Fish Dishes‎ > ‎

Bacalhau á Bras

(enough for 4)
  • 450g salted cod fillet pieces.
  • 450g potatoes or see Short Cut below
  • oil for deep frying the potatoes
  • 150g onion
  • 3-4 whole garlic cloves
  • 35-40g extra virgin olive oil (for the onions and cod)
  • 3 or 4 large eggs 
  • freshly milled black pepper
  • Some parsley or fresh coriander for decoration
  • some black olives for decoration

Wash off any excess salt from the cod pieces, put them in a large bowl and cover with at least 3 times their volume of cold water, place the cod in the fridge for 24 hours, changing the water at least 4 times. You don’t need to remove all the salt from the fillets,  just re-hydrate and remove the excess salt, if in doubt pick a little bit of flesh from the center to taste how salty it is.

Peel and cut potatoes into matchstick strips, a mandolin is good for this, but if you don't have one use a knife and cut them as thin as possible. Then fry the matchsticks in a deep pan of oil until golden. Before frying it’s best to wash off excess starch so they don’t stick to each other and drain them well. Deep fry over high heat otherwise they’ll soften and soak up oil 
Short Cut: As an alternative to all this work buy a large bag of potato chips, the matchstick kind, plain, plain, unsalted variety. The Portuguese do it this way most of the time unless for a special meal or they are being traditional.

Cut the onion in fine julienne strips, add the garlic which has been crushed and fry over a low heat in the olive oil, when transluscent add the cod which has been flaked, making sure there are no small bones left in the fish, then add the potatoe chips. Heat everything through but do not burn,  just enough until everything is soft and starting to brown. It is not necessary to season with salt as the cod should add enough to the dish but taste it and add some if needed. At this point you can remove the cloves of garlic or leave them in if you like.

Finally, add the beaten eggs to the mixture, which will result in a creamy, soft bacalhau à Bras.  I do strongly suggest that you mix in the eggs over medium heat being careful to not overcook or your dish will be dry, you want to get it to a creamy but not completely set, scrambled egg/omelet type constituency .

Bacalhau á Bras is most often made as above, adding the chips first and then the eggs, but feel free to do the reverse and add the chips last this will result in a crunchy Bacalhau á Bras, try both and see which you prefer.

Now serve with some chopped parsley or coriander for colour, a sprinkle of freshly milled pepper and some black olives to decorate and for taste, yummy!