Bacalao Guisado (Stewed Cod Fish)

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Bacalao is one of those ingredients that totally reminds me of home.  Bacalao (AKA dried, salted cod fish) is a traditional ingredient in many different cuisines from countries along the Atlantic and in the Mediterranean.  It’s an ancient food whose origins date back hundred of years, to colonial times, and the need for food that transported well without refrigeration.  The salting/drying process used to preserve the cod renders it almost incapable of spoilage, so it enabled travelers to transport this important protein source over thousands of miles during voyages.  As a result, bacalao became an import food source not only in Northern European cuisine, but also in Mediterranean, West African, Caribbean, and Brazilian cuisines.

Bacalao Guisado (Stewed Codfish) | Delish D'Lites

In order to eat bacalao, it has to be rehydrated and desalinated.  Simply, this means soaking it in water for at least 1 day, and changing out the water several times during that process.  If you’ve in a pinch, you can rinse off the excess salt and boil the bacalao, changing out the water a few times until it’s only mildly salted.  Also, this is a perfect dish for Lent, so put this on your list of Friday night meals.  I’m certain it will become a staple in your kitchen throughout the year, it’s so delish!  Serve with white rice or Colombian coconut rice, and avocado.

ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
1½ pounds Bacalao (Salted Alaskan Pollock or Codfish), rinsed and desalinated overnight
1 cup sliced bell peppers (whichever colors you like)
1 cup sliced white onion, cut into half moons
1/2 pound of cassava (or potato), peeled and cut into chunks
2 tablespoons sofrito
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 packet Sazon seasoning (with annatto)
1 cup water
¼ cup pimento-stuffed olives (optional)
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

directions

Soak the bacalao for 24 hours, changing out the water 2-3 times.

Bacalao Guisado (Stewed Codfish) | Delish D'Lites

Add the soaked bacalao and yucca (or potato) into a pot filled with cold water.  Bring the pot to a boil and cook until the yucca (or potato) is fork tender.  Drain the pot, and break the bacalao into large chunks.  Cut the yucca into large chunks.

Bacalao Guisado (Stewed Codfish) | Delish D'Lites

In a large pot heated to medium heat, add the olive oil and sofrito.  Saute for 1 minute, until fragrant.

Bacalao Guisado (Stewed Codfish) | Delish D'Lites

Add the sliced peppers and onions, saute for 4-5 minutes, until they’re softened but no browned.

Bacalao Guisado (Stewed Codfish) | Delish D'Lites

Add the tomato sauce, oregano, sazon, olives & water.

Bacalao Guisado (Stewed Codfish) | Delish D'Lites

Toss in the cooked bacalao and yucca.

Bacalao Guisado (Stewed Codfish) | Delish D'Lites

Bacalao Guisado (Stewed Codfish) | Delish D'Lites

Stir the whole mixture together and let it simmer on low for 10 minutes, to allow the flavors to blend.  Add salt and pepper to taste, if needed.

Bacalao Guisado (Stewed Codfish) | Delish D'Lites

Sprinkle the bacalao guisado with 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro, and serve!

Bacalao Guisado (Stewed Codfish) | Delish D'Lites

Bacalao Guisado (Stewed Codfish) | Delish D'Lites

5 from 1 vote
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Bacalao Guisado (Stewed Cod Fish)

A staple for Lent in Puerto Rican households!

Course Main Course
Prep Time 1 day
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 day 30 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds bacalao, rinsed and desalinated overnight (AKA salted alaskan pollock or codfish)
  • 1 cup bell peppers, sliced
  • 1 cup onion, sliced
  • 1/2 pound cassave or potato, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 tbsp sofrito
  • 1 can tomato sauce ( 8 oz)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 packet Sazon seasoning (2 teaspoons)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup pimento-stuffed olives
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Soak the bacalao for 24 hours, changing out the water 2-3 times.

  2. Add the soaked bacalao and yucca (or potato) into a pot filled with cold water. Bring the pot to a boil and cook until the yucca (or potato) is fork tender. Drain the pot, and break the bacalao into large chunks. Cut the yucca into large chunks.

  3. In a large pot heated to medium heat, add the olive oil and sofrito. Saute for 1 minute, until fragrant.

  4. Add the sliced peppers and onions, saute for 4-5 minutes, until they’re softened but no browned.

  5. Add the tomato sauce, oregano, sazon, olives and water.

  6. Toss in the cooked bacalao and yucca or potato.

  7. Stir the whole mixture together and let it simmer on low for 10 minutes, to allow the flavors to blend. Add salt and pepper to taste, if needed.

  8. Sprinkle the bacalao guisado with 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro, and serve!

Bacalao Guisado (Stewed Cod Fish)

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7 Responses

    1. Absolutely! I’ve used dried and frozen bacalao, both with success. I’m sure it could work with other fish as well, you probably want to stick with something firm, like mahi mahi.

      1. 5 stars
        Thank you. I am going to try it with frozen cold. I am from southern Spain, the Canary Islands. I absolutely love your recipes. Your Latin recipes are fantastic.

  1. 5 stars
    Dear Jannese,
    I just made this recipe today, and I must say it was a total success! What a delicious combination of flavors and textures… and the colors!!! Beautiful and riquísimo! Thank you for sharing this recipe, it will be one of the family’s favorite recipes. We already baptized it as “el bacalao de Jannese”.

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Hola

I’m Jannese, Founder of Delish D’lites

I’m a Puerto Rican girl living in paradise (Florida), and the creative mind behind Delish D’Lites. I love sharing my family recipes and travel inspired cuisine! My favorite things include collecting passport stamps, twerking to Latin music, and kissing puppies. Follow along on social.