Makes approx. 24 cod balls

Crispy Cod Fritters with Herby Aji Dip

From Ainsley’s World Cup Flavours, ITV

Salt cod fish balls are a popular snack in Brazil and these crunchy fritters are my take on the tasty dish. For ease, I’m using cod rather than traditional salt cod and serving with a punchy and creamy Aji dipping sauce. Aji is traditionally a Peruvian sauce but it’s also popular in Brazil and it’s herby zestiness with a little heat works perfectly with the cod. For a healthier option you can make the balls into small patties and shallow fry.


Put all of the ingredients for the dip in a food processor and blitz until you have a smooth green sauce. Season with salt to taste. Cover and chill until needed.

Wrap the fish in foil and bake until just cooked but still nice and moist. Place the fish in a large bowl and then mash with a fork until finely mashed. Allow to cool.

Mix together the mashed potato, garlic, onions, herbs, lime zest and a squeeze of juice, nutmeg, cayenne and season well with salt and white pepper. Flake in the fish and mix well to combine. Stir in the egg yolk. The mixture should be soft but firm, if it’s too dry add a another egg yolk to combine.

Take tablespoons of the mixture and use your hands to roll them into balls. Put the flour onto a plate and lightly roll each ball through it. Transfer to a plate or tray and refrigerate to firm up for a couple of hours if you have the time.

Fill a large deep heavy-based saucepan with vegetable oil to a depth of 4cm and set over a medium-high heat. Test the oil is hot enough for deep-frying by dropping in a small piece of bread: it should sizzle and brown in 40-50 seconds.

Fry the cod balls in batches of 5 or 6 for 2-3 minutes or until lightly golden and crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.

Serve the fritters hot with lime wedges for squeezing and the aji dip on the side for dipping.



  • For the Cod Fritters
  • 500g cod or similar firm white fish fillets, skinless and checked for bones
  • 500g left-over mashed potato, cold
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 spring onions, trimmed, finely sliced
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped coriander
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • pinch of cayenne
  • juice and zest of ½ lime
  • sea salt and white pepper
  • 1 large egg, yolk only (2 if needed)
  • 4-5 tbsp of plain flour
  • oil, for frying
  • For the Aji Dip
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp sour cream
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • juice of ½ lime
  • small pinch of cumin
  • 1 spring onion, chopped
  • 1-2 aji amarillo chillies or fresh jalapenos, chopped
  • small bunch of fresh coriander, chopped
  • ½ tbsp grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • To Serve
  • Lime wedges