Bacalao Esqueixada

Bacalao is salted cod in Catalana. It is a base ingredient in many of their dishes. One popular dish is Esqueixada, which is described as a ceviche. To me the recipe reminds me of a hawaiian dish Lomi Lomi salmon.

After 3 grocery stores I found salted cod at whole foods.  Of course when I get to checkout there is no price on the box and the cashier didn’t know what it was and have to explain I got it in the seafood section. Once we got the pricing sorted my debit card decided it didn’t want to be read any more. After a big sigh from the man behind me the cashier manually types in the card info. Who knew salted cod would be so complicated!

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Getting it was difficult and to cook with it seems equally tortuous. It needs to be soaked for 4 days to get the salt out! Thankfully, I read the recipe ahead of time and I’m prepared for this to take some time.

Once all the salt is removed I start to cut the ingredients. Having made Lomi lomi salmon many times. I just go on autopilot and start to make the portions more to that with tomato and cod being equal amounts. I add the seasoning as suggested and salad is ready to mix and marinate.

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I marinate it for over two hours and the result is great. It is light and refreshing. The tomatoes are sweet and the fish has a hint of salt. The vinegar adds to the complexity of the salad. My friends and I eat it all.

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Recipes

Bacalao Esqueixada

Original recipe can be found here

  • 1 (6-ounce) fillet dried bacalao (salt cod)
  • 3  tomatoes, seeded and cut into tiny dice
  • 1 hot pepper, seeded and minced
  • 2 spring onions, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 3/4  teaspoon Fine sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground white pepper

Place the salt cod in cold water and soak for 3 days, refrigerated. Change the water and soak for another 24 hours, changing the water 3 times.

Drain the salt cod and using your fingers, flake it into a bowl. Cover with the remaining ingredients and toss to combine. Allow the mixture to marinate at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Chill before serving.

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