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Esqueixada de Bacalao (Catalan Cod Fish Salad)


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This refreshing salad, generally known as Esqueixada de Bacalao, is without doubt one of the hottest tapas dishes from the Catalonia area of Spain.

Made with salt cod, recent veggies, Spanish olive oil and black olives, it’s excessive in lean protein and low in saturated fat. Only one chunk and also you’ll be transported to the sunny Mediterranean!

Overhead shot of esqueixada de bacalao catalana in a white plate with forks at the side.

Serve esqueixada de bacalao (also called esqueixada de bacalla) as a tapas appetizer together with sardine snacks and salpicón de mariscos as they do at Catalan eating places in Barcelona, Spain. Or as a lightweight lunch.

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Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Esqueixada de bacalao was one in all our favorite dishes throughout our two months spent consuming our method across the Mediterranean from Barcelona to Greece to Italy.

Esqueixada de bacalao (top right) served along with other popular traditional tapas in Barcelona, Spain.
Esqueixada de bacalao (prime proper) served together with different fashionable conventional tapas in Barcelona, Spain. (Credit score: Francisco Sanchez)

Whereas we had been already huge followers of salted cod having loved it in crispy fritters in Martinique’s accras de morue and as stew in Guatemala’s bacalao a la vizcaína, esqueixada de bacalao is totally different than different conventional salt cod recipes.

Most significantly, it isn’t battered and deep fried. As a substitute it’s served crudo (raw). In that method it’s just like a fish dishes corresponding to ceviche and poisson cru.

  • Excessive in each lean protein and omega-3 fatty acids, esqueixada de bacalao is the proper match for the heart-healthy Mediterranean weight-reduction plan.
  • Bacalao salad combines the saltiness of the cod with the sweetness of ripe tomatoes, the crunchiness of peppers, and the richness of olives, making a satisfying and flavourful dish with out the necessity for unhealthy saturated fat.
  • It’s a recipe seafood lovers will immediately fall in love with. Serving cod chilled actually permits cod’s delicate flavour to shine via.
  • This Catalan tapa is a refreshing addition to a tapas choice at a celebration. It’s meant to be loved in only a few tasty bites.
  • Tremendous simple to make, esqueixada de bacalao takes lower than 10 minutes to place collectively as soon as the dried cod is desalted.
  • The colourful flavour of the cod and crisp veggies makes this Mediterranean dish supreme for summer season potlucks or boating journeys.

Components

Listed here are the highlights of what you have to make this esqueixada de bacalao recipe. You’ll discover the complete ingredient checklist and portions within the recipe card (please scroll down).

Ingredients for esueixada de bacalao including black olives, salted cod, white onion, tomato, lemon, red and green pepper, black pepper, salt and extra virgin olive oil, preferably Spanish.
  • Salted Cod: Has a light, barely candy and briny style with a novel depth of flavour as a result of preservation technique of drying and salting.
  • White Onion: Delicate Spanish white onion contributes a pungent and crisp, barely candy flavour that enhances the cod.
  • Roma Tomato: Roma tomatoes have a dense, meaty texture with fewer seeds and fewer water content material in comparison with different tomato varieties. They’re additionally barely sweeter.
  • Pink and Inexperienced Bell Pepper: Recent peppers add candy and subtly tangy flavour in addition to vibrant color and texture.
  • Black Olives: Spanish or kalamata olives add a wealthy, briny, and barely bitter flavour enhancing its depth and complexity. Unpitted have higher flavour and texture than pitted.
  • Further Virgin Olive Oil: The distinct style of Spanish olive oil enhances the flavour of Mediterranean seafood dishes. For this recipe search for a Spanish Arbequina olive oil, identified for its delicate, fruity, and mildly nutty flavour somewhat than that of the peppery, barely bitter Picual olive oil.
  • Lemon: A splash of lemon gives a burst of citrusy freshness and likewise additional tenderizes the fish.

The right way to Select Salted Cod

Pieces of salted cod for sale at La Boqueria market in Barcelona.
Salted cod on the market at La Boqueria market in Barcelona. (Credit score: Francisco Sanchez)

One factor I realized on the fantastic La Boqueria Market in Barcelona, is that there’s a large number of sizes and high quality of salt cod out there.

Not like right here in Canada the place salt cod is bought in giant slabs, in Barcelona, it’s bought in items primarily based on thickness.

With the ability to select the part of the fish actually provides to the standard of the dish.

So when buying salt cod at your fish mongers or grocery store attempt to buy a thick piece from the center of the fish somewhat than the tail or head.

🌟 Professional Tip: The important thing to selecting dried salt cod is to buy a bit that isn’t too skinny or filled with bones. Search for a center piece of the filet. Attempt to decide on a bit with out a variety of seen bones.

Is Salted Cod Secure to Eat?

Saltwater fish can comprise parasites generally known as nematodes and is a pure phenomenon says Well being Canada.

Nonetheless the excellent news is that potential parasites in cod are destroyed by industrial freezing (and storage for greater than 24 hours) in addition to being heated to a minimal temperature by regular cooking.

Is Bacalao (Salt Cod) Secure to Eat With out Cooking?

Based on Dr. Timothy Sly, Professor Emeritus in Epidemiology at Toronto Metropolitan College, industrial drying and salting collectively present such a hostile setting for nematodes that it renders the fish parasite-free, even when soaked and “de-salted”. 

Substitutions and Variations

  • No recent lemon? Substitute champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar for the recent lemon juice.
  • Swap Spanish capers for black olives.
  • Omit the pink and inexperienced peppers, substituting celery.
  • For a Latin American spin, swap recent lime juice for lemon.
  • Should you don’t have salt cod you may substitute recent cod. Nonetheless for meals security causes you have to cook dinner recent cod earlier than consuming it. The FDA recommends that recent fish be cooked to a minimal inside temperature of 145°F (63°C). So bake recent cod filets, cool after which use on this recipe. Be aware that the style and texture gained’t be the identical as the standard Catalan recipe.

The right way to Make Esqueixada de Bacalao Catalana

There’s a bit of little bit of planning and prep to creating this conventional salt cod salad, however let’s undergo it step-by-step.

  1. Place the salt cod in an oblong glass Pyrex dish and canopy it with cool water. Place within the fridge and permit the fish to soak within the water for 12 hours.
  2. Drain off the salty water, add extra recent cool water and return to the fridge.
  3. Repeat this course of for 3 days altering the water not less than twice dailyor till the salt cod is desalted to style. By the tip of the method, the cod  ought to be plump and solely barely salty. When the soaking course of is completed, drain the cod and pat dry with paper towel.  
  4. In case you are utilizing reconstituted cod, skip the primary three steps and simply rinse and pat dry.
  5. Take away any darkish pores and skin, powerful flesh and bones.
  6. Shred the cod along with your fingers (or two forks) into small items round one inch (2.5 cm) in dimension. Shredding produces the perfect texture. However relying on the dimensions of the items of the cod you buy you seemingly want to chop the cod into items first then shred it.
  7. Place shredded cod in a glass bowl and toss flippantly.
Chopped peppers, tomato and onion and cod in a clear Pyrex dish.
  1. Finely cube onion.  
  2. Chop tomato, discarding the seeds and any liquid. Cube peppers into uniform items.
  1. Add one half of the additional virgin olive oil and blend flippantly. Combine solely sufficient to coat the cod and greens with olive oil.
  2.  Squeeze recent lemon over combination and toss once more. Alter salt to style. 
  3. Refrigerate coated for at least 2 hours.
  4. Prove onto a platter (or particular person tapas sized plates).
  5. Prepare black olives on prime.
  6. Drizzle with remaining olive oil. Add freshly floor pepper to style.  
  7. Serve and revel in!
    Esqueixada de Bacalao or Catalan Salt Cod Salad in a white bowl with a tapas serving and two forks.

    Serving Ideas

    Serve Esqueixada de Bacalao chilled. Enable it to relaxation on the counter for five minutes after eradicating from the fridge so the olive oil can heat up sufficient to develop into fluid.

    It pairs effectively with pa amb tomàquet (pan con tomate), the conventional Catalan meals which is toasted bread with tomato. Any form of rustic, crusty bread is an efficient substitute.

    Take pleasure in this gentle appetizer as a preamble to a hearty most important dish corresponding to Spanish Rooster and Chorizo Stew.

    It’s additionally improbable with a collection of tapas corresponding to sardine paté on crostini, salpicon de marisco (seafood salad), Caprese skewers and high quality tinned fish.

    The ocean salt on this melt-in-your-mouth tapa stimulates thirst so it pairs completely with glowing cava wine or a Spanish Gin and Tonic.

    The right way to Retailer

    Retailer Esqueixada de Bacalao coated within the fridge for as much as 2 days. It’s so fast to make, it ought to be made recent and by no means frozen.

    Knowledgeable Ideas

    Catalan salt cod salad with two forks and a beige napkin.
    • Remember to style the salt cod after it’s soaked to make certain it’s been desalted sufficient. You could must repeat the soaking and draining course of a number of additional occasions earlier than it reaches the specified stage of salinity.
    • Buying dried salted cod and soaking it to desalt it at residence produces higher outcomes than shredded desalted cod bought within the refrigerated part of a grocery store.
    • Some folks use a Thermomix to cut the elements. However I like to recommend doing it by hand for the perfect texture.
    • If the onion is potent, chop it into small items and soak in ice water for quarter-hour. Drain and use.   

    Recipe FAQs

    What’s the distinction between bacalao and cod fish?

    Bacalao is the salted and dried model of cod fish. Along with extending the shelf lifetime of the fish, the preservation course of provides a novel depth of flavour and briny style to the cod, which is of course a light fish.

    What’s the quickest approach to take away salt from cod?

    The quickest approach to take away salt from dried salt cod is rinse it effectively. Then submerge the fish in cool water in a shallow glass dish, soak it in water within the fridge for 12 hours, drain it and replenish the water and return it to the fridge. Repeat the desalting course of twice each day for 3 days. To hurry up the method, repeat the desalting course of 4 occasions each day for 2 days.

    Does bacalao have to be cooked?

    Based on Dr. Timothy Sly, Professor Emeritus at Toronto Metropolitan College, the drying and salting preservation course of creates such a hostile setting for nematodes (parasites) that it renders bacalao parasite-free, even when soaked and de-salted. So it’s suitable for eating bacalao as soon as it’s reconstituted and de-salted with out cooking.

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    Esqueixada de Bacalao (Catalan Salt Cod Salad) in a white bowl on a beige napkin.

    Print

    Esqueixada de Bacalao (Catalan Salt Cod Salad)

    This refreshing salad, generally known as Esqueixada de Bacalao, is without doubt one of the hottest tapas dishes from the Catalonia area of Spain. Simple to make, it is excessive in lean protein and low in saturated fat. Only one chunk and you will be transported to the sunny Mediterranean!

    Prep Time5 minutes

    Soaking/desalting and chilling time2 hours

    Whole Time3 days 2 hours 5 minutes

    Course: Appetizer

    Delicacies: Mediterranean, Spanish

    Weight-reduction plan: Low Calorie

    Servings: 4 folks

    Energy: 41kcal

    Price: $15

    Forestall your display screen from going darkish

    Directions

    • Place the salt cod in an oblong glass Pyrex dish and canopy it with cool water. Place it within the fridge, coated and permit it to soak within the water for 12 hours.

    • Drain off the salty water. Add extra recent cool water and return to the fridge.

    • Repeat this course of for 3 days altering the water not less than twice each day or till the salt cod is desalted to style. By the tip of the method, the cod ought to be plumped and solely barely salty. When the soaking course of is completed, drain the cod and pat dry with paper towel.

    • In case you are utilizing reconstituted cod, skip the primary three steps and simply rinse and pat dry.

    • Take away any darkish pores and skin, powerful flesh and bones from the fish.

    • Shred the cod along with your fingers (or two forks) into small items round one inch (2.5 cm) in dimension. Shredding the cod produces the perfect texture. However relying on the dimensions of the items of the cod bought chances are you’ll want to chop the cod into items first then shred it.

    • Place shredded cod in a glass bowl and toss flippantly.

    • Finely cube onion. Whether it is strongly flavoured then first soak the diced onion in ice water for quarter-hour and drain.

    • Chop tomato, discarding the seeds and any liquid. Cube peppers into uniform items.

    • Fold onion, tomato and peppers into salted cod.

    • Add one half of the additional virgin olive oil and blend flippantly. Combine solely sufficient to coat the cod and greens with olive oil.

    • Squeeze recent lemon juice over combination and toss once more. Alter salt to style.

    • Refrigerate coated for at least 2 hours.

    • Prove onto a platter (or particular person tapas sized plates). Prepare black olives on prime.

    • Drizzle with remaining olive oil.

    • Add freshly floor pepper to style.

    • Serve and revel in!

    Notes

     

    • The important thing to selecting dried salt cod is to buy a bit of fish that isn’t too skinny or filled with bones. Search for a center piece of the filet. Attempt to decide on a bit with out a variety of seen bones.
    • Remember to style the salt cod after it’s soaked to make certain it’s been desalted sufficient. You could must repeat the soaking and draining course of a number of additional occasions earlier than it reaches the specified stage of salinity.
    • Buying dried salted cod and soaking it in water to desalt it at residence produces higher outcomes than utilizing pre-shredded, desalted cod.

    Be aware: Dietary info will not be assured to be correct. It’s created by on-line calculators so figures are solely estimates.

    Diet

    Energy: 41kcal | Protein: 9g | Fats: 0.3g | Saturated Fats: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fats: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fats: 0.05g | Ldl cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 27mg | Potassium: 207mg | Vitamin A: 20IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 0.2mg

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    Overhead shot of Esqueixada de Bacalao in a white dish with forks on the side.

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