Bacalhau dishes are common in Portugal and Galicia, in the northwest of Spain. There are said to be over 1000 recipes in Portugal alone and it can be considered the iconic ingredient of Portuguese cuisine (but curiously the only fish that is not consumed fresh in this fish-loving nation). It is often cooked on social occasions and is the Portuguese traditional Christmas dinner in some parts of Portugal. There are numerous bacalhau recipe variations, depending on region and tradition. In Portugal, it is said there are more than 365 ways to cook bacalhau, one for every day of the year; others say there are 1,001 ways. Whatever the exact number, bacalhau is a ubiquitous and iconic food in Portuguese cuisine


  • 1 1/2 pounds salt cod ( skinless and boneless )
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 cups thinly sliced yellow onions
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds waxy potatoes, sliced 1/4-inch thick and cooked until tender
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs
  • 8 black olives
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley leaves


  1. Soak the cod in cold water to cover for 24 to 36 hours, changing the water occasionally, drain.
  2. Flake the cod into small pieces, removing any bones.
  3. Set aside. In a large saute pan, over medium heat, add 1/4 cup of the oil. When the oil is hot, add the onions and the garlic.
  4. Season with salt and pepper. Saute until lightly golden, about 6 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  6. Grease a medium ovenproof casserole dish with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper.
  7. Spread half of the potatoes over the bottom of the prepared dish. Sprinkle half of the salt cod over the potatoes.
  8. Place half of the onion mixture over the salt cod.
  9. Top the onion mixture with more salt cod. Place another layer of potatoes over the top of the cod.
  10. Drizzle the entire pan with the remaining 1/4 cup of oil. Place in the oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden. Place on a serving platter.
  11. Garnish with the sliced eggs, olives, and parsley.