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Bakaliaros (Battered-Fried Salted Cod)

Bakaliaros (Battered-Fried Salted Cod)

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Bakaliaros (cod), in Greek “μπακαλιάρος”, is the traditional food we eat in Greece on the 25th of March, which is made with salted cod, fried in a beer batter.

salted cod image

This is another Greek traditional dish which has become synonymous to the 25th of March, which is the Annunciation of Virgin Mary and on that day we also celebrate the Revolution against the Turks in 1821.

The Annunciation in Greek is called Evangelismos and those named Evangelos or Evangelia celebrate their name day.

My daughter has been christened Evangelia and we call her Elia for short and it is her name day as well.

In Greece we celebrate our name days almost the same way we celebrate our birthday.

Bakaliaros skordalia picture

However how did we come to prepare this dish?

The 25th of March is always in the period of the Great Lent when the Orthodox fast for nearly fifty days.  

No meat, no fish, no dairy products and sometimes no olive oil are allowed to be consumed.  

The church made two exceptions: one is on the 25th of March and the other on Palm Sunday when fish can be consumed.  

Bakaliaros and skordalia image

For people living near the shores they ate fresh fish on both these occasions but people in remote, mountain villages could not, as there were no refrigeration trucks to transport fish.

So when salted Vakalaos or Bakaliaros (Cod) was imported, lots of years ago, it was ideal, not only for lent but for other days as well, as it was cheap and could be preserved for a long time.

Try Bakaliaros coated with beer batter and then fried and you will have the most crispy and delicious cod ever that you won’t be able to resist devouring more and more bites.!

A few secrets to make Bakaliaros Crispy and delicious:

⇒  The basic secret for the batter is ice cold water and/or beer which help so that the fried pieces of fish do not absorb so much oil which would lead to “sticky” results.

⇒  Corn flour (starch) produces a crispy and light crust.

⇒  The egg white whisked into a meringue makes the batter light and fluffy.  However, if you are fasting you can replace the egg white with baking powder.

⇒ The frying oil can be any kind of oil but I personally prefer olive oil, since it has a very high smoke point, so that it doesn’t burn even at high cooking temperatures, and it retains all of its health properties and brings out the true flavors of the food.  

⇒ Hot olive oil does not penetrate food during the cooking process, as some other types of oils, which results in a lower fat content in the finished dish.

⇒  Fried food in virgin olive oil will not be heavy or aggressive to the stomach.

collage bakaliaros image

How to desalt cod:

Cut the cod into portions, remove skin (optional), rinse to remove salt and place in a bowl and cover with water.

If cod is not a fillet make sure to remove all the bones.

Drain and change the water every 3 – 4 hours for at least 24 hours before preparing.

Bakaliaros platter image
Bakaliaros cod fillet image

Bakaliaros (Battered-Fried Salted Cod)

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 1 day
Total Time: 1 day 1 hour

Bakaliaros (cod), in Greek "μπακαλιάρος", is the traditional food we eat in Greece on the 25th of March, which is made with salted cod, fried in a beer batter.

Ingredients

  • 1 kilo (2.20 lbs) salted cod fillet
  • Olive oil for frying

For the batter:

  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • (75 grams (about 1 1/2) egg whites (or replace with 1 tbsp baking powder)
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup corn flour (corn starch)
  • 250 cl beer (or 165 cl beer and 85 cl water)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • A pinch of white pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp fennel fronds (finely chopped) optional

Instructions

  1. Cut the cod into portions, remove skin (optional) and place in a bowl and cover with water. If cod is not a fillet make sure to remove all the bones.
  2. Drain and change water every 3 – 4 hours for at least 24 hours before cooking.
  3. Drain the cod and squeeze out any excess water.
  4. Beat one egg white into meringue.
  5. In a bowl add the flour, corn flour, (baking powder instead of egg white), salt and pepper, fennel fronds, the beer, the olive oil and lemon juice and start mixing adding the water gradually, until you have a thick batter. Do not add all the water as you may not need all of it.
  6. Mix in the egg white and place the batter in the refrigerator for an hour.
  7. Dip the cod into the batter and fry on both sides in hot olive oil.
  8. Drain on kitchen paper.
  9. Serve with Skordalia (garlic dip).
Nutrition Information
Yield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 393Total Fat 7gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 5gCholesterol 92mgSodium 338mgCarbohydrates 34gFiber 2gSugar 0gProtein 43g

Did you make this recipe?

Tried this recipe? Tag me @ivyliac and use the hashtag #kopiaste!

Other related Recipes:

Something Fishy.. (lots of fish recipes in one post)

Bakaliaros with Mpamies (Okra with Pollock fish)

Dolmadakia me Bakaliaro (dolmades with cod)

PIN FOR LATER

Collage Bakaliaros Battered cod image

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,

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La miglior ricetta di merluzzo mantecato - StraRete

Tuesday 11th of May 2021

[…] Delicious bakaliaros – cod in batter – “μπακαλιάρος” in Greek is a traditional food enjoyed on March 25th during Lent. It’s made with salted cod, fried in a beer batter, and often served with a skordalia dip. You won’t be able to resist eating more than one of these tasty bites! […]

Rubel Hossen

Sunday 16th of June 2013

I’m so excited you made this as I just had this at my aunty’s house today! I love the way you explain the history behind the «yiortes» and the fasting.

Petros

Monday 24th of May 2010

Of course there is a Original fish and chips in Greece. OCEAN fish&chips in Thessaloniki Greece. Try them one of the bests with English and Australian traditional fish and chips.

ivyliac

Monday 24th of May 2010

Thank you Petros for letting us know. It was a mistake on my part to write "in Greece" as actually I meant in Athens, where I live.

Niki

Wednesday 24th of March 2010

I'm drooling. This is one of my all time fav dishes! Your batter looks perfect and I am starving now! Haha, then again, I think your site always makes me hungry! :)

Peter

Friday 3rd of April 2009

This is excellent!

I have linked to this recipe in my product description to my website Here is the link : http://www.christosmarket.com/Greek-Bakaliaros-p/balk01.htm

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