Doesn't sound Norwegian, you say? You're right!
When traders started exporting clipfish (dried and salted cod) from Norway to southern European countries in the middle of the 17th century, they received spices and vibrant culture in return.
Including the dish called bacalao (derived from the Spanish and Portuguese terms for 'cod')!
Today, bacalao is traditionally served at celebrations, and is a dish that remains strongly associated with certain coastal areas, especially the Møre region in the Northwest.
There are many recipes for bacalao. Recipes that contain tomatoes are the most popular in Norway.
It's definitely worth a taste!
1. Remove the skin and bones from the clipfish and cut it into approx. 2 cm thin slices.
Note: If you are diluting the clipfish yourself, you can calculate that its weight will increase by about 35%. You can also buy ready-diluted clipfish in some well-stocked shops. Calculate approx. 250 grams per serving.
2. Cut the potatoes and onions into approx. ½ cm thick slices.
3. Place the fish, potatoes and onions in a large pot (one layer for each ingredient, one layer at a time).
4. Divide the chillies lengthwise, scrape out the seeds and chop finely (use the seeds also if you want the Bacalao to be more spicy). Chop the garlic roughly and place in the pot together with the bay leaves, chillies, olives, tomatoes and olive oil. Bring to the boil, lower the heat and cover. Leave to simmer for approx. 1 hour. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with chopped parsley just before serving.
Although this is a dish that can be served on its own, many people like to accompany it with freshly baked bread.
1 kg diluted clipfish
1 kg onion
1 kg potatoes
2 red chillies
4 cloves of garlic
3 tins of chopped tomatoes
4 bay leaves
30 black olives
300 ml olive oil
2 tbsp chopped parsley leaves
In Kristiansund, you can visit The Norwegian Clipfish Museum. You can also join Klippfiskfestivalen, the annual clipfish festival, which is usually held in June.
Ålesund is home to Europe's largest clipfish restaurant, serving over 20 tons of delicious clipfish a year!
Here, you can also sample different versions of bacalao, including the traditional tomato version.
Bacalao is also often made from stockfish, common in Northern Norway.
Every year between February and April, hundreds of fishing vessels gather around the Lofoten and Vesterålen region, when migrating Atlantic cod, called skrei, come to spawn.
While clipfish was traditionally salted and then dried on flat rocks by the sea (today, this is done indoors), in Northern Norway, skrei is dried on massive racks outdoors.
In Northern Norway, the salty wind, strong winds, and cool climate provide the perfect conditions for preserving skrei.
Get more inspiration on where to visit and what to eat.
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