Bolinhos de bacalhau and sorrel yoghurt — Marine Stewardship Council
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Bolinhos de bacalhau and sorrel yoghurt

Bolinhos de bacalhau and sorrel yoghurt

Preparation time

20 mins

Cooking time

20 mins

Serves 2

This recipe is reminiscent of fish cakes and traditionally uses bacalhau, a heavily salted cod that is hugely popular in Portugal and Brazil. For these ones I've used fresh cod as it's more readily available and MSC certified. I'm serving them with a lemony yoghurt as a healthy compliment to the fried saltiness.

Recipe source

George Clark, former chef and MSC UK staff, has created these delicacies especially for you.


  • For the bolinhos

  • 350g fresh MSC certified cod fillet
  • 450g waxy potatoes
  • 1 free range egg
  • 1 bunch of fresh herbs (traditionally parsley but I used chives and marjoram / oregano)
  • ¼ of a red onion
  • 1 spring onion
  • Half a lemon
  • For the yoghurt

  • 100g strained yogurt
  • 3 large sorrel leaves
  • 1 lemon wedge


  1. Salt the cod and put into the fridge for a couple of hours. This will give a similar flavour to bacalhau but it is difficult to achieve exactly the same texture this way.
  2. Put the potatoes into salted boiling water whole and cook on a medium heat until you can put a sharp knife through them easily. Put your oven onto 200 °C (400°F or gas mark 6).
  3. Whilst the potatoes are cooking remove the cod from the fridge and rinse under cold water to wash off the salt, pat dry. Using baking paper as a canvas, drizzle olive oil, squeeze the lemon and generously season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle some marjoram/oregano on top before placing the cod onto the paper and folding and twisting it into a parcel. Pop the parcel onto a metal tray and put into the oven. Cook for 12 minutes, remove, flake the flesh and allow to cool.
  4. Remove the skin from the cooked potatoes and mash with a fork. Add chopped red onion, chives and spring onion (I decided to triple the onion flavour on these). Mix with a generous seasoning of black pepper and a small pinch of salt as the fish will already be salty. Next, combine the potato and fish with a beaten free range egg.
  5. To shape the bolinhos, you can either use your hands to roll them or spoons to make quenelles. If you’re using your hands, which I did, it helps to put olive oil on them to avoid the mixture sticking. They should be a bit bigger than a large egg. Place them on fresh grease proof paper and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.
  6. To make the yogurt simply pour boiling water over the sorrel (this dulls the planty flavour) and finely chop. Add to the yogurt with generous pinches of salt and pepper and the lemon. Whip with a fork and put in the fridge.
  7. Finally, heat a good non-stick frying pan (usually they would be deep fried but this is quite difficult to achieve at home, particularly with the fresh cod) and add a glug of sunflower oil. Shallow fry until the outsides are brown and crispy. Remove form the pan and serve with the yogurt.
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