Cod a minute for this tasty dish?

Fancy something tasty and full of Omega 3 oils? Get working on these salt cod puffs - known in Malta as bakkaljaw - in this easy to follow recipe by Pippa Mattei

Recipe provided by Pippa Mattei

You need to begin this recipe a day ahead

Serves 6


  • 500g salt cod 
  • 500ml milk
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 80ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 75g plain flour (sifted)
  • ½ lemon, finely grated zest only
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 3 eggs 
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying


  1. Soak the cod in cold water for 24 hours changing the water four times
  2. Bring milk and bay leaves to a simmer in a pan over low-medium heat. 
  3. Add cod and cook until tender (8-10 mins) 
  4. Drain, discard bay leaves and milk, flake cod, discarding bones.
  5. Process in a food processor until finely shredded and set aside.
  6. Bring olive oil and 200ml water to the boil in a pan. 
  7. Add flour, lemon zest and cumin and stir over high heat until thick and smooth (1-2 mins). 
  8. Remove from heat, add eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition. 
  9. Add salt cod, mix to combine and set aside.
  10. Preheat vegetable oil in a deep-fryer or large deep saucepan to 190°C. 
  11. Form salt cod mixture into quenelles using 2 dessert spoons and fry in batches until golden (8 - 10 mins). Makes about 20. 
  12. Serve immediately with mayo verde.

Mayo verde (green sauce)


  • 185ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 green habanero chillis, seeds removed, finely chopped
  • 2 spring onions, white part only, finely chopped
  • 2 small garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1tsp white wine vinegar
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin 
  • ¼ tsp ground coriander


  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and season to taste with freshly ground black pepper.
  2. Refrigerate until required.