How to cook pataniscas as a Portuguese.

Learn to cook pataniscas like a true Portuguese.

Not familiar with them? That’s no surprise. Pataniscas, akin to cod cakes, are a quintessential Portuguese snack.

History background

The history of these snacks traces back to Portugal’s rich culinary heritage.

Originating as a humble dish, it was likely born out of necessity, utilizing readily available ingredients like codfish, eggs, and flour.

Pataniscas were originally a way to make the most of salted cod, a staple in Portuguese cuisine due to its abundance and long shelf life.

Over time, they evolved into a beloved snack, often enjoyed in taverns and homes across Portugal.

Their popularity spread beyond the country’s borders, becoming a symbol of Portuguese culinary tradition.

Today, pataniscas are celebrated for their simplicity, versatility, and delicious flavor.

Whether served as a snack, appetizer, or main course, they continue to hold a special place in Portuguese cuisine, embodying the country’s cultural heritage and culinary ingenuity.

Salt cod, also known as bacalao, is a dried and salted codfish
Salt cod, also known as bacalao, is a dried and salted codfish

How to cook pataniscas

Here’s how you make them:


    • 300g cod
    • ½ onion (chopped)
    • 3 eggs
    • 100g flour
    • 100 to 150ml cod cooking water
    • Parsley, salt, pepper, olive oil
    • Olive or frying oil


    1. Mix cod, eggs, onion, parsley, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
    2. Blend until well combined.
    3. Gradually add flour, stirring until dissolved.
    4. Incorporate cod cooking water.
    5. Adjust water for desired consistency.
    6. Heat frying oil, then spoon portions for frying.
    7. Fry until golden, flipping when one side browns.
    8. Drain on paper towels to remove excess oil.
    9. Ready to enjoy!

Embark on my Traditional food tour and adventure through Lisbon’s rich gastronomic landscape with me.

Let’s savor the authentic flavors of traditional Portuguese cuisine, including pataniscas and an array of other delightful dishes.


David Monteiro

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