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Maria's Portuguese Bacalau

Rated as 4.58 out of 5 Stars

"This is a traditional Portuguese dish that brings back memories of mom. It is not only tasty but it is always a hit at parties. Plan ahead, because the salted cod needs to soak for 24 hours."
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1 d 2 h servings 701
Original recipe yields 8 servings


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  1. Soak the dried salted cod in cold water for 24 hours, changing the water several times.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the soaked cod, and boil for about 5 minutes, or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Remove cod from water, and save water for cooking potatoes. Remove skin and bones from the cod, and flake the meat into pieces using a fork. Set fish aside in a large bowl.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together the olive oil, 1 clove of garlic, 1 tablespoon of parsley, red pepper flakes, and black pepper. Pour over the fish, and toss lightly to coat.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place the potatoes into the fish water, and bring to a boil. Cook for 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain under cool water, peel and cut into 1/4 inch slices.
  5. While the potatoes are cooking, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, and saute until golden and caramelized. Stir one clove of garlic into the onions. Set aside.
  6. Layer half of the potato slices in the bottom of a greased 8x11 inch baking dish. Cover with half of the cod, then half of the onions. Repeat layers, ending with onion.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until lightly browned. Before serving, garnish the top with green and black olives, and hard-cooked eggs. Sprinkle with remaining parsley.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 701 calories; 31.3 25.2 77.1 277 8223 Full nutrition

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  1. 52 Ratings

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Most helpful positive review

OH MY GOSH! This was unreal! I followed the recipe exactly except I omitted the chopped eggs and olives for garnish. The real name for this recipe is actually 'Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá'. I am Port...

Most helpful critical review

I read an article once that made my want to try this dish, and saw salt cod advertised at a local market. Like fish, like salt, like potatoes, love olives...but didn't care for this dish! The f...

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OH MY GOSH! This was unreal! I followed the recipe exactly except I omitted the chopped eggs and olives for garnish. The real name for this recipe is actually 'Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá'. I am Port...

Delicious! I used fresh cod instead of salted, and added salt. My wife, she is Portuguese, loved this recipe. I will be making it for her as often as she will like. Thank you for sharing it wi...

Out of all the recipes I've seen on the internet, yours was the only true one that had the black olives which is always used in this dish in the Azores. Thank you.

I'm so glad I tried this recipe. By far, one of the best I've found on I had to make a few changes based on what I had in the house. I used fresh cod and boiled it in heavily sal...

Where is the cheese in this recipe? What kind? how much?

Mmmm tastes like tradition! Personally I find the dried, store bought bacalau tougher/chewier in this dish. Therefore I use (heavily salted) fresh cod instead of dried bacalau. Also, I sliced...

I made this for my husband's Portuguese family and they all said that it tasted better than any other Bacalau recipe they have ever had. They couldn't believe how good it was! Thank you for an...

I made this for my parents who are both from Lisbon, Portugal...and boy did I impress them! Thank you so much! As another reviewer mentioned, my parents said this dish is traditionally called Ba...

This was the best dish I have ever had. I'm Portuguese but don't even know the name for this dish. I've had it before, but this is by far the best and the most delicous. We will definitely be m...