Bacalao (Salted Codfish) is an ancient ingredient in our cuisine. Recipes with bacalao have a strong connection to the Lenten season, but it’s now consumed all-year-round.
New to Bacalao? Start here:
What is Bacalao?
That is the Spanish name for codfish, fresh and otherwise. However, in the Dominican Republic, it is always assumed than when you say bacalao you mean the salted, dried variety. You have to order “bacalao fresco” to get non-salted bacalao.
Bacalao in English
Bacalao is cod or codfish in English. To find the salted kind, search for “salted codfish”, “salt cod” or “salt codfish”.
History of Bacalao
Salted bacalao is a food that was brought to our island by the conquistadors. By 1942 salt cod had already long been a traditional food in Catholic Spain, where bacalao was the fish of choice inland during the Lent season, and on days where Catholics were banned from meat consumption. It is very popular in Spain, Portugal, and, likewise, many of their former American possessions.
How is Bacalao Prepared?
Salted bacalao is extremely salty, and very dry. The first step is to rehydrate it and get rid of as much salt as possible. Our preferred method is to rinse it thoroughly to get rid of superficial salt, soak it in plenty water to rehydrate and extract more salt, then boil in abundant water to rehydrate, cook and desalt. Our recipes will give you detailed instructions on how to cook bacalao.