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Mommy's Bacalhau

Bacalhau (1)

Bacalhau is a traditional Portuguese dish incorporating codfish and potatoes. Its form and texture is akin to lasagna but its flavor is distinctly European. My mother takes great pride in preparing it the same way her mother did and I am proud to do the same in my own kitchen now!

  • ServingsServings


  • 1 lb of codfish
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cups of soy milk
  • 1/2 tbsp dried parsley
  • 5 yellow potatoes
  • salt (as needed)
  • 1 cup of breadcrumbs
  • 4 large eggs (2 hard boiled, 2 beaten)
  • 1/4 cup of black olives


Cover the cod with water in a Tupperware container and seal. Place in the fridge for 12-24 hours depending on the quantity and size of pieces.

Place the cod in a large pot with water and bring the water to a boil. Once boiling, allow it to simmer for 20 minutes.

Once the cod is cooked, shred it using two forks and set aside.

Cut and dice an onion. Sauté the onion on medium heat in a large skillet for 4-5 minutes until translucent. Add the garlic, pepper and tomato paste.

Add the soy milk and parsley. When the milk gets hot, add the shredded cod and let it cook for 15 minutes on medium heat allowing the mixture to thicken.

Meanwhile, peel and slice the potatoes into thin circles. Fry the potatoes in a single layer, in a prepared skillet sprinkling with salt.

Using margarine, grease a 9” glass-baking dish (this also works just as well in a corning ware or aluminum loaf pan for small batches – the method in my home however has always been to use the glass baking dish). Sprinkle breadcrumbs over the prepared dish until it is completely coated.

Now you’re ready to assemble the dish, just like you would a lasagna! Start by creating a single layer of the fried potatoes, overlapping them to ensure the surface of the dish is covered. Next add the cod mixture spreading it evenly over the potatoes. Repeat this process, ending with a layer of potatoes.

In a small saucepan, hard-boil 2 eggs.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

On the top layer of the Bacalhau, arrange slices of the hard-boiled egg as well as a handful of olives.  In a small cup, beat two eggs and pour over the Bacalhau.  Cook for 40 minuets at 375 degrees F.