Bakaliaros Skordalia: What is the Greek Fish & Chips and how to enjoy it in London!

Bakaliaros Skordalia

1. The Greek alternative to Fish & Chips

Across the culinary map, variations on fish and chips exist. While the UK’s version reigns supreme in many minds, Greece offers a compelling alternative steeped in tradition called bakaliaros skordalia. This dish combines crisp, golden-fried cod with a flavourful garlic and potato dip, creating a delightful harmony of textures and tastes. 

2. What is Bakaliaros Skordalia?

The main part of the dish is Bakaliaros, air-dried or salted cod, often soaked for desalination before being cut into pieces and fried to a golden crisp. This is accompanied by Skordalia, a creamy dip traditionally made by whipping together boiled potatoes, olive oil, and generous amounts of garlic, resulting in a robust garlicky counterpoint to the mild fish. While variations exist, this elegant combination of textures and flavours offers a delightful exploration of the Mediterranean’s culinary offerings.

Fried Bakaliaros
Fried Bakaliaros
Skordalia
Skordalia

3. The star dish of March 25th in Greece

There are two key reasons why Greeks traditionally eat bakaliaros skordalia on March 25th:

a) Religious Significance: March 25th coincides with the feast of the Annunciation (Evangelismos) of the Virgin Mary. This is a great day in the Greek Orthodox faith during the Great Lent period that precedes Easter. For 40 days meat, fish, eggs, milk and oil are not permitted, but due to the festive character of the day fish, oil, and wine are permitted on this day, making bakaliaros skordalia a perfect celebratory meal.

b) Cultural Significance: March 25th also marks the start of the Greek War of Independence in 1821.  During these difficult times bakaliaros was a more affordable and readily available option compared to fresh fish, especially for mainland Greeks. To this day, modern Greeks eat bakaliaros on March 25th as a custom.

25th March

4. Where to enjoy Bakaliaros Skordalia in London

If you are interested in tasting the Greek Fish & Chips, here is our pick for London!

Kima Restaurant

At Kima, they create menus utilising every part of the fish practising ‘fin-to-gill’ philosophy and they take pride in aging various fish cuts in-house, which are showcased in their dedicated fish butchery section.

Contact Information

  • +44 (0) 77 4520 5136
  • reservations@kimarestaurant.com
  • 57 Paddington Street, Westminster, London

Byzantium Restaurant

Byzantium is an impressive, unique and well-established Greek restaurant that is conveniently located between Bayswater and Queensway, that emphasises family-style food, traditional pastries (tsourekia, baklava etc.) and real Greek coffee.

Contact Information

  • +44 20 7229 9367
  • 31 Moscow Road, Westminster, London

Ammos Greek Restaurant

At Ammos, food is more than just sustenance; it’s a genuine source of joy, a feeling of coziness, and an opportunity to connect with family and loved ones. This is the essence of what they aim to provide at Ammos – an authentic Greek culinary experience in the heart of London.

Contact Information

  • 020 7262 0169
  • info@ammoshydepark.com
  • 28 Sussex Place, Westminster, London

Ithaki Greek Kitchen

A few years back three friends decided to start a culinary trip in London cooking and trying traditional Greek food. The memories from their homes from the Ionian Islands to Athens and then to Asia Minor got together and created smells and tastes and a love for good traditional Mediterranean food.

Contact Information

  • +44 (0) 77765 24051
  • info@ithakirestaurant.co.uk
  • 5-6 Hanger Green, Ealing, London

Opso Modern Greek Food

OPSO [gr. ΟΨΟ] is an ancient Greek word for a delectable morsel of food, a delicacy. It is available for lunch every weekday from 12pm to 4pm.Their menu includes some of their bestselling sharing tapas for a relaxed meal as well as complete individual meals in case you are after a quick lunch-break.

Contact Information

  • +44 (0)207 487 5088
  • reservations@opso.co.uk
  • 10 Paddington St, W1U 5QL, Marylebone, London

Alexander the Great

They bring the taste of the Mediterranean to your plates, using fresh and flavoursome produce. Their chefs prepare everything in-house, making sure your meal is prepared to the highest quality. Their produce is freshly sourced by hand, daily, from local markets bringing top quality direct to their customers.

Contact Information

  • 020 7388 1111
  • alexanderthegreatrestaurant@gmail.com
  • 8 Plender Street, Camden, London

Meze

At the Greek Meze, they pride themselves on serving delicious home-style and traditional Greek-cooked food with the finest ingredients by their outstanding chef bringing a slice of the Mediterranean to the high street. Vibrant traditional Greek decor and colours, with soothing music, guarantee an exceptional experience and a taste of real Greek culture.

Contact Information

  • 020 7624 8571
  • info@meze-nw6.co.uk
  • 92 Kingsgate Road, Camden, London

5. Cook your own Bakaliaros Skordalia at home.

For those who are adventurous and want to be a Greek Master Chef by cooking Bakaliaros Skordalia, here is the classic recipe!:

A) Ingredients:

  • For the Bakaliaros (Fried Cod):
    • 1.5 kg salted cod, skin on (desalted, see instructions below)
    • 200g all-purpose flour
    • Olive oil for frying
    • Salt and pepper to taste
  • For the Skordalia (Garlic Potato Dip):
    • 500g potatoes
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1/2 cup olive oil
    • 1/4 cup water (or reserved potato cooking water)
    • Lemon juice to taste
    • Salt and pepper to taste

B) Instructions:

  1. Desalt the Cod: This is an important step as salted cod can be very salty. Rinse the cod under cold running water for a few minutes. Then, soak the cod in a large bowl of cold water in the refrigerator for 24 hours, changing the water every 3-4 hours.
  2. Prepare the Skordalia: While the cod desalts, boil the potatoes until fork-tender. Drain and mash them in a bowl. Add the garlic, olive oil, water, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Mix well until creamy. You can adjust the consistency with more water or olive oil as desired.
  3. Prepare the Bakaliaros: Once desalted, pat the cod dry with paper towels. Cut the cod into bite-sized pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Dredge the fish pieces in flour, coating them evenly.
  4. Fry the Cod: Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat (around 350°F). Carefully fry the cod pieces in batches until golden brown and cooked through, about 2-3 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels to remove excess oil.
  5. Serve: Serve the fried cod hot with the skordalia dip. Enjoy with some lemon wedges for squeezing over the fish.

Here is a quick video of the recipe. Kali Tihi! (Good Luck!)

Frying Bakaliaros
Frying Bakaliaros

6. Where to buy the ingredients for Bakaliaros Skordalia in London

You can buy the essential ingredients here:

Fratelli Greci Finest Foods | Delicatessen

A friendly, comfortable environment where customers buy, try and get to know quality delicatessen foods from Greece but also well known foods and drinks from all over the world. The only deli shop of its kind with top quality foods, wines and coffee from their origin of production.

Contact Information

  • +44 207724 2021
  • info@fratelligreci.com
  • 26 Seymour Pl, Westminster, London

Kamari | The Authentic Greek

They specialise in supplying authentic Greek food products in Crystal Palace (South East London), and, we deliver high quality authentic Greek products to the wider community. Their customers enjoy a delicious choice of takeaway hot and cold refreshments with Greek flavours.

Contact Information

  • +44 07494 446 469
  • info@kamari.london
  • SE19 3RY, London, Greater London

Ormos | Food & Drinks

The online delicatessen and one-stop-shop for the finest Greek delicacies, reflects their long-lived vision for sharing our love and knowledge for authentic Greek foods and exquisite flavours of the most authentic recipes. The Ormos Foodhall experience is rooted in convenience and reliability as well as authenticity, and high quality of products and service. 

Contact Information

  • 020 8200 5037
  • info@ormostrades.com
  • 35 Grafton Way, W1T 5DB, London

Bakalikon | e-shop

The word Bakalikon [Ba-ká-li-kon] used to be the local grocery store in Greece. It was very popular, as it had the best and most fresh products, carefully picked for the customers. The owner knew each individual, providing exceptional services every single time. Today, they want our customers to have the Bakalikon experience bringing alive this Greek tradition.

 Contact Information

  • 07568212854
  • info@bakalikon.com
  •  Bakaliaros Fillet
    Bakaliaros Fillet

7. A touch of Greek tradition

As you savour the crispy flakiness of the bakaliaros and the creamy garlicky depth of the skordalia, you’re not just enjoying a delicious meal, you’re experiencing a taste of Greek tradition.

So, the next time you take a bite of bakaliaros skordalia, remember that you’re not just eating a meal, you’re connecting with a rich tapestry of culture, faith, and the joy of sharing a delicious tradition.

Bakaliaros and Skordalia

 

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