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Roman-style fried cod in batter

During the Christmas holidays, salt cod takes center stage in its many regional forms: stewed, baked, battered, whipped… today on the streets of Rome we discover the secrets of fried Roman-style salt cod (in batter). We can tell you in advance that everyone has their own way of making the batter for these tasty fried salt cod fillets special: some add beer, some add brewer’s yeast to make it more firm and enveloping. We have been inspired by the simple tradition: sparkling water and flour. Perhaps you will remember when you tasted it in Rome at “Er filettaro”, one of the most famous places to enjoy this street food. Or maybe dinners at aunts and grandmothers who served it crispy and steaming on parchment paper will come to mind. Whatever your precious memory is, we invite you to try our version of this simple and tasty dish. Along with gnocchi and saltimbocca, the recipe for fried Roman-style salt cod (in batter) is certainly one of those traditions that deserves to be savored!

Ingredients for Fried Roman-style Salt Cod (in Batter)

409 Calories per serving

Desalted salt cod 500g

00300g Flour

Sparkling water (cold)370g

Vegetable oil as needed

Fine salt to taste

Calories for Fried Roman-style Salt Cod (in Batter)

Difficulty: Very easy
Preparation: 20 min
Cooking time: 10 min
Serves 6 pieces
Cost: Low
Note + chilling time of the batter in refrigerator

Preparation for Fried Roman-style Salt Cod (In Batter)

How to prepare Fried Roman-style Salt Cod (In Batter)

To prepare the fried Roman-style salt cod (in batter), start with the batter. In a bowl, pour the flour and then the well-chilled sparkling water, mix well with a whisk to obtain a smooth and lump-free batter.

Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for an hour. After the time, put enough vegetable oil to heat in a large pot. Meanwhile, take care of the salt cod. If the salt cod is already desalted, wash it several times without soaking, otherwise you can desalt it yourself following our cooking school: how to desalt salt cod. Holding the piece by the tail, remove the skin using your hands to pull it off.

Then cut into smaller pieces, you should get 6 in all and dip them, one at a time, in the batter. Lift with tongs, or a fork, and immerse a few pieces at a time in the oil: they must cook at a temperature of 180°-190° (the only way to make sure of the exact temperature is to use a cooking thermometer). After 7-8 minutes, the fillets will be golden brown, drain them on paper towels, and continue with the cooking of all the others. At the end of cooking, salt and enjoy your fried Roman-style salt cod (in batter) while still very hot.


Once prepared, it is recommended to consume the fried Roman-style salt cod (in batter) immediately, if any remains, it can be stored in the refrigerator for a maximum of 1-2 days: reheat it a bit in the oven before enjoying.


For a perfect fry of the fried Roman-style salt cod (in batter): the salt cod must be desalted and dried before use.

If some small lumps of flour appear in the batter, don’t worry: they will disappear during the refrigeration time.

The temperature of the oil is the secret of excellent fry: measure it with a thermometer and don’t worry if it is high: the cold batter will lower the temperature. For this reason, only a few pieces should be fried at a time.