Bacalao (aka. Salted Cod) Beginners Guide

Bacalao (aka. Salted Cod) Beginners Guide

Bacalao, Bakaliaro and Bacalhau (aka. Salted Cod) is a dried and salted cod. You can find it here on our website.

It is pronounced “Bah-kah-LAH-oh”, and is the word in Spanish to refer to dried and salted cod dish. 

This traditional Spanish dish is also famous in a lot of other countries including Portugal, Italy, Greece, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobogo and some other Caribbean countries. It can also be found in Norway, and Iceland. Safe to say, salted fish is a traditional way to store fish.

Salted fish is also popular in Asian countries, in China for example, salt fish is called ‘hum knue’. 

Like with many other dishes, they have their own variations in each culture which make them slightly different but equally tasty.

We’ll focus on the Mediterranean style for this article. The process is a bit long but quite easy. 

After the cod is cleaned, it is placed in bins with a generous amount of coarse salt and then even more salt is added so the cod is completely “covered” by salt. 

Then the cod will be refrigerated for at least 24 hours. Usually for upwards of weeks. 

Once it’s done curing, or ready to be portioned or packaged, it’s removed from the salt. 

Before using, the cod needs to be soaked in water for at least 24-48 hours and changing the water frequently, at least 3 times, potentially more. This is to remove the excessive amount of sodium and will help rehydrate the fish. 

Bacalao is often used in stews, soups and baked dishes and it is mostly known for its use in the cuisines of the Iberian Peninsula. This is because it was traded between Europe and the Americas in the past so this kind of dish became traditional in different regions.

Surprisingly, bacalao isn't as salty as you would expect. Its flavor is similar to other white fish. Mild, yet still fishy. About its texture, it changes during the whole process but at the end you will find that the bacalao becomes delicate and tender. We promise that bacalao isn’t like anything you’ve ever tried before. Give it a whirl!

Sometimes supermarkets have other dried, salted fish, like pollock, haddock, and whiting - but cod is historically the original real deal. 

We recommend getting your cod from a trustworthy supermarket or, even better, from our shop in the beautiful Kitsilano neighborhood ( 2328 W.4th Ave., Vancouver, BC ). 

Also, safe to mention that when storing your bacalao use a ziplock bag as it can be smelly and make your fridge and kitchen a bit smelly.

Subscribe to our newsletter and get bacalao recipes and many more tasty seafood recipes. And remember to follow us on Instagram @7seasfishmarket to stay up to date with our promos and new products.
Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.