Bacalao is one of my favorite Puerto Rican dishes. I hope you love it too!
1 1/2 pounds Bacalao (salted cod fish, frozen)
*You can use any combination of these root vegetables, the amount is dependent upon the number of people you’re serving.
Purple yam (not traditional, but yummy)
red OR white onion (I use red)
Kosher and iodized salt
sea salt for garnish (you can use Kosher salt if you don’t have any)
cilantro (for garnish)
1. The bacalao needs to soak overnight. You also have to change the water at least two times. There is a fine line when soaking this. If you don’t change the water enough, it will be way to salty. If you change it too much, it will not be salty enough. Don’t worry though. You can taste it before you cook it and adjust the seasoning accordingly. But let’s just say on average, you will need to change it twice.
2. So, pretend this is the next day and you have soaked your bacalao. Put a large pot of water on the stove to boil. I use a 7 quart pot with about 3-4 Tablespoons of iodized salt.
3. Prepare your root veggies to be boiled. Each one of them needs to be peeled and chopped. The yucca also needs to have the stem removed from the center. If you are unsure on how to perform any part of this step, I have a video on YouTube (bestbitesforever) that shows you how. Also, I cut them in the order that they take to cook. So the yucca is first and then I add it to the pot followed by the taro (and add to the pot), then the yautia and lastly the purple yam. I boil them all in one pot instead of having four different pots on the stove. I just keep an eye on them and remove them as they’re finished cooking. If you do them in order though, they should finish around the same time.
4. Place your eggs into a pot of cold water and bring them to a boil.
5. Bring another large pot of water up to a simmer. I use a shallow pot large enough to lay my bacalao in. Simmer the bacalao for 15 minutes (do not boil). Pull the bacalao out and allow to cool enough for you to handle it.
6. While your bacalao is simmering, peel your green bananas and add them to the pot of root veggies. *Tip – They are easier to peel if you soak them in very hot water first. Check on other veggies while you’re there :)
7. Once you can handle the fish, follow the natural separation to break it into pieces. You can remove any of the “white skin” as you go (again, see video if needed).
8. By now, your root veggies should be ready to remove from the water. Remove them and set them to the side.
9. Add olive oil into the fish. I use about one cup.
10. Slice one red (or white) onion. I like mine sliced thin, but you can slice them thick if you’d like. Add the onion to the fish. Stir gently so you don’t break the fish up. I actually use my hands for this part. Place the fish into a serving dish. I also like to cut my boiled eggs in half and put them around the dish. Sprinkle with a little sea salt, pepper and chopped cilantro.
11. Serve with the root veggies. Enjoy!