"Bacalhau Portuguese" Portuguese Salt Cod

“One of Portugal’s favorite national dishes is bacalhau. Versions of this dish are enjoyed everywhere from Italy and Africa to Scandinavia, where it is known as lutefisk. Bacalhau is a must-taste for any visitor to Portugal.”

–Gerard Van Helvoort
Culinary Director


  • 2 lbs (900 g) salt cod, soaked
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 6 Tbsp (85 g) butter
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 large potatoes
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp (20 g) breadcrumbs
  • 10 green olives, pitted
  • 10 black olives, pitted
  • 4 large eggs, hard-cooked
  • 1/2 cup (120 g) fresh parsley leaves, chopped
  • 2–4 Tbsp wine vinegar to taste
  • 2–4 Tbsp olive oil to taste


  1. Soak the dried cod in cold water for about 24 hours, or until completely moistened. Change the water several times; drain thoroughly.
  2. Put the cod into a saucepan with cold water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until fish is tender. Drain; skin and bone the fish. Flake with a fork into large pieces.
  3. Sauté the onions in half the butter until they are tender and golden, then add the garlic. Boil the unpeeled potatoes in salted water. Once tender, remove from the heat and refresh in cold running water. Remove potato skins and slice into 1/4-inch (6-mm) pieces.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 1 1/2-qt (1 1/2-L) casserole dish with the remaining butter. Arrange a layer of half the potatoes, then half the cod, then half the onions. Sprinkle with a little pepper and repeat layering. Sprinkle breadcrumbs over the top layer.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes, or until heated through and lightly browned. Before serving, garnish with olives and eggs, and sprinkle with parsley. Serve with wine vinegar and oil in cruets and pepper on the side.

    Serves 6

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