Bacalao or bacalao a la Vizcaina is a dish I often see in the menu of Spanish restaurants in Manila like Ilustrado. Translated, it means dried codfish. It’s popular to be eaten during Holy Week when everyone’s fasting and just want something light.
Curiosity got the better of me when I received a lovely pack of Pacific Bay bacalao loins from Mida Food. Of course, I had no choice but to cook it in the style of the popular Spanish dish. It’s not Holy Week, but we can always opt to eat healthy any time of the year. And even though it was my first time to cook the bacalao, I guess it turned out well because my girls finished it ..kulang pa! 🙂
The recipe I adopted it from called for the overnight soaking of the fish to remove its saltiness. But what’s good about the Pacific Bay pack is that it’s lightly salted so it can be immersed in water for just a few hours. It’s also already cut into loins for easy handling.
This bacalao recipe was culled from Cafe Antix in Cavite City where the residents take pride in cooking this Spanish dish.
1. Soak the dried fish overnight. But if you’re using Pacific Bay, no need since it’s lightly salted. The purpose of soaking is to remove the saltiness.
2. When finished, take out the water and flake the fish into pieces
3. In the meantime, take out one can of diced tomatoes (I used Contadina). Saute the tomatoes and garlic in olive oil for about 10 minutes. Add the fish, mix in the pan and cook for 15 to 20 minutes more.
4. Peel potatoes, dice them and fry in a separate pan until done. Set aside.
5. Open a can of garbanzos and add this to the fish-tomato mixture. Simmer for approximately 20 minutes.
6. Get cabbage and bell peppers, chop them and add to the dish, together with the fried potatoes. Season with fish sauce and pepper to taste. Mix and simmer everything until cooked.
And there you go, your homemade bacalao dish.
Pacific Bay is the retail brand of Mida Food which celebrated its 20th year anniversary recently.We love that it has now made available to home cooks like us seafood products which we would otherwise only eat in fine dining restaurants.
Some of the Pacific Bay products are halibut steaks, Chilean sea bass, salmon, clams, mussels, scallops, cream dory, jumbo shrimps, tuna, soft shell crab, squid rings, Atlantic cod and others. Look for this brand in supermarkets. The prices are consumer-friendly as well. Can’t wait to cook the other Pacific Bay products in my kitchen 🙂