Bacalao Guisado

Salted Cod, Codfish, Pollock, or Bacalao is a cured and salted fish that’s very popular in Mediterranean and Caribbean cuisines, mainly because back in the day, the curated process made foods last longer. This traditional cod stew recipe from Puerto Rico uses delicious Tropical Salted Pollock Fillets. It’s a simple and quick recipe and perfect for Lent. Pollock is part of the cod family; both have white meat with mild flavor, and are light and high in protein and nutrients.

To make Bacalao Guisado, you have to soak the fillets to reduce the salt level. You can do it during the day or overnight night, but keep in mind you’ll have to change the water a couple of times during the process. If you don’t have time to do this, boil the cod and change the water 2 or 3 times. The result is the same.

Once the cod is ready, the preparation is very simple. It’s cooked with potatoes, tomato paste, onion, garlic, and peppers. Follow the codfish stew recipe below, and you’ll have a wholesome dish for the entire family.

Commonly, Bacalao Guisado is served with rice, and you can add tostones or fried plantains. Enjoy this Tropical Pollock Fillets recipe for lunch or dinner.


  • 2 Tropical Boned Salted Pollock Fillets (16 oz.)
  • 2 gold potatoes, diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 sprigs of culantro (recao) leaves, chopped (reserve a few for serving)
  • 1 can tomato sauce or paste (8 oz.)
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper


  • White rice to serve
  • Fresh baguette


  1. Put the Tropical Boned Salted Pollock Fillets into a large pot and completely cover it with water. Bring the water to a boil and let it cook for 3-5 minutes. Drain the water and repeat the same process one or two more times to remove the excess salt. Set it aside.
    If you have enough time, instead of boiling the cod, soak it in cold water for at least 8 hours, changing the water a couple of times to keep desalting.
  2. In a pan with olive oil over medium-high heat, cook the garlic, onion, and chopped green peppers. Then add the culantro, tomato paste, and 1 cup of water. And finally, the condiments: bay leaf, oregano, and black pepper. Stir and cook until the vegetables are tender.
  3. Add and mix the potatoes and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover the pan and let it simmer on low for about 15 minutes until the potatoes are cooked (not too soft) and the sauce has thickened to your liking.
  4. Add the desalted pollock fillets. Cover the pan and let it cook for another 5 minutes.
  5. Decorate with culantro. Serve it with white rice.

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