The other day, I was making a batch of fried fish balls for my family’s lunch bags and I started wondering about the origin of this rather moreish way of preparing fish, which is a tasty nutritious snack, I have been eating since I was a kid.
Fried fish balls are an extremely popular dish in British Jewish culture prepared using Fish (or a combination of fish), like Haddock and Cod, common in the Atlantic and other European oceans
After conducting a little research I discovered that these crisp bronzed balls of fishy goodness were actually introduced to England by a small number of Portuguese Jewish families who migrated to London during the English Revolution in the 1650s and that they are common in Portuguese (and Brazilian cuisine). There, they are known as Bolas de Bacalao, a brilliant beach food I tried when I traveled around Brazil just over 10 years ago
Fried fish balls are really easy to prepare requiring basic ingredients and once ready, cook in minutes
- 1lb of fresh cod and 1lb of fresh haddock skinned and boned and minced in your food processor
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 2 medium onions, finely chopped
- 2.5 oz matzo meal, or panko bread crumbs (plus a small bowl extra to cover the balls)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp canola (rapeseed) oil
- More canola or other vegetable oil to fry
- Fresh ground black pepper
- Simply mix all the ingredients in a large bowl
- Place in the fridge for one hour to firm the mix
- Take out of the fridge, then roll each ball by hand to around 2″
- Then roll to coat them with the spare matzo meal / panko crumbs
- Place the balls in hot cooking oil in a large shallow frying pan (the oil should be around 1.5″ in depth leaving space between each ball, so they can be turned and not stick
- Turn the balls until they go golden brown
Once cooked, chill them. I promise although they taste good hot. They actually taste even better straight from the fridge!
Serve with a spicy condiment such as Chrain (a beetroot and horseradish sauce) or a Tomato Salsa. A moist fluffy and yummy snack that one can never get enough of!