Bacalhau à Brás (Salt Cod With Potatoes & Eggs)

March 10, 2022
4 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

Slightly adapted from the recipe of Chef Jose Avillez and inspired by the bacalhau à brás I ate at a restaurant called Solar Moinho de Vento in Porto, Portugal. Don't forget to soak the salt cod overnight, replacing the water one or two times, to make sure the cod isn't too salty. —Stephanie Andrews

Test Kitchen Notes

Stephanie Andrews, who developed this recipe, wrote about how food transformed her trip to Portugal. You'll definitely want to try making her favorite recipe at home if you can't catch a flight there any time soon: "While the Portuguese have more than 1,001 different recipes that include bacalhau—don’t worry, I didn’t try them all—I found the bacalhau à brás to be both a soul lifter and the ultimate comfort food. The dish contains crisp, shoestring potatoes swimming in warm, creamy egg, interlaced with generous heaps of flaky shredded fish. It revived my body and my weary mind. I went back three times to a restaurant called Solar Moinho de Vento just for this dish. I’d like to think that it was what kept me from succumbing to the cold—which I now realize was physical and emotional—that was brewing when I first arrived.

"While I would wholeheartedly recommend hopping on the next flight to Porto and immediately ordering this dish, it’s actually surprisingly easy (and much cheaper) to make from the comfort of your own home. In most of these traditional fish-based dishes, dried salt cod is the gold standard. This means placing the dried fish in cold water overnight to remove the excess salt, draining and re-filling with fresh water a couple of times. (This is a step that must not be skipped; trust me, I learned the hard way.) You’ll want to spend a little extra time de-boning and removing the skin from the salt cod the next day, if applicable. While it might be a pain, think of it as a labor of love." —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1 pound salted dried cod (boneless, if you can find it)
  • 1 1/4 cups olive oil, divided
  • 1 large potato, cut into small matchsticks (about 2¾ cups sticks)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced onion (from about ½ medium onion)
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8 large eggs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped black olives
  1. Place the cod in a bowl of cold water overnight. Empty and refill with new water at least twice during this rest. The next day, drain the water for the last time. Remove the skin and bones from the cod if you couldn’t find boneless. Shred the cod; set aside.
  2. In a large deep pot over medium-high heat, heat 1 cup of the oil. Fry the potatoes for 7 to 10 minutes, until golden and crispy. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the potatoes to paper towels to drain the excess oil.
  3. In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the remaining ¼ cup of the oil. Cook the onion, garlic, and bay leaf, stirring, for 5 to 7 minutes, until softened and fragrant. Add the cod and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until the fish absorbs the oil. Add the potatoes and stir to combine.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs to blend; season with salt and pepper. Add the eggs to the fish and cook over very low heat for about 3 minutes, until the eggs are soft and creamy. It’s important to remove the skillet from the heat before the eggs solidify (they shouldn’t be scrambled).
  5. Divide the fish and egg mixture among plates. Garnish with the parsley and olives.

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Stephanie Andrews is a taco enthusiast, champagne aficionado and believes cake for breakfast is always a good idea. As a full-time jetsetting digital nomad, she hopes to quell her voracious appetite for both writing and eating wherever she lands.

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