Steps by steps making Bacalao

In the midst of my travels, infused with explorations of cultures and cuisines, I was delighted to encounter “Bacalao,” a dish that weaves together the simplicity and richness of flavors intrinsic to its region’s culinary tradition. This savory masterpiece melds the robustness of tomato sauce with the unexpected sweetness of golden raisins and the comforting familiarity of eggs, creating a harmonious blend that tantalizes the palate. The salted cod, which is the star of the dish, absorbs the vibrant notes of the tomato sauce, while the golden raisins add a subtle sweetness that offsets the saltiness, resulting in a complex, layered taste experience. The eggs, when delicately mixed, bring everything together, adding richness and texture. Captivated by this exquisite combination and eager to recreate the magic at home, I embarked on a culinary journey to master “Bacalao.” Through patience and a reverence for the traditional elements of the dish, I was able to capture its essence. It is with great joy and a sense of accomplishment that I now share this cherished recipe with you, inviting you to partake in the culinary legacy of “Bacalao” and experience the unique flavors that make it so beloved.


Bacalao, a dish steeped in cultural richness and culinary tradition, offers a vivid taste of the regions it hails from through its compelling blend of ingredients and flavors. Central to this delectable creation are tomato sauce, golden raisins, and eggs, which together craft a flavor profile that is at once familiar and intriguing. The tomato sauce provides a robust background, lending depth and warmth, while the golden raisins introduce an unexpected sweetness that lightens and complements the dish’s overall savories. Eggs, an integral component, bind the elements, adding richness and a delicate texture that elevates the salted cod—the star ingredient—allowing it to shine amidst these complementary flavors. Inspired by the discovery of Bacalao on a journey filled with exploration, the journey to recreate this dish at home was marked by a diligent quest to capture its authentic essence. Success in this endeavor has led to a desire to share this recipe, inviting others to embark on their culinary adventure, experiencing the joy and communal spirit embedded in the preparation and sharing of Bacalao. This narrative not only celebrates the dish's complex layers of taste but also echoes the broader cultural connections and memories evoked through the act of cooking and eating.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 9 hours 15 minutes
Total Time 9 hours 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Spanish
Servings 8 people
Calories 1027 kcal


  • 1 pot


  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 8 ounces can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1- pound salted codfish
  • 1/4 cup green olives
  • 1 jar roasted red bell peppers
  • 4 potatoes
  • 2 teaspoons capers
  • 2 large cloves of garlic
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs
  • 2 onions


  • Soak the salted fish in approximately 2 quarts of water for 8 hours, rinsing three times.
  • Potatoes, fish salmon, shallots, hard-boiled eggs, caper, cloves, cherries, roasted garlic, and raisins should be layered in the correct sequence.
  • On top of the bay leaf, add half of the sour cream and half olive oil.
  • In the same sequence, the rest of the ingredients.
  • Pour the white wine and water over the top.
  • Bring to a boil, covered, over medium heat.
  • Reduce the heat to intermediate and cook for 30 minutes or until the potato is soft.
Keyword eggs, golden raisins

Cooking tips about Bacalao

Bacalao a la Vizcaina (Basque Style Stewed Salted Cod) - The Noshery

  • Quality of Cod: Begin with high-quality salted cod. Its quality significantly influences the dish’s final flavor. Look for cod that has been evenly cured and shows a clear, white flesh without any discoloration.
  • Desalination Process: The salted cod must be desalted correctly before cooking. Soak the cod in cold water for 24-48 hours, changing the water every 6-8 hours to remove the excess salt effectively. This step is crucial to achieving the perfect balance of flavors.
  • Low and Slow Cooking: Once desalted, the cod should be cooked gently to preserve its delicate texture. A slow simmer in milk or water, infused with bay leaves and garlic, can impart additional flavors while keeping the fish tender.
  • Preparation of Sauce: The sauce or accompaniment to Bacalao typically involves tomatoes, onions, garlic, and peppers. Cook these ingredients slowly and thoroughly to develop a rich, deep base layer of flavor before adding the cod. This technique ensures that the sauce complements the cod’s subtle taste without overpowering it.
  • Flavor Balance: Incorporate elements like golden raisins, olives, or capers to achieve a complexity of flavors. These additions bring a sweetness or brininess that contrasts beautifully with the cod’s savory profile.
  • Texture Contrast: For dishes where Bacalao is served with potatoes or vegetables, aim for a contrast in textures. If the cod is soft and flaky, the accompaniments should offer a slight bite or crunch for a more satisfying eating experience.
  • Herbs for Freshness: Finish the dish with fresh herbs such as parsley or cilantro to add a splash of color and freshness. This not only enhances the visual appeal but also adds a layer of flavor that complements the richness of the cod.
  • Accompanying Sides: Consider serving Bacalao with simple, rustic sides like boiled potatoes, crusty bread, or a fresh salad. These sides can help balance the dish’s richness and provide a neutral backdrop for the cod’s flavors.
  • Wine Pairing: A crisp, acidic white wine pairs wonderfully with Bacalao, cutting through the dish’s richness and complementing its savory notes. Look for Spanish whites like Albariño or Verdejo for an authentic pairing.

Serving suggestions about Bacalao

Bacalao a la Vizcaina (Basque Style Stewed Salted Cod) - The Noshery

  • Traditional Accompaniments: In many cultures, particularly in Spain and Portugal, Bacalao is often served with boiled potatoes and a side of vegetables, such as green beans or a simple salad. These sides provide a neutral balance to the savory and slightly salty flavor of the cod.
  • Rustic Bread: A slice of crusty, rustic bread is the perfect companion to Bacalao. It not only complements the textures but also serves as an excellent tool for sopping up any delicious sauce left on the plate, ensuring you enjoy every last drop.
  • Pilaf or Rice: Serve Bacalao over a bed of lightly flavored pilaf or white rice. The grains will absorb the flavorful sauce from the Bacalao, making each bite a delightful combination of the main dish and the base.
  • Bright, Fresh Salads: A fresh salad with a light vinaigrette dressing can serve as a refreshing contrast to the richness of Bacalao. Consider salads with citrus elements or sharp greens like arugula to cut through the dish’s deep flavors.
  • As Part of a Tapas Spread: Bacalao can be the centerpiece in a spread of tapas, surrounded by other small dishes such as olives, manchego cheese, chorizo slices, and patatas bravas. This allows diners to explore a variety of flavors and textures, enhancing the overall dining experience.
  • Wine Pairing: Complement Bacalao with a glass of wine that can stand up to its flavors without overwhelming it. A crisp, acidic white wine like Albariño or a dry, fruity rosé pairs beautifully, balancing the salty tang of the dish.
  • Garlicky Aioli: A side of garlicky aioli can be an excellent addition for those who love dipping. Its creamy texture and pungent flavor make it a bold counterpart to the fish’s flaky tenderness.
  • Roasted Vegetables: For a heartier accompaniment, roasted vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, and eggplant offer a smoky sweetness that complements the salty notes of Bacalao splendidly.

Top 5 FAQs about Bacalao

Bacalao Guisado // Puerto Rican Cod Stew (Paleo, Whole30, Wahls Protocol)

  • What is Bacalao? Bacalao is a distinctive dish that highlights salted cod as its centerpiece, immersed in a rich tapestry of flavors stemming from a unique mix of tomato sauce, golden raisins, and eggs. This combination crafts a profile that is simultaneously robust, sweet, and comforting, showcasing the depth and versatility of its core ingredients.
  • What are the key ingredients in Bacalao? The essential ingredients that define Bacalao include salted cod, tomato sauce, golden raisins, and eggs. Each plays a pivotal role in creating the dish’s signature taste: the tomato sauce lays down a hearty foundation, the golden raisins introduce a mild sweetness to contrast the savory notes, and the eggs bind all components, enhancing the texture and richness.
  • How do you prepare the cod for Bacalao? Preparing the salted cod involves a critical desalination process. The cod must be soaked in cold water for 24-48 hours, with the water changed every 6-8 hours, to effectively remove excess salt. This step is vital for achieving the delicate balance of flavors characteristic of Bacalao.
  • What makes Bacalao special in terms of flavor profile? Bacalao’s flavor profile is a captivating blend of warmth, depth, and a touch of sweetness, distinguished by the layering of its main ingredients. The savory base of tomato sauce enriches the tender cod, while the inclusion of golden raisins offers a surprising sweet counterbalance, all harmoniously tied together by the subtle richness of eggs.
  • Any suggestions for serving Bacalao? Bacalao can be served as a standalone dish or accompanied by a variety of sides that complement its rich flavors. Traditionally, it may be enjoyed with simple, rustic accompaniments like boiled potatoes, crusty bread for soaking up the sauce, or a fresh salad to add a crisp, refreshing contrast.

In conclusion, Bacalao is more than just a dish; it’s a vibrant celebration of tradition, flavor, and culinary craftsmanship that resonates deeply within Spanish cuisine. Having been introduced to this culinary gem during my travels, I became captivated by its rich history and the complex interplay of flavors—salted cod harmoniously blended with the lively tastes of tomato sauce, the unexpected sweetness of golden raisins, and the comforting richness of eggs. This exploration not only deepened my appreciation for the delicate art of Spanish cooking but also inspired me to bring the essence of Bacalao into my own kitchen. Through meticulous preparation and a commitment to authentic flavors, I discovered the joy of creating a dish that tells a story of cultural heritage and shared experiences. Sharing this Bacalao recipe is more than just an invitation to try a new meal—it’s an opportunity to embark on a culinary adventure that celebrates the diversity and depth of Spanish cuisine. It serves as a testament to the power of food in uniting people, evoking memories, and fostering new connections. Whether enjoyed amongst family, friends, or solo, Bacalao offers a taste of Spain’s rich gastronomic landscape, inviting all who partake to share in its storied tradition and delightful flavors.


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