Image by Josh Withers

Bacalhau com todos

Ah Bacalhau com todos, one of the most iconic dishes in Portuguese cuisine! This heartwarming mix of ingredients creates a dish like no other.

Bacalhau com todos

Leading with salted cod as its base, this traditional meal unifies an ensemble of ingredients each contributing their unique flavor profiles. Cabbage, potatoes, eggs, and olives are the key components to this dish, but the real secret lies in the combination of those ingredients together.

The salted cod plays a crucial role in the taste of the dish and for that reason fillets of bacalhau are often soaked for several hours before adding them to the mix. The cabbage provides a mild sweetness, while the olives add a delightful saltiness. Combined with the tender boiled potatoes, the olives create a flavor pairing that is simply delectable. Last but not least, the eggs provide a subtle richness to the overall flavor profile.

Whether served with a side of crusty bread or some white rice, the combination of these flavors result in a plate full of comfort. And the best part? The whole dish can be cooked in a single saucepan, making it a great minimal-effort meal.

Of all the classic bacalhau recipes, Bacalhau com todos is arguably the most popular, and for good reason; it’s simple, delicious, and a great way to show off your cooking prowess! So if you ever find yourself in Portugal, be sure to try this dish—you won’t regret it.

The origin of Bacalhau com todos

The origin of Bacalhau com Todos, a beloved Portuguese dish, is shrouded in mystery and debate. To this day, there is no clear consensus as to its precise origin: some argue it hails from the northern region of Trás-os-Montes, while others contend it originated further south in Madeira.

One popular theory posits that the dish has its roots in the fishing industry, which was integral to Portugal's economy beginning in the 16th Century. The Portuguese seafaring tradition dictated that salted cod—known as bacalhau—was a staple food for these mariners, given its ability to withstand long voyages and its relatively low cost. Thus, as the Portuguese explored and settled new lands, bacalhau (and Bacalhau com Todos) went with them, becoming a ubiquitous dish throughout the country.

It was not until the 19th Century, however, that Bacalhau com Todos attained its current form. According to some accounts, the recipe was first created by a restaurant in Porto, Portugal. It's rumored that a chef, enlivened by the challenge of concocting a dish using plentiful and affordable ingredients, designed the now-popular meal. The ingredients—which include eggs, potatoes, and onions—are thought to have been inspired by traditional French cuisine.

In the centuries since its inception, the popularity of Bacalhau com Todos has only grown. Today, it remains an iconic Portuguese delicacy and an integral part of the country's culture. Enjoyed both in Portugal and abroad, this hearty dish has come to embody the nation's vibrant culinary heritage and its deep-seated connection to the sea.

Types of Bacalhau com todos

Ah, bacalhau com todos - how could one resist the irresistible lure of this delicious dish? So often associated with traditional Portuguese cuisine, this cod-based dish is a staple of the nation’s food culture, beloved by both locals and visitors alike.

What’s even more remarkable, however, is the sheer versatility of the dish. With each region serving up its own unique take, there’s no shortage of enticing recipes that can be used to serve up a tasty meal. From the classic casarejada of Faro to the revigorating Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá of Lisbon, there’s plenty of choices to suit every palate and budget.

The most popular version, however, has to be the hearty blend of potatoes, onions, greens and olives that goes by the name of Bacalhau com Todos. Commonly served family style with fried or baked potatoes, this flame-licked favorite can be found gracing the tables of seafood restaurants all across the country.

For a slightly more piquant twist, there’s also the Bacalhau à Brás – a combination of desalted cod, thin-cut potatoes, olives and onions, seasoned with oil and garlic, then served with a splash of lemon. This dish is as bursting with flavor as it is with nutrients and sustenance, making it ideal for an indulgent weekend feast.

And last but not least, there’s the Bacalhau à Lagareiro. The synthesis of roasted cod, bay leaves, garlic, olive oil and potatoes make for a piquant and robust entrée that’s sure to please even the pickiest of palates. Paired with grilled vegetables and a sprinkle of fresh parsley, the result is an extraordinary culinary experience unlike anything else.

No matter which recipe you choose, each bite of Bacalhau com Todos is sure to delight your taste buds and keep your guests coming back for more.