Rodney’s Nan’s Salt Cod Cakes with Tartar Sauce Recipe


Cooking with One Chef One CriticWe prepared a groaning plate of fresh, pan-fried cod for well-known Toronto chef Rodney Bowers on One Chef One Critic. He returned the favour by sending us his Nan’s recipe for salt cod cakes with tartar sauce a pretty wicked deal.

  • Yield: 4 Servings


  • 1½ lb (680 g) salt cod, cut into smallish chunks
  • 2½ cups (625 ml) milk
  • 1 large white onion, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 yellow potatoes
  • ¼ tsp (1 ml) hot sauce
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) honey
  • ½ tsp (2 ml) Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp (30 ml) each chives and parsley, chopped
  • ½ cup (125 ml) panko (Japanese) bread crumbs
  • ½ cup (125 ml) grapeseed oil
  • ½ cup (125 ml) butter
How to Make It
  1. Soak cod in a bowlful of water for 2 days, changing the water every 12 hours. Remove cod from water.
  2. Put fish into a pot with milk, onions, garlic, and bay leaves and bring to a slow boil on medium. Immediately reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 45 minutes. Let sit for 30 minutes. Strain milk from cod and onions and cool. Remove the bay leaves. Discard milk
  3. While cod is cooking, gently bring potatoes to a boil in salted water and simmer until tender when pierced with a knife. Drain water from potatoes and peel while still hot. Mash them with a fork in a bowl until smooth. Set aside
  4. Mash cod and onion mixture with a fork until everything breaks down; then add hot sauce, honey, Worcestershire, and egg. Add potatoes to cod mixture, and blend well. Fold in herbs and bread crumbs. Form mixture into round patties, cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Set a large, non-stick frying pan on medium high. Add grape seed oil and butter. When butter is melted, put cod cakes into pan in one layer. Fry for 1 to 2 minutes or until golden. Turn and fry for 2 more minutes until golden on other side. Arrange cakes in an ovenproof dish and place in oven for 5 to 6 minutes. Serve with tartar sauce.
  6. As mixture thickens, dilute with vinegar; then oil may be added more rapidly. Add the olive oil after the grape seed oil in the same manner.
  7. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve, then add remaining ingredients to finish.

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