Crispy Golden Portuguese Pataniscas de Bacalhau Fritters

Portugal is home to many mouthwatering dishes, but one that stands out is the traditional Pataniscas de Bacalhau.

These savory fritters pack a punch of flavor and make a satisfying appetizer or main course. Let’s explore the origins and secrets behind making this iconic Portuguese fried delight.

A Brief History of Bacalhau in Portugal

The use of bacalhau (dried and salted codfish) in Portugal dates far back in history. As early as the 15th century, Portuguese fishermen were preserving cod by drying and salting it for longer storage times onboard ships. This enabled them to explore the seas and establish trading routes more effectively.

Over time, clever cooks discovered that rehydrating and desalting the fish transformed it into a versatile and delicious ingredient. Bacalhau dishes became an integral part of the Portuguese diet and food culture. The abundance of recipes reflects the importance of cod in the country.

What Are Pataniscas de Bacalhau?

Pataniscas de Bacalhau translates to “codfish pancakes or fritters” in English. They earned the name “pancakes” due to their round, flat shape when fried.

The main components are shredded salted codfish, eggs, flour, and seasonings. When combined into a thick batter and fried to a beautiful golden brown, they emerge as irresistible fritters brimming with flavor.

Pataniscas – A Quintessential Portuguese Appetizer

These fritters make a stellar starter for any Portuguese-style feast. The crispy exterior gives way to a pleasantly salty, fishy interior that excites the taste buds. Pataniscas de Bacalhau awaken the appetite, prepping the palate for more delicious things to come!

In Portugal, pataniscas often appear as an appetizer at festive gatherings and special occasions. They also make tasty snacks or main dishes. No Portuguese menu would be complete without these codfish fritters!

Tips for Preparing Perfect Pataniscas

Mastering pataniscas requires just a few easy steps. Here are some helpful pointers:

  • Soak the codfish adequately to remove excess salt. Changing the water helps draw out the salt.
  • Drain and shred the codfish into small flakes before mixing into the batter. Larger pieces may not bind well.
  • Add seasonings like pepper, parsley, and onion to boost flavor. Go easy on extra salt.
  • Chill the batter briefly before frying. This prevents the fritters from breaking apart.
  • Fry in hot oil until crispy and golden. Take care not to burn them.

Step-by-Step Pataniscas Recipe

Follow this simple recipe for flawless pataniscas every time:


  • 1.1 lbs (500g) desalted bacalhau (codfish)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1⁄2 cup flour
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • Parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Oil for frying


  1. Desalt the codfish by soaking in water for 24-48 hours, changing water periodically.
  2. Drain codfish, pat dry and shred into small flakes.
  3. Whisk eggs and baking powder in a bowl.
  4. Add flour, codfish, onion, parsley, salt and pepper.
  5. Mix well until thick, homogeneous batter forms.
  6. Refrigerate batter for 30 minutes.
  7. Heat oil in deep pan over medium-high heat.
  8. Scoop batter by the tablespoon and add to hot oil.
  9. Fry 2-3 minutes per side until golden brown.
  10. Drain on paper towels and serve hot. Enjoy!

Cooking Variations

The basic pataniscas recipe allows for some easy additions and tweaks:

  • Add a dash of hot sauce or cayenne for a spicy kick.
  • Mix in chopped olives, roasted red peppers or sun-dried tomatoes for extra flavor.
  • Top with a squeeze of lemon or lime juice before serving.
  • Serve with dipping sauces like aioli, tomato salsa or garlic mayo.
  • Swap the onion for scallions or leeks. Adjust herbs to taste.
  • For a heartier meal, serve patties atop a salad or with roasted veggies.

History Meets Modern Flair

Traditional pataniscas connect us to Portugal’s seafaring history and heritage. But this recipe also lends itself to contemporary twists:

  • Use panko or cornmeal for added crunch.
  • Make miniature versions for sharing platters or parties.
  • Create a fusion flavor profile with spices like cumin, curry or ginger.
  • Serve the fritters in modern appetizer-style dishes for a polished presentation.

Portuguese Pataniscas – Now in Your Kitchen

Bring the flavors of Portugal into your kitchen with this easy pataniscas de bacalhau recipe. These crispy codfish fritters offer a savory taste of iconic Portuguese cuisine. With the right techniques, you can recreate this traditional appetizer or main dish loaded with heritage and flair.

Want to expand your culinary horizons further? Check out this article on 10 must-try iconic local dishes from around the world: 10 Iconic Local Dishes From Around The World.

Immerse your palate in new flavors, textures, and cultures. With a passport in one hand and a fork in the other, a world of adventure awaits your taste buds. So get cooking, get traveling, and bon apetite!

Pasta alla Norma – Italy’s Iconic Sicilian Pasta Dish

Ah, Pasta alla Norma – the quintessential Sicilian pasta dish with eggplant that simply screams summer. This pasta dish is so iconic, it’s practically synonymous with Sicilian cuisine.

One bite of the Pasta alla Norma‘s salted eggplant, tomatoey sauce, and gooey cheese brings me right back to the sun-drenched streets of Catania. Keep reading to learn all about the history, ingredients, and how to make this utterly irresistible Sicilian pasta masterpiece.

A Dish Named After an Opera

So how did Pasta alla Norma get its melodious name? The dish is named after Vincenzo Bellini’s famous opera, Norma, which debuted in Catania in 1831.

Legend has it that Pasta alla Norma was invented thereafter by a talented Catania chef who was so awestruck by Bellini’s opera that he decided to name his new pasta creation after it. I don’t blame him – this pasta is nothing short of a masterpiece!

Salted & Roasted Eggplant Sets the Stage

The star of the show in Pasta alla Norma is undoubtedly the eggplant. But it’s not just any eggplant – it’s salted, roasted eggplant with a concentrated, almost smoky flavor.

Salting the eggplant before roasting is a crucial step, as it removes any bitterness and accentuates the vegetable’s natural sweetness. The high heat of the oven caramelizes the exterior and renders the interior meltingly soft.

Tomato Sauce & Ricotta Salata Join In

In Pasta alla Norma, the eggplant pairs perfectly with an uncooked tomato sauce. Canned whole peeled tomatoes are ideal, as they provide brightness and sweetness.

For an extra layer of flavor and texture, traditional recipes call for grated ricotta salata. Salty, tangy ricotta salata adds a nice counterpoint to the rich eggplant and sweet tomatoes.

Perfectly Cooked Pasta Ties It All Together

Of course, you need an equally perfect pasta to bring this dish together. Short tubular shapes like rigatoni or penne work well and grab onto the chunky vegetables and sauce.

The pasta should be cooked al dente – that magic point of doneness where it’s tender yet still has a bit of bite. Too soft or mushy and it won’t stand up to the sauce.

How to Make Pasta alla Norma Perfection

Want to make restaurant-quality Pasta alla Norma at home? Follow these simple steps:

Gather the Ingredients

  • Eggplants
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Short tubular pasta like rigatoni
  • Garlic
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Canned whole peeled tomatoes
  • Grated ricotta salata
  • Fresh basil

Roast the Eggplant

  • Slice eggplants into 1/4-inch rounds
  • Salt the slices to remove bitterness
  • Brush with olive oil
  • Roast at 425°F until tender and browned

Make the Tomato Sauce

  • In olive oil, cook garlic and red pepper flakes
  • Add canned tomatoes and simmer until thickened
  • Stir in roasted eggplant

Boil the Pasta

  • Cook pasta in generously salted water until al dente

Mix & Enjoy!

  • Drain pasta and add to sauce along with pasta cooking liquid
  • Toss to coat pasta in sauce
  • Serve with grated ricotta salata and fresh basil

Mangia! Dig into this Sicilian staple and you’ll be transported straight to the sunny, tomato-scented streets of Catania. Pasta alla Norma is truly iconic.

Want to discover more iconic local dishes from around the world? Check out our article on 10 Must-Try Iconic Local Dishes From Around The World over at 10 Must-Try Iconic Local Dishes From Around The World for more mouthwatering recommendations!

Transport Your Tastebuds to Thailand with Iconic Khao Soi

The enticing aromas of coconut milk, curry spices, and chicken broth waft through the bustling streets of Northern Thailand.

Locals and tourists alike flock to street food stalls and restaurants to enjoy piping hot bowls of Khao Soi, a soul-warming noodle soup that has become an iconic dish of the region.

This complex coconut curry noodle soup is the ultimate comfort food, soothing both body and spirit.

A Symphonic Medley of Flavors

Khao Soi is a rich sensory experience – a symphonic medley of tastes, textures, and aromas. The foundation is a deeply flavorful coconut milk-based curry broth punctuated by the fierce heat of dried chilies.

Umami flavors burst from the chicken or beef and a melange of spices like cumin, turmeric, and coriander. Hints of citrus and herbaceousness from lime juice, lemongrass, and cilantro add layers of brightness.

Chewy egg noodles soak up the luxurious broth, while crispy fried noodles provide delightful crunch. Every spoonful reveals a new discovery – the tang of lime, the sweetness of shallots, the crunch of peanuts. It’s an orchestra of flavors playing together in perfect harmony.

Nourishment for Body and Soul

Beyond tantalizing the tastebuds, Khao Soi nourishes the body and comforts the soul. The protein-rich chicken or beef provides sustenance, while the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric aid digestion. The heat from the chilies literally heats the body from the inside out – perfect for the cooler northern regions of Thailand.

This soup is the ultimate hug in a bowl. The rich, velvety coconut milk embraces you like a warm blanket, soothing away stress and weariness from long days of travel and exploration.

The complex medley of flavors enlivens the senses, reviving flagging energy. Nothing fortifies quite like a steaming bowl of Khao Soi at the end of an adventure-packed day.

A Glimpse into Thailand’s Rich Culinary Heritage

Khao Soi provides a tantalizing glimpse into the rich culinary heritage of Northern Thailand. Its roots reach deep into the past, originating from a fusion of local northern cuisine and Burmese influence.

Street food vendors proudly carry on age-old cooking traditions, simmering up soulful batches from family recipes perfected over generations.

From the crowded night markets of Chiang Mai to tiny roadside stalls in rural villages, Khao Soi can be found throughout the north. Locals will eagerly direct you towards their favorite spot, whether it’s the stall with the creamiest broth or the perfect al dente noodles. Partake and become immersed in the sights, sounds, and aromas of authentic Thai food culture.

Cooking Up This Iconic Thai Dish

To make this iconic Thai dish at home, follow this simple recipe:


  • 1 lb chicken drumettes or drumsticks
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2.5 – 3 cups water
  • ½ recipe of the curry paste
  • 1 lb fresh egg noodles
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions
  • 1/4 cup chopped shallots
  • 1/4 cup chopped pickled mustard greens
  • 1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges

Curry Paste:

  • 10 dried Thai chili peppers, soaked in hot water for 20 minutes
  • 1/4 cup chopped shallots
  • 1/4 cup chopped garlic
  • 1/4 cup chopped galangal
  • 1/4 cup chopped lemongrass
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro stems
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric


  1. Make the curry paste: Drain the soaked chili peppers and place them in a food processor with the remaining paste ingredients. Process until a smooth paste forms.
  2. In a large pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the curry paste and cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  3. Add the chicken and cook until browned on all sides.
  4. Add the coconut milk, water, sugar, fish sauce, and lime juice. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
  5. While the soup is simmering, cook the noodles according to package instructions.
  6. Divide the noodles among 4 bowls and ladle the soup over the noodles.
  7. Top each bowl with bean sprouts, cilantro, scallions, pickled mustard greens, and roasted peanuts.
  8. Serve with lime wedges on the side.


  • Use an authentic Thai red curry paste for maximum flavor.
  • Swap chicken for beef, tofu, or vegetables for variety.
  • Simmer the broth for longer to allow the flavors to meld.
  • Adjust the amount of curry paste to control the heat level.

Bringing the Iconic Flavors Home

While nothing compares to savoring piping hot Khao Soi from a Thai street food stall, thankfully the iconic flavors of this dish can be recreated anywhere.

Cooking up a batch at home allows you to relive fond memories from past trips to Thailand. As the heady aromas of curry paste hit your nose, you are instantly transported back to that little stall in Chiang Mai.

Follow an authentic recipe that balances the complex medley of tastes and textures that define this iconic dish. Though finding some specialty ingredients like galangal may take some effort, the resulting flavor journey is worth it.

Each spoonful will provide a taste of adventure, nourishing exploration and expanding your culinary horizons without need of a passport.

So grab your passport, hop a flight to Thailand, and transport your tastebuds to foodie heaven with Khao Soi. Or, bring the flavors of this iconic dish to your very own kitchen.

Either way, a steamy mouthful of this coconut curry noodle soup will nourish your body, comfort your soul, and deliver you to Thailand in spirit if not in body. Khao Soi – the ultimate food for the Thailand-obsessed soul.

Be sure to check out this article for more iconic must-try dishes from around the world:

10 Must-Try Local Dishes from Around the World

Local dishes from around the world tantalize taste buds with scrumptious delicacies from various corners of the globe.

This eclectic mix of flavors and textures is sure to delight even the pickiest eaters. Let’s dig in!

I. Spicy and Satisfying: Khao Soi from Thailand

Khao Soi

The tantalizing aromas of coconut milk and curry paste draw you into this iconic northern Thai dish. Egg noodles swim in the coveted coconut sauce along with tender chicken, a medley of spices, and a kick of chili heat. The finishing touches of crunchy pickled greens, pungent shallots, and fresh cilantro add marvelous texture. With each savory spoonful, it’s a flavor journey through Thailand.

  • Egg noodles
  • Chicken
  • Coconut milk
  • Curry paste

See the full Khao Soi recipe to make this tasty Thai dish yourself!

II. Simplicity at its Finest: Pasta alla Norma from Italy

Pasta alla Norma

There’s something to be said for simplicity. This classic Sicilian pasta dish combines just a few humble ingredients to create something spectacular. Al dente pasta meets luscious eggplant, sweet tomatoes, and bright basil, all brought together by garlic, olive oil, and ricotta salata. Each component sings in harmony. With one bite, you’ll be transported to the rustic Mediterranean.

  • Pasta
  • Eggplant
  • Tomatoes
  • Basil

Get the complete Pasta alla Norma recipe and transport your tastebuds to Italy!

III. Crispy, Golden Deliciousness: Pataniscas de Bacalhau from Portugal

Pataniscas de Bacalhau

Let your tastebuds rejoice in the marriage of flaky codfish fritters and punchy garlic aioli. Crispy on the outside and fluffy within, pataniscas de bacalhau are a Portuguese tapas staple. The key is firstly rehydrating salt cod before combining it with parsley, onions, and egg batter. Once fried to a beautiful gold, it’s time to dunk these fritters in lemony garlic sauce. Sheer bliss.

  • Codfish
  • Flour
  • Eggs
  • Parsley

See the full pataniscas de bacalhau fritters recipe and make these delicious cod fritters at home!

IV. A Taste of Home: Milanesa from Argentina


Sometimes nothing else will do but a hearty homemade milanesa. This staple Argentinian breaded cutlet is music to the soul. Tender beef or chicken is pounded flat, coated in eggy breadcrumbs, and fried until that crunch factor is just right. Served alongside buttery mashed potatoes or crisp salad, it’s the ultimate comfort food. Garlicky, fresh, and satisfying – this milanesa is everything.

  • Beef
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Eggs
  • Parsley

Get the milanesa recipe now and whip up this Argentine favorite tonight!

V. Crisp Croissant Perfection: France’s Favorite Breakfast

Crisp Croissant

Is there anything better than a freshly baked, perfectly crisp French croissant? That first bite into feathery, flaky layers is true bliss. This iconic pastry takes time to perfect, with careful folding and resting of dough enriched by butter, milk, and eggs.

Once baked, the sugar glazed exterior gives way to pillowy softness within. Tear off a piece, spread with jam, and let the crumbs delightfully fall where they may. C’est magnifique!

  • Flour
  • Butter
  • Yeast
  • Milk

Find the full French croissant recipe to create this buttery baked delight.

VI. A British Favorite: Fish ‘n’ Chips

Fish 'n' Chips

Some foods just go together. Like fish and chips – a match made in culinary heaven. Flaky white fish like cod or haddock is dipped in a light crispy beer batter then fried until golden and delicious.

On the side, thick-cut chips (fries) are fried up for piping hot crispness. A sprinkle of salt and vinegar, maybe some mushy peas, and you’ve got a proper British meal. Hearty yet refined, this pub classic never disappoints.

  • Cod or haddock
  • Flour
  • Beer
  • Potatoes

Get the authentic fish and chips recipe and enjoy this British favorite tonight!

VII. Saffron Infused Excellence: Paella from Spain


Paella, Spain’s most iconic rice dish, is a celebration of quality ingredients. Saffron lends its distinct flavor and vivid golden color to the rice, which melds deliciously with tender chicken and rabbit morsels, plump shrimp, peppers, beans, and more.

The socarrat, or crispy toasted rice at the bottom, is the crowning glory that paella aficionados crave. Sharing a paella pan filled with this Spanish specialty is a time-honored tradition.

  • Rice
  • Saffron
  • Chicken
  • Beans

Make perfect paella at home with this authentic recipe from Spain!

VIII. Mumbai Magic: Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala

The unmistakable aromas of ginger, garlic, and exotic spices beckon your tastebuds on a journey to India. Chicken tikka masala has origins in Indian and British cuisine, resulting in this tomatoey, creamy curry dish that’s an international sensation.

Yogurt-marinated chicken is roasted then simmers in a sauce with onions, tomatoes, and garam masala. Its rich depth of flavors and colors evokes the vibrancy of India on a single plate.

  • Chicken
  • Yogurt
  • Tomatoes
  • Spices

Get the full chicken tikka masala recipe and transport your tastebuds to India tonight!

IX. Pizza Perfection: Margherita from Italy

Sometimes the simplest things are the best, as proven by the classic Neapolitan margherita pizza. Named after Queen Margherita, its ingredients represent the colors of the Italian flag – basil, tomatoes, and mozzarella.

This winning combination bakes up with a thin, charred crust and just the right balance of sweet tomato sauce, milky mozzarella, and fragrant basil. Fresh and straightforward ingredients merit no improvement. It’s pizza at its finest.

  • Pizza dough
  • Tomato sauce
  • Mozzarella
  • Basil

Make perfect margherita pizza with this authentic Italian recipe!

X. Fiery and Fragrant: Tom Yum from Thailand

Awaken and tantalize your senses with the iconic hot and sour Thai soup, tom yum. Lemongrass, lime leaves, galangal, and red chili peppers infuse the broth with herbaceous, citrusy flavors and spicy heat.

Tender morsels of shrimp or chicken mingle with mushrooms, completing this flavor-packed soup. A final flourish of lime juice and cilantro adds brightness. Let the lively symphony of tastes and aromas in each spoonful transport you to the bustling streets of Thailand.

  • Shrimp
  • Lemongrass
  • Lime leaves
  • Chili peppers

Get the full tom yum recipe and bring the flavors of Thailand home tonight!

Satisfy your inner foodie by embarking on an international culinary adventure. With flavors to suit every palate, these iconic local dishes offer a tasty slice of culture. So grab a fork and get ready to savor a true taste of place one delicious bite at a time. What will your next culinary destination be? Bon appétit!

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