Bacalao a la Vizcaina

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This is a delicious recipe for Bacalao, also known as Cod fish. The Bacalao is bought in the form of salt-dried fillets and therefore must be soaked in water for a couple of days before cooking. Mexicans eat this dish on special occasions such as X-mas and New Years' Eve.
Recipe By:
  • Prep30 min |
  • Total1hr 30min |
  • Serves 4


    • 4 pounds salt-dried Bacalao (Norwegian cod fish)
    • 6 large cans of peeled, cut tomatoes, look for "Ready-Cut"
    • 1/2 large white onion, chopped
    • 8 cloves garlic
    • 3 whole bay leaves
    • 1 cup virgin olive oil
    • 1 4 ounce jar green capers (alcaparras)
    • 1 jar of sliced red peppers or 1 sliced red pepper
    • 1 jar large chiles in vinegar
    • 12 small potatoes


Pre-cooking (2days earlier)

Soak the Bacalao in water and refrigerate, changing the water every day for two days until the Bacalao is not so salty.

Pre-cooking (same day)
Use a garlic press to press 4 garlic cloves or simply smash them the best you can

Boil the potatoes in a separate pan.
Set a large cooking pan in mid-high heat.
Add the olive oil and fry 4 whole garlic cloves until brown, then discard the garlic
Add the cans of cut tomatoes, onion and the pressed garlic to the oil and mix well
Once the sauce has boiled for a while, add the Bacalao while braking it apart with your hands.
Add the slices of red pepper, green olives, capers, and bay leaves to the pan
Add 3-4 dashes of vinegar from the chili can for flavor, a lot more if you like it hot.
Boil for a maximum of 20 minutes, testing the fish to make sure it does not get hard by over cooking it.  Add the potatoes and serve with the large chiles and French bread on the  side

The best Bacalao is imported from Norway and it is less salty and softer than the others.  When you add the tomatoes to the frying oil be careful. It may jump towards you and burn you.The easiest and fastest way to peel garlic is to wrap it in rubber, and roll it back and forth a few times.  You can buy these little gadgets online at
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