Bacalao (Mexican Cod Stew)

In Mexico, salt cod is in high demand throughout December as well as in the springtime due to lent-related dietary restrictions. This is a traditional Mexican dish popularly served on Christmas Eve, but you’ll enjoy it anytime!


  • 2 pounds Salt Cod
  • 2 pounds Mini White or Red Potatoes, washed
  • 2 Medium White Onions
  • 4 Garlic Cloves
  • 2 pounds Roma Tomatoes
  • 6 Dried Bay Leaves
  • 1/2 pound Prunes
  • 6 ounces Almonds, whole or sliced
  • 1 Cup Fresh Parsley
  • 10 ounces Green Olives, whole or pitted
  • 1/2 Cup Olive Oil


One day prior to preparation, cut the codfish into 3 or 4 pieces.

Soak the fish in cold water for 24 hours. It will be necessary to discard the water and add fresh water to the fish every 2 to 3 hours in order to remove as much salt as possible and to make the fish easier to work with. The water should be changed 4 or 5 times throughout the day.

The following day, debone the fish and pull it apart into small pieces.

If desired, soak the green olives in water to remove some of their saltiness.

Boil the potatoes until tender, drain, and allow to cool.

Peel off the potato skins and set aside.

Mince the garlic and finely chop the onion.

Dice the tomatoes, removing the seeds.

Select the best quality bay leaves to use. For the prunes, remove the pits and finely chop the fruit. Sliced almonds are best, so if you have whole almonds, slice them.

Chop the fresh parsley.

In a large pot set over medium-high heat, sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil until translucent.

Add the fish and sauté 1-2 minutes.

Add the diced tomatoes and simmer 2-3 minutes.

Next, add the bay leaves and cook another minute.

Then add the chopped prunes.

Sprinkle the sliced almonds on top and bring to a boil.

Stir well to combine the ingredients.

Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer 15-20 minutes.

Remove lid, stir, and add the potatoes.

Then add the green olives.

Finally, sprinkle the chopped parsley on top.

Mix well and simmer another 2-3 minutes.

Serve hot with teleras (Mexican flat bread), french bread, or rolls.

Bon appetit!

Recipe Posted by Lindsay

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