I like to call this dish ‘The Greek Fish & Chips”. The first time I had this was about a decade ago in Thessaloniki, and it was served with a wonderful garlic sauce called Skordalia (find the recipe here) and a piece of fried spicy green pepper. I really do think the owner of the restaurant we ate at still remembers me – I had 5 (or maybe 6? I don’t remember the exact number) of those green spicy peppers with my fish! This dish is served usually on the 25th of March here in Greece.
This is my first attempt at making Bakaliaros. I bought the salted cod on a whim – the 25th of March had passed, but I have been meaning to cook this dish for so many years, as I am a big fan of fish and chips. I called my husband’s grandmother (Kalliope) in Thessaloniki and got the recipe (approximations, mostly! but I wrote down what and how much I used, so don’t worry.)
First, the salted cod. You can find it in stores, covered in salt. I rinsed off all the salt and soaked the fish in lots and lots of water for more than 24 hours. Change the water as often as you can – I changed mine more than 5 times.
When you are ready to cook it, remove as many bones as you can and the skin. Drain and squeeze off as much excess water as possible before coating it in batter. I didn’t have a big enough frying pan to fry the whole fillet of the cod, so I cut them into manageable pieces.
Ingredients: (serves 4)
- 1 whole fillet piece of salted cod, approx 1kg, prepared (soaked, deboned, deskinned and cut into pieces)
- Oil to fry the fish
- 1 egg
- 175g – 200g of all-purpose flour
- 1 250ml can of soda/beer
- 1 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 tsp of vinegar (I used a simple red wine vinegar)
- some slices of lemon
- fried potatoes (fries, or chips as the Brits say.)
- Skordalia (recipe here)
- Prepare the fish.
- Make the batter: mix the batter ingredients thoroughly. The batter should not be too watery, or too stiff. I would say the texture should be like a thick pancake batter. Best to keep the batter cold.
- Heat oil in a frying pan on medium.
- Once oil is hot, place the fish fillets in batter, and coat thoroughly. Fry immediately, on both sides until golden brown.
- Drain onto kitchen towel.
- Serve with the chips (or fries) and Skordalia. Garnish with some lemon slices.