Bolinho de Bacalhau Receita : CodFish Cakes

You may find several cod fish recipes, many may be found using the word bacalhau, Portguese for cod fish. However currently one of the most famous recipe that is constantly growing, is the famous bolinhos de bacalhau or codfish cakes or rolls. It's a delicious meal or appetizer, people who have tried it, become fascinated with it's distinct taste, it's not easy to find in most countries, but any Portuguese or Brazilian grocery outlet will have them, ask for bolinhos de bacalhau, or codfish cakes.
How to make ( bolinhos de bacalhau ) cod fish cakes at home:

First you'll need to stock up with the following ingredients, and from there on I will explain step by step how you can have ( bolinhos de bacalhau ) ready in a flash:

  • 750 g of Codfish (one of the secrets to a good home made ( bolinho de bacalhau ) codfish cake, is using salted and dried cod fish, it will be necessary for you to soak it be cooking, see my post on soaking salted cod fish )
  • 750 g of Potato
  • 200 g of Onion
  • 6 pieces of Garlic
  • 4 Eggs
  • Parsley
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Soak the salted and dried codfish accordingly, make sure it's edible. Peel the potatoes, cutting them into small bits and pieces. The onion, the parsley and the garlic, all ingredientes should be chopped into small bits. Cook the codfish in boiling water. Extract the skin and the bones from the cooked codfish. Wrap the cooked cod fish with a clean cloth and with slight hand pressure mash the codfish.
Boil the potatoes in water, which some salt to give it some flavour, after boiling grind them into mashed potatoes. Add the codfish and the other ingredients the garlic, parsley and the onion, mix everything with the 4 eggs, season the mixture with salt and pepper. Mix it well, the mixture should be even.
The rounded shape of the ( bolinhos de bacalhau ) codfish cakes are obtained by using two spoons to mold the small fish cakes before frying. Fry them in well heated vegetable oil, turning them so every side gets a golden colour. Let them rest on absorbent paper to extract the excess vegetable oil before serving.
Bon appetite.


How to cure salt cod

How to cure salt cod? Cod curing can be done in several ways, one of the most common is using salt. In this post I will explain how to cure cod, this information can be used in industrial environment or even at home, you just have to keep in mind some tips which I will share with you, and surely your results in curing cod will be satisfactory.
Why do we cure cod? This may be on your mind, well mainly for two reasons, to preserve the cod for a long period of time and second to add flavour. The salted and dried cod is a typical food from the Mediterranean cuisine, and believe it or not, the cod may have the same origin, but taste different due to the way cod is cured prior to being cooked.
So how do we cure cod? We start off buy splitting the cod, we give it a butterfly look, this makes it easier and guarantees a quality cure for the whole fish. The cod will have to be well cleaned from any gut residue or others before salting it, during the salting process if the cod is not perfectly clean, yellow and orange markings may appear. A good thing about salting fish is that when well salted your fish will be protected against most bacteria.
After having cleaned thoroughly your cod, you will then need to place it splitted in a salt based recipient, with the back side facing up. Make sure, that between every fish you have no direct contact, salt must be abundant, or your whole effort may be in jeopardy.
The next stage is a very important one, put the recipient in a fridge for a few days. The whole industry secrets are relevant at this point, being the time and the way it's done in the fridge the main distinction in this whole process. A proper cure can take up to 60 days, some say that cod is like old port wine, the more time in staging the better.
After a sufficient time in staging, the drying is essential, do not use heat to accelerate drying, it requires a like breeze and time. From this point on, you'll need to keep checking to see how humid it is, one easy way is to press the flesh, when it hardens it is salted and dried. So, by now you have all the information you may need on how to cure cod. Doing it at home or industrially, sea salt and cod are the main elements. Good luck.


Overfishing : Cod fish quota

I've referred in a prior post to overfishing of the cod fish, and the importance that the International regulations have had to control overfishing, by establishing fishing quotas. I must say that not all is positive, At the beginning of the period when every shipping vessel has its full quota allowance, everything looks and works relatively well. However as the year goes by, not all goes well!
It's called discard, I see this as the most negative thing that is currently into practice, overfishing may not be effective when discards are made constantly at open sea. So what is a discard and how is it related to overfishing? Each vessel has a yearly quota defined by species, which means it may catch x tons of cod fish, y tons of haddock, z of ... and so on...
In truth fishing has evolved so  much since the good old days and a lot of technology and information is used, however the trawler fishing can't control the quantity or the species it captures. So to avoid overfishing and penalties, the whole capture is carefully inspected on board and all fish over quota is discarded, this means dropped back into the ocean dead. Yes, dead! Which means technically it was fished, however it was not registered as part of the quota ... so what happens in reality, is that in certain times of the year more than 50% of the fish that is capture is thrown back into the ocean dead, which avoids penalties and other overfishing official red tape, but in reality, overfishing is still not under control.
And worse, overfishing rules currently, especially through discard practices, increase market prices, makes fishermen do unethical things, and surely s not fully contributing to control overfishing.
In my honest opinion, this overfishing policy has to be adapted quickly to this reality, it is a crime what is being done in mid ocean, and we need to quickly react to this unfortunate thing.
It is sad to see that this reality is known and shared by many people in the industry and every ruling committee, what we can question is how long do we have to wait to see things change? A decade in my opinion has been more than enough waiting period to see change, however we can not hide behind paper forever.


Cod fish facts

Cod fish is a very nutritious food, in fact it has a high nutritive value, with low fat. It is a dense flaky white meat fish, with a mild flavour. These are a few reasons for cod being a popular food in many cultures.
In truth cod is a a good solid protein source, these proteins are easily absorbed with, as mentioned before low fat or carbohydrates. Besides proteins cod fish also has many other nutrients that are essential to your health.

Cod Fish Nutritional Info per 100 gr
  • Calories : 82
  • Fat Calories: 6,0
  • Total Fat: 0,7 gr
  • Saturated Fat: 0,1 gr
  • Cholesterol: 43 mg
  • Sodium: 54 mg
  • Protein: 17,8 gr
  • Omega-3: 2 gr

Besides the nutritional values, cod fish meals have healthy effects like improving your cardiovascular health, improving skin protection, increases heart muscle function.
Cardiovascular improvements from cod fish diets are a reality, reduction of atherosclerosis and heart disease, are some of the benefits, especially for those who suffer from diabetes. It is proven that cod fish being part of a regular diet will reduce significantly the risk of heart attack. It's vitamins B12 and B6 helps maintain homocysteine at low levels, which has an important and healthy effect on blood vessels wall tissues.
Cod fish is also an important source of Omega 3, it has a positive healthy effect on improving heart muscle. Besides the reduction in ischemic stroke risk, a fish rich diet can reduce you triglyceride levels, improving your cholesterol.
It is scientifically proven that consumption of cod fish as part of a regular diet will improve you skin protection, in fact cod fish nutrients will have an anti-inflammatory effect on your body skin.
Cod fish is a delicious dish that can be cooked in hundreds of ways, so can never really get bored, and simultaneously you will be eating a very nutritious and healthy food.