Sfineċ tal-bakkaljaw with mojo verde

This Spanish mojo verde, made with spicy habanero chillis, makes a perfect accompaniment to sfineċ tal-bakkaljaw. Try Pippa Mattei's recipe for this local dish with a Spanish twist. 

Sfineċ tal-bakkaljaw with mojo verde

Serves 6


  • 500g salt cod (soaked in 4 changes of cold water for 24 hours, drained and cut into three pieces)
  • 500ml milk
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 80ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 75g plain flour (sifted)
  • ½ lemon, zest only, finely grated 
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 3 eggs 
  • Vegetable oil for deep-frying

Mojo Verde

  • 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
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin 
  • ¼ tsp ground coriander


  1. Bring milk and bay leaves to a simmer in a pan over low-medium heat. 
  2. Add cod and cook until tender (8-10 mins.) 
  3. Drain, discard bay leaves and milk, then flake cod, discarding bones. 
  4. Process in a food processor until finely shredded and set aside.
  5. Bring olive oil and 200ml water to the boil in a pan. Add flour, lemon rind and cumin and stir over high heat until thick and smooth (1-2 mins). 
  6. Remove from heat, add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition. 
  7. Add salt cod, mix to combine and set aside.
  8. To make the mojo verde, combine all ingredients in a bowl and season to taste with freshly ground black pepper. Refrigerate until required.
  9. Preheat vegetable oil in a deep-fryer or large deep saucepan to 190°C.
  10. Form salt cod mixture into quenelles using 2 dessert spoons and fry in batches until golden (8-10 mins). 
  11. Serve with mojo verde. 

This recipe first appeared on Gourmet Today, June, 2016.

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