The Savvy Sailor’s Salt Cod Cakes

The Savvy Sailor’s Salt Cod Cakes
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
13h 45 min
16 servings

Your family will love these best-selling cod cakes from the Savvy Sailor, a waterfront café in Lunenburg, N.S. Salt cod needs plenty of time to soak, so start a day ahead.

Courtesy of Katherine Eisenhauer, Lunenburg, N.S.

Scroll down to watch how to make this recipe.



lb(s) (450 g) boneless salt cod fillets
lb(s) (1.8 kg) russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
lb(s) (275 g) thick-cut smoked bacon, diced
onion, diced
tsp (5 mL) black pepper
tsp (10 mL) summer savoury
Tbsp (45 mL) vegetable oil, for frying


Step 1

Rinse salt cod to remove surface salt. Pour 8 cups (2 L) water into casserole dish; add cod. Cover and soak overnight in refrigerator.

Step 2

The next day, drain cod. Place cod and potatoes in extra-large stock pot; pour in enough water to cover fish and potatoes by 3 to 4 inches (7.5 to 10 cm). Place pot on stove over high heat; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-high. Boil gently 30 to 40 minutes, or until potatoes are fully cooked and fork-tender and fish is flaky.

Step 3

Meanwhile, add bacon to non-stick or cast-iron frying pan over medium heat. After 2 minutes, add onion, pepper and summer savory. Cook, stirring, until bacon is crispy along edges and onions are translucent. Remove from heat and set aside. Do not drain fat from pan.

Step 4

Drain cod and potatoes and return to stock pot. Scrape bacon mixture and drippings over cod and potatoes; mix thoroughly. Using potato masher, mash cod mixture until chunky. Let cool.

Step 5

When cod mixture is still warm but not hot to touch, form into puck-sized patties. Cover and chill in refrigerator at least 20 minutes or overnight.

Step 6

Heat vegetable oil in cast-iron pan over medium-high heat. Sear cod cakes until golden on either side and hot in the centre.

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