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1 lb skinless boneless salt cod (preferably center-cut)
1 medium onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups dry mashed potatoes
1 parsnip (1/4 lb)(opt)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup plain dry bread crumbs 1/2 in fish 1/2 for coating
1/2 cup milk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
parsley for garnish


Soak cod in a large bowl with cold water to cover by 2 inches, chilled, changing water 3 times a day, 1 to 3 days of soaking may be required. Brands of cod differ in their degree of saltiness: A less salty variety may need only 1 day of soaking, while another could require up to 3 days. To test it, simply taste a small piece after 1 day; you want it to be pleasantly salty but not overwhelming.

Drain cod and transfer to a 3- to 4-quart pot with fresh water to cover by 2 inches. Bring just to a simmer and remove from heat. (Cod should just flake; do not boil, or it will become tough.) Drain in a colander.

Combine the 1/2 cup breadcrumbs and milk in a small bowl and let soak.

Cook onion in 1/2 tablespoon butter in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until pale golden, about 7 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.

Peel potatoes and parsnip. Halve parsnip lengthwise and remove core if tough. Cut potatoes and parsnip into 1-inch pieces and steam together in a steamer over boiling water in a large pot, covered, until tender, 18 to 20 minutes. Add to cooked onions and coarsely dry mash the mixture, cool slightly. Using a fork, flake the fish, removing any bones and stir into potato mixture along with bread crumb mixture, and pepper. A dash of hot sauce may be added as well at this time. Stir in egg until just combined.

Put bread crumbs in a shallow baking dish .

Form rounded 1/4-cup scoops of cod mixture into 12 (3-inch-diameter) cakes and transfer to a sheet of wax paper. Gently dredge fish cakes in bread crumbs to coat and transfer to a wax-paper-lined tray. Chill, covered with plastic wrap, at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 200°F.

Heat 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon oil in 10-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat until foam subsides. Cook 4 fish cakes, turning over once, until golden brown, 7 to 8 minutes total.

Transfer to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet and keep warm in middle of oven. Wipe skillet clean and cook remaining fish cakes in 2 batches, adding 1 tablespoon each of butter and oil per additional batch.

cooks' notes:

·Uncooked fish cakes can be chilled up to 24 hours.


* not incl. in nutrient facts

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