Rissóis (Portuguese Rissoles)

While the Portuguese are not known for tapas we do have a fair share of snack items that are typically referred to as “salgados” which means salt things.  Rissóis, croquettes, marinated olives, cod fish fritters, pickled pork ear salad and peixinhos da horta (translated means little fish from the garden which is breaded or floured vegetables tha are fried) among others are popular salgados that the Portuguese snack on.  Rissóis can be made from just about any leftover protein and even vegetables but shrimp is by far the most popular version.  They can be had at just about any meal and are ideal for packed lunches or a picnic.  I enjoy them for breakfast with a galão (made of espresso and foamed milk kind of like a latte).  The ingredient measurements are an approximation since the preparation can vary the consistency of the dough.   What your are looking for is something that is firm yet supple since you are going to eventually fry it.  It cannot be too firm or else it will crack when you fry but you don’t want sopping wet or else it will never hold in the filling.  The amount of seasoning for the enchido (filling) is also up to you although traditionally they aren’t to spicy.  Its a fine balance where the spicy heat should be a subtle undertone just barely there.  After frying make sure to drain on a wire rack over a cookie sheet or on some absorbent paper.  You can freeze them before cooking and just pop them in some hot oil whenever you fancy.  

***Note*** Here is guide to what cubes/stock to use:

Turkey, Chicken, Veal and Pork use Chicken Stock
Vegetable use Vegetable stock
Fish or shrimp use seafood or fish stock
Beef use Beef Stock

Rissóis (Portuguese Rissoles)
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  • Dough
  • 32 ounces of Water
  • pinch of salt
  • 90 grams of Margarine
  • 600 Grams of All Purpose Flour
  • Filling
  • leftover meat or fish minced (use food processor to mince it)
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup margarine
  • piri piri, salt, paprika, garlic powder and black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • stock made from either beef, chicken or seafood Knorr cube(s)
  • 4 eggs
  • Unseasoned Bread Crumbs
  • Oil to fry


  • Place water, salt and Margarine in a pot and boil.
  • Mix in flour and mix until the dough begins to come away from the pot. Turn off flame. The dough will be lumpy…this is OK.
  • Place dough into a bowl and use mixer with a dough attachment to knead the dough until most of the lumps go away. There may still be some lumps but that is also OK because you are going to roll out the dough eventually.
  • Flour a flat surface and dump the dough onto it and let it cool.
  • Depending on what protein you are using place a few Knorr cubes into a small pot with water and boil it until the cube disappears. Alternatively if you have homemade stock handy you can use this as well.
  • Once you make the stock set it aside.
  • Melt the margarine and sauté the onion until it is translucent.
  • Add the protein and cook.
  • Add enough flour to make a rue. Constantly stir the ruse mixture letting it mix well but don’t let it burn or change color.
  • Add stock and mix until a gravy forms. You can play around with adding more stock if it is too thick. Alternatively you can add some flour if it is too watery. You want a nice thick gravy like consistency.
  • Add piri piri, salt, paprika, garlic powder and black pepper to taste and set aside.
  • Cut the dough ball in half.
  • Roll out each half and use a big round cup or other perfectly circular instrument and being to cut rounds in the dough.
  • Remove the dough between the circles and set aside (you will roll out this left over dough and repeat the process until all the dough is used).
  • Place about 1 tablespoon of the filling into each circle.
  • Form into a half moon and seal it with the edge of a fork to create that design you always see on rissoles. If the rissoles don’t seal dab it with some water on the edges so it seals.
  • Repeat on the second half of the dough ball until no more dough is left.
  • As you finish them place them on a cookie sheet that has been powdered with flour so they don’t stick.
  • Beat four eggs and some water.
  • Dip the rissoles in the egg wash then dredge in bread crumbs.
  • Set aside back on the floured cookie sheet. (At this point if you want to save some for later use freeze them before cooking. When you decide to make it at a later date just take them out of the freezer and fry them in hot oil.)
  • In a fryer heat oil until it is 355 degrees.
  • Fry the rissoles in batches (do not overcrowd the fryer) until they are golden brown.
  • Place on a tray with paper towels or on another cookie sheet with a wire rack to drain once they fried.