Embrace the Bold Tastes of Bacalao – A Dish Full of Flavour! Bacalao is a popular Filipino dish made with salted cod that has been dried and rehydrated. It is known for its unique and rich flavour, and is often cooked with garlic, onions, potatoes, and olive oil.

Bacalao is a popular dish in the Philippines that is made from salted and dried codfish. The cod is rehydrated and then cooked with various ingredients to create a flavourful and savory dish.

The origins of Bacalao can be traced back to the Spanish colonization of the Philippines in the 16th century. The Spanish sailors would bring dried cod on their long voyages as a source of protein, and it quickly became a staple food in the Philippines.

To prepare Bacalao, the dried cod is first rehydrated by soaking it in water for several hours or overnight. The fish is then deboned and shredded before being cooked with a variety of ingredients such as onions, tomatoes, and garlic. The dish is usually served with steamed rice and can be garnished with chopped parsley or green onions.

Bacalao can be prepared in a variety of ways, but the most popular version is Bacalao a la Vizcaina, which is a stew made with tomatoes, olives, and capers. Another popular version is Bacalao Guisado, which is a sautéed version made with onions, tomatoes, and peppers.

Bacalao is a traditional and flavourful dish that is enjoyed by many Filipinos. It is a great way to use dried cod, which is a long-lasting, easy to store and transport ingredient. It has a unique taste and texture that can be enjoyed in many different ways and can be paired with different sides dishes such as steamed vegetables, mashed potatoes, or just a simple salad.

Bacalao, it’s a simple, but flavourful dish that has been enjoyed by Filipinos for centuries, and it continues to be a popular choice among Filipino families today. With its unique taste and texture, Bacalao is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed in many different ways. It’s a great way to use dried cod, which is a long-lasting, easy to store and transport ingredient. It is a traditional, comforting and delicious meal that is worth trying.

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5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.9 from 7 reviews
  • Author: Raymund
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 40 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Filipino


Bacalao is a popular Filipino dish made with salted cod that has been dried and rehydrated. It is known for its unique and rich flavour, and is often cooked with garlic, onions, potatoes, and olive oil.


Units Scale
  • 600 g dried bacalao (dried salted cod fish)
  • 400 g can chickpeas
  • 2 pcs tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 red capsicum, cubed
  • 1 large onion, chipped
  • 2 pcs medium potatoes, cubed
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 tbsp annatto powder
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • oil


  1. Soak salted dried bacalao in cold water overnight then place it on the refrigerator.
  2. Remove fish from the refrigerator then flake the fish, also remove bones then set them aside.
  3. In a pan add oil then place it on medium heat, add potatoes and fry until golden brown on all sides.
  4. Remove from pan then set it aside.
  5. Dilute annatto powder in hot water until totally dissolved.
  6. Using the same pan under medium heat add oil then sauté garlic and onions until fragrant.
  7. Add the shredded fish, chickpeas, tomatoes, capsicum, freshly ground black pepper and diluted annatto. Cook in medium heat until liquid dries out, around 10 minutes.
  8. Add the fried potatoes then continue to cook in low heat for 5 more minutes, adding a bit of water as it dries out, just need a bit of moisture to have better texture.
  9. Remove from pan then serve.


13 Responses

  1. Eha says:

    Oh sugar! Did this have to happen! I eat everything, truly, honestly . . . and most of my life I and my family have had a difficulty ‘managing’ bacalao :) !!! Your dish looks fabulous . . . shall try again . . . perchance I have grown up !!!

  2. This looks very flavourful and tasty. I like meaty cod, but have never seen dried one over here…annatto powder is new to me too.

  3. Wonderful! I’ve only ever been familiar with the Spanish version – but this looks wonderful!

  4. Michelle says:

    What a hearty and healthy, colourful cod dish! Love using annatto powder for that nice boost of natural color!

  5. I love dried cod – which is also a traditional thing here in Atlantic Canada. But surprisingly it’s not so easy to find it, and if you are lucky enough – it’s so expensive anyway.
    This dish looks and sounds wonderful, loving all the textures and flavours going on. Must be scrumptious!

  6. I didn’t know that salt cod was a thing in the Philippines but as you point out given its colonial heritage it certainly makes sense. Anyway, I adore it and make it, if not often, then on a regular basis. I’m always looking for new ways to enjoy it, and this will be on my list!

  7. I lvoe this, Raymund – and I love how so many cuisines have a version of salt cod… yet they are all so very different! To me, the Roman Jewish version comes closest to yours!

  8. Neil says:

    I love salt cod. It’s not always easy to get here but when I can I love to cook with it. Looks delicious Raymond!

  9. Raymund Angelo says:

    I remember having bacalao for the first time in Cavite, I couldn’t get enough. Sadly it’s not that easy to get in the Philippines to begin with, even less these days it seems. So, lot of people substitute it with other fish like labahita, lapu-lapu, barracuda, and etc. It’s similar enough to scratch the bacalao itch, but it’s not quite the same.

  10. Dried cod isn’t as common in the southern parts of the United States, but I bet I can find it somewhere. This sounds like an easy and delicious way to make an easy recipe. Thanks for the inspiration!

  11. suituapui says:

    We use salted fish in quite a lot of our cooking and smoked fish in soups for our ethnic cuisine. Very nice.

  12. Bert C says:

    My mother makes this dish but she uses olive oil and a lot more of it. She also adds some raisins and uses roasted red bell pepper instead of tomatoes. Besides these changes, the rest of the ingredients are the same.

  13. Merly says:

    Correction: Bacalao is not popular in Philippines because it is very expensive and beyond the reach of common Filipino households. One kilo of this fish, if ever available, used to sell for about 1500php to 1900php (27usd to 32usd).

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