Bacalao (aka salt cod) is smart way to preserve cod. It ups the flavour of the fish and gives it a nice, chunky texture too – perfect for frying and as a filler for tacos.
I tried my hand at making salt cod with a couple of kilos of skrei (wild Norwegian cod). It was super easy to do and I was really pleased with the results.
Essentially all you need to do is cover the fish completely in salt for 48 hours. Rinse it in cold water, pat dry and wrap in cheesecloth. Then leave it in the fridge on a wire rack for seven to 10 days. Before cooking with it, you need to soak it in cold water for 24 hours, changing the water a couple of times.
I referred to these two links offer when I made salt cod:
But that’s just part of the fun I’m sharing here. Once you’ve made or purchased your salt cod, consider this simple recipe to batter fry it and serve as fish tacos with fiery chipotle mayonnaise.
BEER BATTER BACALAO TACOS Yum
Ingredients for the tacos (8-10 servings)
- 1k of salt cod;
- Peanut or vegetable oil;
- 100g all-purpose flour;
- 100g fine cornmeal;
- Cayenne to taste (I’d say not quite a teaspoon);
- Nutmeg to taste (I’d say not quite a teaspoon);
- 30cl of lager or light ale (cold);
- 1 tablespoon of honey;
- Salt to taste;
- Black pepper to taste;
- Coriander to taste;
- Chopped chives to taste;
- Shredded purple cabbage (about a 1/4 of a head);
- Limes to taste (one wedge per taco; so 2 or 3 whole limes);
- White corn tortillas (It’s always a good idea to have more than enough, especially if you’re apt to double up on your tortillas per taco).
Ingredients for the chipotle mayonnaise
- 250ml of mayonnaise;
- 2 chopped or crushed garlic cloves;
- Juice from 1/2 a lime;
- Pinch of lime zest;
- 1 tablespoon of chipotle powder;
- Sea salt to taste;
- Chopped chives to taste.
- Make sure your salt cod has soaked in water for 24 hours with water changed twice;
- Remove the fish from the water, rinse and dry thoroughly with a paper towel;
- Cut the fish into bite-size ‘nuggets’ and thins strips about the length of a tortilla’s diameter;
- Heat up the oil to medium-high in a sauce a fryer or deep pan;
- In a large bowl, mix the flour, cornmeal, cayenne and nutmeg together;
- Whisk in beer and honey and make sure there aren’t any lumps;
- Season the pieces of fish with salt and pepper and dredge in the batter;
- Let the excess batter drip off;
- Place in the oil. Fry for 6 to 8 minutes until golden on all sides;
- Drain on paper towels.
- To make the chipotle mayonnaise, simple mix all the ingredients together thoroughly.
- Warm your tortillas before serving;
- Garnish each taco with coriander leaves, chives, purple cabbage, a generous dollop of the mayo and whatever else you like on your tacos with a wedge of lemon on the side.
If you’re not up to doing all the ‘heavy lifting’ for this recipe or you’re worried about who will want how much of what, it might be fun to bring all the ingredients to the table for a DIY dinner.
Skrei is cod sourced from the wild coastal waters of Norway’s far north between the months of February and April when it returns from the Barents Sea to spawning grounds near Lofoten and Vesterålen. Its epic journey through clean, cold waters makes for especially succulent and flavoursome meat. Skrei is without doubt the tastiest cod I’ve ever had.
For more about skrei and lots of recipes and cooking tips, go to seafoodfromnorway.co.uk.