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Photo of plate of Fried Baccala (Salted Cod Fish) with lemon wedge
Fried Baccalà (Salted Cod Fish)
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
16 mins
Total Time
31 mins

Fried Baccalà (Salted Cod Fish) is a Christmas Eve tradition for many Italians! Note, you'll need to soak the cod for 4 days before starting this recipe.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: baccala, cod, Feast of the Seven Fishes
Servings: 8
Calories: 399 kcal
Author: Mamma C
  • 2 pounds baccalà (skin and bones removed; see notes)
  • 2 extra-large eggs (beaten)
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 ½ cups avocado oil (or corn oil; see notes)
  • Lemon wedges for serving
  1. When you bring the dried baccalà home from the store, rinse it to remove some of the salt. Place the baccalà pieces in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover the fish by at least two inches. Refrigerate it for four days, changing the water every 8 hours (2-3 times a day).
  2. When you’re ready to cook the skinned and deboned baccalà, rinse it and pat it dry with paper towels or a lint-free kitchen towel.
  3. Use kitchen scissors to cut the fish into smaller pieces 3-to-5 inches long and 2 or 3 inches wide.

  4. Beat the eggs in a shallow bowl. Add the flour to a dinner plate and stir in the black pepper.
  5. Set up an assembly line from left to right with the baccalà, the beaten eggs, the flour and a large platter or pan to hold the fish.
  6. Dip each piece of cod in the eggs, letting the excess drip off. Then, place the baccalà in the flour, patting on the flour with the back of a fork. Flip the fish and flour the other side. Let any excess flour fall off and add the fish to your platter in a single layer.
  7. Add your avocado oil to a 12-inch frying pan and heat it on medium high. When the oil temperature reaches 350 degrees F (test it with an instant thermometer or just wait until it’s starting to ripple), add about half the baccalà to the pan in a single layer. (You will need to fry it in two batches.)
  8. Fry the first side for 3-4 minutes (or less for thin pieces). Flip over the fish and fry the second side for another 3-4 minutes (or just 2 minutes for thin pieces). It’s a good idea to remove a thick piece to a plate and cut it open to see if it’s done. The fish should flake easily and not look shiny.
  9. Place the fried baccalà on a cooling rack positioned over paper towels to drain. (This prevents sogginess.) If you don’t have a cooling rack, you can drain the baccalà on a platter lined with paper towels.
  10. Squeeze lemon juice onto the baccalà and serve immediately for the crispiest texture.

  11. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to three days. Leftovers are delicious slightly warmed in the microwave and served with mayo for dipping, or in a sandwich.

Recipe Notes
Nutrition Facts
Fried Baccalà (Salted Cod Fish)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 399 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat 5g8%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 213mg71%
Sodium 265mg12%
Potassium 1681mg48%
Carbohydrates 9g3%
Protein 73g146%
Vitamin A 220IU4%
Vitamin C 4mg5%
Calcium 189mg19%
Iron 3.6mg20%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.