Bacalao guisado combines salted codfish with potatoes in a flavorful and colorful stew. Economical, toothsome, and easy to make, Bacalao con papa is an ancient and very popular traditional Lenten staple in our country. Check this recipe, and you can enjoy it year-round.
By- Last reviewed . Published Dec 27, 2010
Why we ❤️ it
Bacalao guisado is one of our oldest culinary treasures, and the popularity of bacalao guisado goes back to the times of La Conquista. Yes, codfish, along with casabe, is one of our most ancestral foods.
A rich stew with a lovely combination of salted cod fish, vegetables, and potato, we enjoy this Lenten staple all year, and now you can too.
History of bacalao guisado
When Catholics were forbidden to eat meat on Fridays, and during Lent, fish was the obligatory option. Before Columbus set foot in the New World. Salted fish could be eaten anywhere, and kept for very long periods. This dish arrived in our country with the Spanish conquistadors and remains relevant and popular.
You can learn about the history of bacalao.
Bacalao guisado con papa.
At my paternal home, Bacalao con papa was always served with Moro de habichuelas (rice and beans), some avocado slices were a must, and sometimes mami served Tostones (fried ripe plantains) or Plátanos amarillos fritos (fried ripe plantains).
- Keep an eye on the pot when the bacalao is boiling, as it may overboil (just like milk) if the temperature is too high.
- If you use tomato paste instead of tomato sauce, add an extra cup of water when you add the tomato paste.
- Soaking the fish overnight helps rehydrate it better, and eliminate excess salt without having to boil it for a very long time.
About our recipe
These days there are no more strict restrictions for Catholics, nor is the country universally Catholic, but Dominican bacalao guisado remains popular, and this dish is still a Dominican Lenten tradition.
For this recipe, I have sought inspiration from my family traditions, where olives cannot be absent.
There is little variation between Bacalao Guisado recipes, but we I'd love to hear if yours differs.
This awesome free recipe contains Amazon affiliate links, we receive a small commission from any purchase you make at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support!
Bacalao Guisado con Papa [Recipe + Video] Salted Codfish
- 2 pound bacalao (salted codfish), [0.9 kg]
- 1 pound potatoes, [0.45 kg]
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small red onion, , cut into thin slices
- 1 tablespoon mashed garlic
- 2 green bell peppers, , cut into strips
- ¼ cup pitted green olives, , sliced or whole, as you like
- 1 cup diced tomato
- 1 sprig parsley, , chopped
- 1 cup tomato sauce, (or 5 tablespoon of tomato paste)
- 1 cup water, (Aside from all the water for washing and boiling)
1. Desalting codfish
- Rinse the codfish in running water, scrubbing off as much surface salt as possible. Soak the codfish in abundant water overnight, or at least two hours. Change the water at least once if you leave it overnight.
- Place the codfish in a big pot, and add about a gallon (2.5 l) of water in it. Boil over medium-low heat until the codfish starts flaking, top off water as needed to maintain a similar level as when it started. This may take 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the freshness and quality of the fish. Once the bacalao is flaking, add potatoes and boil until fork-tender. Remove from the heat and the water. Taste the fish, it should be pleasantly salty, but not excessively so. If it is still too salty you will have to soak in clean water for about an hour. If OK, set both aside until the fish is at room temperature.
3. Prep fish
- Once cooled to room temperature, flake the codfish into small, spoon-size pieces, and make sure to discard bones, fins, and skin.
- In a pot heat the oil over medium-low heat. Cook and stir the onion until it becomes translucent. Add garlic and cook stirring until it's heated-through. Add parsley, bell pepper, olives, and tomatoes. Cook stirring until they are heated. Add the codfish and potatoes. Stir to mix. Pour in tomato sauce and water, mix to combine. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer until the sauce has thickened (5 to 10 minutes). Taste and season with salt if needed (probably not).
- Remove from heat and serve. See serving suggestions above the recipe.
Nutritional information is calculated automatically based on ingredients listed. Please consult your doctor if you need precise nutrition information.
More fish recipes
Fish is a favorite food in the Dominican Republic, and Bacalao is not the only salted fish we eat, Arenque (salted smoked herring) is another staple of our cuisine, so if you like fish, don't miss all our fish recipes.
If you want to try more bacalao recipes, you'll love Bacalaitos, a type of bacalao fritter, my Ensalada de bacalao, a salad witha lovely combination of flavors and textures, and these Codfish and potato fritters.