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    croquetas de bacalao, Spanish salt cod tapas Tapas Recipes 5 1 5 0

    Croquetas de Bacalao

    • Serves 6 people
    • Complexity Easy
    Prep time
    10 mins
    Cook time
    60 mins
    Total time
    1h 10 mins
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    • 60g unsalted butter
    • 40ml extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 garlic clove finely chopped
    • 6 spring onions, white only, finely chopped
    • ½ green pepper, finely chopped
    • 100g plain flour
    • 1 litre whole milk
    • 300g salt cod trimmings
    • 1tbsp of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
    • Plain flour
    • 3 eggs
    • Breadcrumbs
    • Vegetable or sunflower oil for frying
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • Nutmeg to taste


    Mastering a set of croquetas de bacalao is like getting your Yorkshire puddings spot on, once you get the right recipe quantities, you can do them all day long.
    Croquetas de Bacalao is a traditional tapas dish that can be made with a wide variety of fillings but salt cod croquetas must be up there as one of the original croqueta recipes. Spanish croquetas are not made from mashed potatoes but from a flavoured thick béchamel, which is made in advance and then rolled in flour, egg and breadcrumbs and fried until golden brown. The outer layer stays crispy whilst the inside becomes oozy and creamy.


    1. Lightly oil a shallow 8-inch square dish and heat your milk in a sauce pan.
    2. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil and the butter over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add the chopped garlic, spring onions and green pepper and cook on a low heat for 10 minutes until soft and translucent. Add the flour and using a wooden spoon, mix well. Continue to stir on a low heat for about 3 minutes for the flour to cook.
    3. Add half of the milk and increase the heat to medium-high stirring constantly with a spoon or whisk. Bring the mixture to a boil and add the remaining milk. Cook, stirring constantly with the spoon or whisk, for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture begins to thicken. Decrease the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly to prevent lumps from forming, for about 5 minutes, or until thickened.
    4. Add the salt cod, chopped parsley, season lightly with salt (remember, the cod is already salty) and grate some fresh nutmeg and stir until evenly distributed. Cook for 3 minutes longer on a low heat and then pour the contents of the pan into the prepared dish. Spread the mixture evenly. Let it cool down for a bit and then cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight to allow the mixture to set.
    5. Break the eggs into a bowl and beat ligthly until blended. Spread the bread crumbs on a dinner plate. With 2 spoons, shape the béchamel-salt cod mixture into walnut-sized croquettes. Roll each croquette in the bread crumbs, shaking off any excess crumbs, and then dip into the beaten egg. Lift each croquette from the egg and roll it again in the bread crumbs, coating it evenly. Lay the croquettes in a single layer on a platter. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before frying.
    6. Pour the oil to a depth of about 2 inches into a wide, deep, heavy pot and heat over high heat. When the oil is almost smoking, slip 5 or 6 croquettes into the oil, pressing on them gently with a slotted spoon to submerge them, and fry, turning them gently, for about 2 minutes, or until they are golden on all sides. Using the slotted spoon, lift out the croquettes, holding them briefly over the pot to allow the excess oil to drain, and transfer to an ovenproof platter lined with paper towels to drain further. Keep the croquettes warm in a low oven. Fry the rest of the croquettes in the same way, always making sure the oil is very hot before adding more croquettes. When all the croquettes are fried, arrange on a platter and serve immediately.

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