico / Spanish Ham - Orce Serrano Hams or visit the web site

Try this version of Spanish meatballs using salt cod bacalao as the main ingredient. "Albondigas de bacalao" are similar to salt cod fritters but are made using breadcrumbs and also slightly different ingredients. This typical Spanish seafood dish is great in the summer, served with salad, fresh bread and olive oil. Bacalao is salted cod which needs to be soaked and produces a lovely Mediterranean flavour hence the popularity of this dish in Spain.

Ingredients for Albondigas de Bacalao

½ kilo salt cod
2 medium sized floury potatoes
200ml whole milk
1 medium white onion
Juice from ½ lemon
Handful fresh parsley, chopped
2 eggs
Olive oil - enough for frying
Lemon wedges to serve (optional)

*I used the prepared packs of breadcrumbs with garlic and parsley but you can use plain breadcrumbs, simply whizz three or four slices of stale white bread in a food processor until they resemble breadcrumbs.

How to make Albondigas de Bacalao

  • The day before, cut the salt cod into pieces and place into a large pot and cover with water.
  • Place in the fridge for 24 hours, changing the water 2 - 3 times.
  • Pour out the water from the pot, rinse the fish a final time and pat dry. Place on a plate.
  • Peel and cut the potatoes into big chunks and boil until soft and tender, about 24-35 minutes.
  • Drain, mash and set aside.
  • Finely chop the onions. Heat 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan and sauté the onions without allowing them to turn brown for about five minutes. Add the milk and the cod pieces and simmer for about 10 minutes on a low heat.
  • Remove the fish from the pan with a slotted spoon, set aside on a plate and allow to cool a little.
  • When the fish is cool enough to touch, break it into pieces, removing the skin and bones.
  • Place the potatoes into a large mixing bowl and add the fish, the onions from the pan, parsley, lemon juice, one egg and a little olive oil. Mash and mix the ingredients together so they combine well and resemble mashed potato. (If it is too thick, add a little milk or if it seems a bit runny, add a little flour) Season with a little salt if needed.
  • Place the mixture in the fridge for about half an hour until the mixture firms up.
  • Remove the mixture from the fridge and with your hands, shape into bite sized balls (or fritters whichever you prefer) and place the balls onto a plate.
  • In a bowl, beat an egg and place the breadcrumbs into another bowl.
  • Roll each ball in a little flour, then dip in the egg and finally roll in breadcrumbs - this is a little messy but you will get a nice crunchy finish.
  • Heat enough olive oil in a small deep frying pan to cover the balls and when the oil is hot and smoking, add the cod balls a few at a time and fry in batches until crisp and golden, turning once.
  • Drain on kitchen paper and serve with garlic mayonnaise or homemade tomato salsa and serve with lemon wedges to garnish.

Makes around 15 balls

Albondigas de Bacalao

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Published with permission of Orce Serrano Hams