Tuesday 4 April 2017

Globecooking recipe : Bacalao (Norway)

I still have lots of adventures to share from my work trip to Norway a couple of weeks ago, but I seem to have been running around like a mad thing ever since I got back ! I did find time to recreate one of the meals that we ate at the hotel though, namely bacalao. When we saw the name of the dish written on a little card next to the dish, we all had the same reaction - "oh, that's Portuguese". I have actually made bacalhau a bras here on my blog and there are similarities between the two dishes, most obviously that they both use salt cod as a major ingredient, but there are also big differences - the Portuguese version involves potato chips (crisps) whereas the Norwegian version uses fresh potatoes, as well as tomatoes and peppers that don't feature in the Portuguese one. The choice is yours - North or South ?!


ingredients :

drizzle of olive oil
2 onions
1 clove of garlic
400g salt cod
1 red pepper
2-3 potatoes
a tin of tomatoes
some black olives
1/2tsp chilli powder

The only thing that takes time (or more precisely forward planning) is soaking the salt cod in cold water for 24 to 48 hours, to remove some of the saltiness. Make sure you change the water every now and then.

Heat the oil and fry the onions and garlic.

Add the potatoes. I had some pre-baked potatoes but you can use raw potatoes and just cook them for longer. 

Toss in the red peppers.

Next to go in is the salt cod, drained and chopped into pieces. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes.

Add a tin of tomatoes - the sweetness helps to balance out the saltiness of the fish so baby plum tomatoes or cherry tomatoes are perfect. Add the chilli, or leave it out of you prefer.

Give it all a good mix, scatter over some black olives and leave to simmer for 10-20 minutes. 

This is the version that we ate in the hotel restaurant in Stavanger but you can also make a more refined version, layering up the ingredients (potatoes, tomatoes, onions, peppers) in an ovenproof dish, pouring over fish stock and/or chopped tomatoes and baking for an hour. I think that would work really well in a slow cooker too.


  1. Jodie Thompson5 April 2017 at 10:54

    This looks yummy, will definitely be giving it a try!

  2. There is a similar dish in Italy too, called baccala. I would love to try it, but cannot buy salted cod locally, and it costs an arm and a leg to order online from some specialist shops. Anyway, your recipe sounds delicious!

    1. We picked ours up in our regular supermarket - maybe you need somewhere with a big Portuguese community ! I think it would work with regular cod too though.


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