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Several days ago, I called my mother for the recipe of a family treasure - Baccalao (Salted Cod Stew). This meatless dish is a favorite for a lot of people in my coastal province of Cavite (Philippines). It has cabbage, garbanzos (chickpeas), bell pepper, potatoes and shredded salted cod.

Here is my family's Baccalao recipe.

Ingredients:

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From left top: 1 & 1/2 cup chickpeas, 1 1/2 cups diced potatoes, chickpea water, half a head of cabbage (cut into thin wedges), Achuete powder (annato powder, I didn't have actual annato seeds), 1 whole salted cod fish, and on the white plastic plate (1 sliced green bell pepper, 1 sliced red bell pepper, 1 onion sliced and diced tomatoes.

*Not in the picture: minced garlic, vegetable oil

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Baccalao preparation: soaked in hot water for about an hour and then drained. Squeeze out as much liquid as you can and shred.

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Add about 2 tablespoons of oil to hot wok and then add about 1 tablespoon of minced garlic. When the garlic is golden-brown, add the onion.

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When the onions are translucent, add tomatoes and saute them for 5-7 minutes. This is important. The tomatoes have to be really cooked that they render oil.

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Here the tomatoes are rendering their oil. This will make the stew more flavorful.

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Add annato powder mixed with water. Let this simmer for about 5 minutes.

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In another pan, fry potatoes until they are golden brown all over.

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Back to the wok, add the bell pepper and cod fish now. Stir fry for a minute.

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Add the cooked potatoes. Stir thoroughly into the mixture.

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Add the chickpeas. Again more stirring.

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Now in goes the cabbage... Cover the wok and let the cabbage steam and cook for about 5 minutes.

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Add a cup of water or more if you want the stew soupy.

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Let everything simmer until the cabbage is cooked. Season with salt (if it is not salty enough) and pepper.

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Baccalao Stew

Doddie aka Domestic Goddess

"Nobody loves pork more than a Filipino"

eGFoodblog: Adobo and Fried Chicken in Korea

The dark side... my own blog: A Box of Jalapenos

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This is an incredibly popular meal in Western Norway, brought to Norway centuries ago by the Portugese who purchased their salt cod or klipfisk from there. Strange how the culinary traditions can be so close whilst the geographical locations are so distant.

"Don't be shy, just give it a try!"

Nungkysman: Food for the Body and the Soul.

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I'm talking to my mother right now, and I asked my mother if she ever made this dish. She gave a resounding, "No way!" When she was very young, until she was 13 years old (that's when she started boarding school), she had to eat it every Friday during Lent for lunch, and back then she hated tomatoes and cilantro (which they used to garnish it). But she's curious about it now (she now loves tomatoes, but has developed an allergy to them), so I'm going to forward this to her.

I'll let you know how it goes! (BTW, longganisa and adobo are both marinating in my fridge!)

My mother is making me correct the cilantro bit--no cilantro in Negros way back then. She meant something else...

Edited by prasantrin (log)
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Tristar - my mom told me that our Portugese ancestors (who came in the galleon trade) brought over the recipe and passed it down to us. Cavite city was known as having one of the leading ports in the Galleon Trade during the turn of the century (1800's). We speak Chabacano (pidgin Spanish) in Cavite city and no other city in Luzon or Visayas region do so (except for Zamboanga city in Mindanao, which was also another port city in the galleon trade).

Prasantrin - your mom is from Negros? I spent my high school/college days there.

Melonpan - walang anuman (don't mention it) :)

Doddie aka Domestic Goddess

"Nobody loves pork more than a Filipino"

eGFoodblog: Adobo and Fried Chicken in Korea

The dark side... my own blog: A Box of Jalapenos

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Hi Doddie,

The most poular version of Bacalao in Norway is based on salt cod, with olive oil, olives, tomatoes, bell peppers, onions and garlic, although there are hundreds of variations just in Norway. The Portugese also exported the recipe to South America, Macao, and Goa in Western India, probably every place they touched actually! :rolleyes: But it is such comforting food isn't it? Something very homely about Bacalao where ever it is found.

"Don't be shy, just give it a try!"

Nungkysman: Food for the Body and the Soul.

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Remarkably similar to bacalao a la vizcayna or Basque, Biscayan bacalao

Unlike Tristar, Portuguese did not hold nor they do a monopoly on bacalao

in Portuguese the word is bacalhau, Spanish bacalao, Italian baccala.

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I am proud to say that the huge wok-filled baccalao stew that I fixed was utterly demolished by my son in less than a week. He had it for breakfast, lunch and even as an afternoon snack. *Insert chest popping buttons icon here*. I am definitely fixing this again (despite hubby's protests that the reheated baccalao stinks of dried fish - sigh my truly American hubby).

Doddie aka Domestic Goddess

"Nobody loves pork more than a Filipino"

eGFoodblog: Adobo and Fried Chicken in Korea

The dark side... my own blog: A Box of Jalapenos

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Remarkably similar to bacalao a la vizcayna or Basque, Biscayan bacalao

Unlike Tristar, Portuguese did not hold nor they do a monopoly on bacalao

in Portuguese the word is bacalhau, Spanish bacalao, Italian baccala.

I was not suggesting that the Portugese had a monopoly, I was just illustrating the point, that centuries ago the dish had already been widely distributed due to their trading efforts.

"Don't be shy, just give it a try!"

Nungkysman: Food for the Body and the Soul.

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Remarkably similar to bacalao a la vizcayna or Basque, Biscayan bacalao

Unlike Tristar, Portuguese did not hold nor they do a monopoly on bacalao

in Portuguese the word is bacalhau, Spanish bacalao, Italian baccala.

I was not suggesting that the Portugese had a monopoly, I was just illustrating the point, that centuries ago the dish had already been widely distributed due to their trading efforts.

Not so the Spanish also traded and came as far as the Philippines(a former colony of Spain) and parts of Indonesia(island of Ambon) and The Americas their diets also consisted of bacalaoi.

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Remarkably similar to bacalao a la vizcayna or Basque, Biscayan bacalao

Unlike Tristar, Portuguese did not hold nor they do a monopoly on bacalao

in Portuguese the word is bacalhau, Spanish bacalao, Italian baccala.

I was not suggesting that the Portugese had a monopoly, I was just illustrating the point, that centuries ago the dish had already been widely distributed due to their trading efforts.

Not so the Spanish also traded and came as far as the Philippines(a former colony of Spain) and parts of Indonesia(island of Ambon) and The Americas their diets also consisted of bacalaoi.

What do you mean 'Not so'? Are you denying that the Portugese, traded in the places I mentioned and took their cuisine with them? I have never suggested that the Portugese had sole rights to bacalau or were the only people to spread their culinary culture around the globe have I?

You seem overly sensitive to matters that took place centuries ago does it really matter in the great scheme of things? Ancestral pride is one thing but we are living in the global village now. Sit down have a nice cup of coffee and relax! :biggrin:

"Don't be shy, just give it a try!"

Nungkysman: Food for the Body and the Soul.

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