Portuguese traditional recipes: Bacalhau à Brás

This first time I had this was at a secret dinner in Lisbon, Portugal. Gonçalo served this as one of the most classic dishes- really anything with salt cod in Portugal is classic. It’s said they have a salt cod recipe for every day of the year. If Portugal had a trophy, it would be a salt cod!

This dish is another humble dish, that uses only the cod, egg, potatoes and some herbs. The thing that makes it addicting are the shoestring potatoes on top. The contrast of the crunchy, saltiness of the potatoes goes perfectly with the mashed fish and soft scrambled eggs.

For a modern take on this dish, in the first run I decided to make it without the eggs and add more veggies. I wanted to star the salt cod a little more. It turned out to be a little salty, so I would recommend adding the eggs.

This dish was also better the next day stirred into eggs. It’s very unique in flavor you have to try. A little leathery and fishy, it is not for the faint-hearted. You can also start with salted cod fritters or “bolos de bacalhau” as a more crowd-pleaser kind of salted cod recipe.

Bacalhau à Brás


  • 6 oz. salted cod (speciality market or Amazon)
  • 2 medium white potatoes, cut into matchsticks
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ onion, chopped small
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • ¼ cup parsley, chopped
  • 10 olives, black or green


  1. Rinse fish and change water several times over 3 days max.
  2. Then, boil cod in water for 20 minutes. Then, drain and set aside in a bowl to cool. When cool, shred cod with fork or hands. Remove any bones if there are any.
  3. Fry the matchstick potatoes in oil until golden brown, and the drain on a paper towel. (About 7 minutes)
  4. In a large saute pan, saute the onions, then add the fish and some of the potatoes. Mix in the eggs and parsley and scramble for a few minutes until softly set. Garnish with olives, parsley, and more matchstick potatoes.

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