How is Saltfish Made – Recipe for Salt Cod

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By Manilal

Salt cod, also known as bacalao, is a popular ingredient in many cuisines around the world. It is a type of fish that has been preserved by salting and drying, which gives it a unique flavor and texture. Saltfish Made in this recipe, we’ll walk you through the steps to prepare and cook a recipe for salt cod, so you can enjoy this delicious dish in your own home.

Get ready to savor the taste of the sea with this traditional recipe for salt cod, also known as saltfish. This dish is a staple in many coastal regions and has been enjoyed for generations. The process of making saltfish involves preserving fresh cod with salt, which gives it a unique and savory flavor. From the first bite, you’ll be transported to the shores of the ocean, with the salty tang of the fish tantalizing your taste buds. So, let’s dive into this time-honored recipe and discover the art of making saltfish from scratch.

How long do you soak salt cod?

In order to prepare salt cod for cooking, it is crucial to soak it to remove excess salt and rehydrate the flesh. The duration of the soaking process is determined by the thickness of the fish and the amount of salt it contains.

As a general rule, it is recommended to soak salt cod in cold water for at least 24 hours, with the water being changed every 8-12 hours. Thicker pieces may require soaking for up to 48 hours or more. It is important to taste the fish after soaking to ensure that it has been adequately desalted. If it still tastes too salty, it may need to be soaked further in fresh water until the desired level of saltiness is achieved.

To further reduce the saltiness and enhance the flavor of the fish, some people add milk to the soaking water. If you choose to do this, simply add enough milk to cover the fish and allow it to soak for the same amount of time as you would with plain water.

How do you use salted cod?

Salted cod, also known as bacalao or salt cod, is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes. Here are some common ways to use salted cod:

 salted cod

Salt cod, or bacalao, is a versatile ingredient that can be incorporated into various recipes. Here are some common ways to use salted cod:

  1. Stews and soups: Salted cod is a popular ingredient in traditional stews and soups like Portuguese caldo verde or Jamaican fish tea.
  2. Fritters and croquettes: Salted cod can be flaked and mixed with potatoes or other ingredients to create fritters or croquettes, which can be fried and served as a snack or appetizer.
  3. Fish cakes: Salted cod is a common ingredient in fish cakes, which are popular in many countries. The fish is combined with mashed potatoes, onions, and herbs, formed into patties, and fried.
  4. Rice dishes: Salted cod can be added to rice dishes, like Spanish arroz con bacalao or Brazilian arroz de bacalhau.
  5. Salads: Shredded salted cod can be included in salads, like the traditional Portuguese salad with potatoes, onions, and olives.

It’s crucial to keep in mind that salted cod should be soaked before use to eliminate any excess salt. The duration of the soaking process is dependent on the thickness of the fish and the amount of salt present. After the fish has been properly soaked, it can be used in numerous ways to enhance the taste and consistency of your meals.

IS Salted Cod Fish Healthy?

Salt cod, which is also called bacalao, has the potential to be a nutritious component of a well-rounded diet; however, as with any food, it is recommended to consume it in moderation.

salted cod fish healthy

Below are some possible health advantages and considerations to keep in mind when consuming salted cod:

Here are some potential health benefits and considerations when consuming salt cod:


  1. Rich in protein: Salt cod is a valuable protein source, which is necessary for repairing and building tissues within the body.
  2. Low in fat: Salt cod is relatively low in fat, making it a healthy option for individuals concerned with their fat intake.
  3. High in omega-3 fatty acids: Salt cod is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to several health benefits like reducing inflammation.


  1. High sodium content: Salt cod is prepared with salt, which means that it contains a high amount of sodium. Overconsumption of sodium can increase blood pressure and cause other health issues.
  2. Heavy metal content: Some salt cod may have elevated levels of heavy metals like mercury, which can be harmful if consumed in excess. Choosing sustainably sourced, high-quality salt cod is important to minimize the risk of heavy metal exposure.

    In general, salt cod can be a nutritious and delicious addition to your diet, as long as it is consumed in moderation and as part of a balanced diet that includes other nutrient-rich foods. If you have any concerns about consuming salted cod or any other food, it is always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice.

    How is Saltfish Made

    Saltfish, which is also referred to as salted cod, is produced by preserving fresh cod with salt. Here is a basic summary of the process:

    1. To produce salted cod, fresh cod fish is first gutted, cleaned, and then layered with salt in a container. Salt is added between each layer, and the amount of salt used depends on the desired level of saltiness and the thickness of the fish.
    2. The salted fish is then cured for several weeks, during which the salt draws out moisture from the fish, preserving it.
    3. Once the curing process is complete, the fish is rinsed thoroughly to remove excess salt, cut into pieces, and either packed in salt or air-dried for storage and transportation.

    To prepare saltfish for cooking, it is crucial to soak it in water for a minimum of 24 hours to rehydrate the fish and eliminate any excess salt. The length of soaking time depends on the thickness of the fish and the amount of salt applied during the curing process.

    Saltfish is widely used in various international cuisines, such as Caribbean, Portuguese, and Brazilian. It can be used in a variety of dishes, including stews, soups, rice dishes, and fritters.

    Recipe for Salt Cod


    1 pound salt cod
    2 cups milk
    1 onion, chopped
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    2 potatoes, peeled and diced
    1/2 cup green olives, pitted and chopped
    1/4 cup parsley, chopped
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    1/2 cup breadcrumbs
    2 tablespoons butter, melted


    Rehydrate the salted cod: The initial step in preparing salted cod is to rehydrate it by soaking it in water to eliminate the excess salt. Rinse the salted cod under cold running water to get rid of any surface salt, then transfer it to a large bowl of cold water. Cover the bowl and refrigerate it for at least 24 hours, changing the water every 8 hours. The duration of soaking will depend on the thickness of the fish and the amount of salt used during the curing process. The more you soak the salted cod, the less salty it will become.

    Prepare the salt cod for cooking: Once the salt cod has been soaked and drained, cut it into desired-sized pieces using a sharp knife.

    Cook the salt cod: In a large pot, add the cut salt cod and cover it with water. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and let the salt cod simmer for 10-15 minutes until it is tender and flakes easily with a fork.

    Alternatively, you can poach the salt cod in milk or a milk-water combination to add extra flavor and make it more tender. To do this, place the cut salt cod in a large pot and cover it with a mixture of milk and water. Heat the pot over medium heat until it comes to a simmer, then reduce the heat and let it cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the fish is tender and cooked through.

    Once the salt cod is cooked, remove it from the pot and let it cool for a few minutes before using it in your desired recipe.

    Begin by heating 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the chopped onion and minced garlic for 2-3 minutes, or until the onion turns translucent. Add diced potatoes and continue to sauté for 5-7 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Add chopped green olives, parsley, and black pepper, and stir well. Continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes.

    Once the salt cod has been cooked, take it out from the pot and allow it to cool down a bit. Once it’s cool enough to handle, use a fork or your fingers to flake the fish into small pieces.

    recipe for salt cod

    Mix the salt cod and potato mixture: Add the flaked salt cod into the skillet with the potato mixture and blend them together. Cook the combination for another 2-3 minutes or until the salt cod is warmed through.

    recipe for salt cod

    Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spread the salt cod and potato mixture evenly in a large baking dish. In a separate small bowl, combine the melted butter and breadcrumbs, and mix well. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the top of the salt cod and potato mixture. Bake the dish for about 20-25 minutes, or until the top is crispy and golden brown.

    recipe for salt cod

    After baking, remove the salt cod from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving. You can garnish it with some additional parsley if you like. Serve it while it’s still hot and enjoys!


    It’s important to soak the salt cod for at least 24 hours to remove the excess salt, but be sure not to over-soak it, as it can become bland and tasteless. Additionally, take care not to overcook the salt cod, as it can become tough and chewy.

    To add more flavor and variety to the recipe, consider incorporating other vegetables or spices into the potato and olive mixture, such as bell peppers, tomatoes, or paprika.

    Any leftover salt cod should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and consumed within 3 days to ensure freshness and safety.

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