How to Cook Bacalhau (Bacalao) (Salted Dried Cod)

by Roberto Bargagli

Original mother in law (Gelina's) recipe. An angel that came from heaven and teach me how to cook it. To his beloved memory!


  • 1 Kilogram Bacalhau (salted dried codfish)
  • 1 Bunch Parsley
  • 1 Bunch Garlic cloves
  • 1 Kilogram Beafsteak tomatoes
  • 1 Kilogram Onions
  • 2 Large bottles of green olives without pits
  • ⅝ Liters Olive oil
  • 1 Large bottle of capers
  • 1 Large can of red bell peppers
  • 1 Large can of "chilaca peppers"
  • Instructions

    Step 1

    Put the Bacalhau in a large recipient with cold water and place it in your fridge. Replace the cold water every 6-8 hours up to 4 times. This process will remove the extra salt from the dried cod.

    Step 2

    Boil the "Bacalhau" with fresh water for 1 hour.

    Step 3

    After you boil the Bacalhau, remove the water and wait till is not so hot, then with your hands remove the small bones and skin (if any) and shred.

    Step 4

    Wash and clean the tomatoes.

    Step 5

    Chop them.

    Step 6

    Disinfect a bunch of parsley leaves.

    Step 7

    Chop them.

    Step 8

    Wash and clean the onions.

    Step 9

    Chop them.

    Step 10

    Green olives witout pits, reserve half of them.

    Step 11

    Slice half of them.

    Step 12

    Large bottle of capers.

    Step 13

    Chop half of them and slice in two pieces the other half.

    Step 14

    Slice the red bell peppers.

    Step 15

    Large can of "Chilaca Peppers". They usually come with some sliced carrots (that we will NOT use) and some vinegar.

    Step 16

    Now that you have all the ingredients ready, in a large open pan (the type you use to cook "paella") put the olive oil and the garlic cloves. Put everything on low heat.

    Step 17

    When the oil is hot, once in a while stir.

    Step 18

    Remove the garlic cloves from the oil when they are brown (Gold). We are not going to use them anymore. Is just to add flavor to the olive oil.

    Step 19

    After removing the garlic cloves from the oil, add the tomatoes.

    Step 20

    Constantly stir until they reach a "brick" color.

    Step 21

    Add the onion and stir for 10 minutes.

    Step 22

    Add the parsley.

    Step 23

    Stir the mix for 5 minutes.

    Step 24

    Add the Bacalhau and stir for 12 minutes.

    Step 25

    Add the sliced olives and stir.

    Step 26

    Add the capers and stir.

    Step 27

    Add the red bell peppers and stir. Taste the whole mix and see if salt is needed. Stir for 5 minutes.

    Step 28

    Add the "Chilacas" (without the sliced carrots) and add some of the chilaca's juice of the can. Add the rest of the full olives. Stir for 5 minutes.

    Step 29

    I know is a long recipe but is simple delicious! We only cook Bacalhau for Christmas. Enjoy with champagne or cold white wine. Don't forget to slice some bread as well. Enjoy.