Bacalhau (salt cod), is the national dish of Portugal and Bacalhau à Brás is popular in the capital, Lisbon.
Cod-based dishes are a Portuguese staple. In Portuguese cooking, bacalhau is the star ingredient in more than a thousand recipes.
Some are simple, everyday dishes, others are more elaborate. They serve these recipes on special occasions, such as Christmas Eve and Good Friday.
Cod are cold-water fish not caught off the Portuguese coast but became popular during the age of exploration because it could be stored for long periods.
After being soaked in water, salt cod is then cooked in a variety of ways, including grilling, frying, or braising.
Bacalhau a Bras
- 350 g Dried salt cod
- 7 tbsp Olive oil divided
- 5 Medium potatoes peeled, cut into matchstick-size strips
- 1 Large onion thinly sliced
- 8 Large eggs
- 1/2 tsp Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 tbsp Fresh parsley chopped
- 18 Black olives
- Gently rinse the salt cod under cold water to remove any surface salt. Soak overnight in cold water (12 to 18 hours) in the fridge, changing the water twice.
- Drain the fish, gently rinse again under cold water, then pat dry with paper towels. Shred the fish into bite-sized strips.
- Using a cheese grater or the grater attachment of a food processor, grate the potatoes into shreds. Soak in cold water for 5 minutes, then drain and rinse thoroughly and pat dry with paper towels.
- Warm the oil in a large frying pan on medium-high heat until shimmering. Add half of the potatoes and pan-fry, stirring often to keep the potatoes from sticking together; remove with a slotted spoon when they turn golden brown, about 5 minutes, and set aside to cool on paper towels. Repeat this process with the other half of the potatoes. Reduce heat to medium and discard all but 1 tablespoon of the oil.
- Add the chopped onion to the pan and sauté until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the fish and pepper; gently stir to combine. Allow to sauté until the fish is softened, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Add half of the fried potatoes, stirring to combine, then pour the beaten eggs over everything. Scramble the eggs until cooked, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Stir in the parsley and the other half of the potatoes; add the black olives and serve.