Bacalao is a popular salted cod fish dish present in every Caviteñean house every Lenten season most especially on Good Friday. Over the years, the dish has evolved with the use of repolyo (cabbage) as an extender. The extender was an economic necessity but it makes the bacalao watery because the salt from the fish draws out the moisture from the vegetable. Other innovations included adding tomato sauce, or in its absence, colored with achuete (annatto seeds) to simulate the red color of the tomato. As substitutes, dried salted lapu-lapu or barracuda can also be used in this dish.
- 2 big pieces bacalao (dried salted cod)
- 1 cup olive oil
- 2 cups garbanzos, cooked
- 4 potatoes, pared and quartered
- 1 head garlic, minced
- 4 bell peppers, diced
- atchuete oil
- salt and pepper to taste
2. Fry fish flakes in olive oil. Fry the potatoes to golden brown. Set aside.
3. Saute garlic in olive oil. Pour in atchuete oil and one cup water, and bring to a boil.
4. Add the fish, garbanzos, and peppers, stirring. Then put in the fried potatoes. Add more olive oil, if necessary.
5. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with rice or bread.