Fish and seafood recipes

Galician cod

Galician cod


  • Easy
  • 30 minutes
  • For 4 people
  • 3.3 € / person

This recipe is perhaps one of the simplest to prepare cod but one of the most typical in Galicia . It is a very simple but exquisite preparation.  The ajada It is a sauce widely used in my land to accompany especially cooked fish (cod, monkfish and hake mainly) as well as vegetable dishes (cauliflower, beans, etc). It is very simple to prepare so the only secret will be the quality of the ingredients; the oil must be extra virgin olive (never sunflower), the garlic must be fresh and very tasty and the Spanish paprika. There are two varieties in Spain with designation of origin “Pimentón de La Vera” and “Pimentón de Murcia”. The de la Vera is distinguished from the other varieties by being smoked since its drying is done with smoke from noble woods. This product can be purchased at any supermarket.

It is the quintessential dressing in Galician gastronomy and I have made it with the classic recipe but, like everything, it can have variations. You can add a splash of vinegar when removing the pan from the heat (after adding the paprika) to give it a little more flavor, you can add a little broth from the cooking of the fish or even add a little hot paprika, depending on taste . I without a doubt, I recommend the traditional one.

Before cooking

  1. We have chosen salted cod loins with which we must previously desalinate them. We introduce them in water so that the loins are well covered. Previously we clean the bulk of the salt under the tap, we have desalinated them for 24 hours, changing the water every 8 hours.
  2. We keep the fish in the refrigerator at a temperature between 6 and 8º C, to avoid fermentation. Also inside the refrigerator there are no temperature fluctuations that could accelerate or delay desalting.

Preparation of Galician cod

  1. Peel the potatoes and cut them into pieces to cook. Many of you ask me by email where to buy the famous cachelos, and they are not bought because it is not a type of Galician potato but a way of cooking it. In Galicia, in the past, it was used to cook the potato with its skin in chunks, normally in the middle and put it in the casserole with a little salt. Now people usually peel the potatoes although I love the skin, but in this case they are peeled because they can stain the cod stew
  2. Add the peeled potatoes and cut in half to cook in the casserole. We cook them for 15-20 minutes, it depends on the potato and the type of cuisine we have, we are testing that they are tender without breaking, it is important that they do not fall apart. We test, pricking them occasionally with a fork.
  3. About 8-10 minutes before the end of the cooking of the potatoes we add the cod and let it cook. The time will depend a little on the thickness of the loins. While the fish and potatoes are cooking we prepare the garlic:
  4. We heat the olive oil in a deep frying pan. If you do not want to measure it, we will add the amount of oil that we would normally use for a cooked fish, think that the effect is the same, it is only the dressing of the fish but with a slight preparation.
  5. When the oil is very hot, add the garlic heads cut into sheets. Let the garlic lightly brown and remove from the heat so that the temperature of the oil drops. We add the paprika, stir and let it rest, so the paprika goes to the bottom and the garlic remains clean and smooth, making the oil completely transparent and with a wonderful color. I prepare it like this, but you can add a little of the cooking broth if you like it with more sauce, in one way or another it is glorious. It is essential to remove from the fire to add the paprika as it can burn and spoil the dish.
  6. Once cooked, remove the potatoes and cod from the pot, drain well and place in a bowl. Above we water with the garlic. The rest is put on the table in a sauce boat, as we will surely repeat. Even if we have left over we can preserve it and use it the next day with a vegetable dish, for example.
  7. We place by putting the potatoes and the cod loins on a plate or platter and sauce on top with the garlic. We serve very hot.

This is a very easy recipe with the seal “a la gallega”, thanks to the famous “refrito” that is used in all Galician houses. You can apply it to other fish, such as hake or turbot.

This Galician cod does not need more than a Galician white wine to accompany because it is a delicious and very simple dish. It will surprise you!

Be sure to enjoy all the recipes for fish and seafood that we have on the blog, I assure you that you will find a lot of ideas to make yours much happier. You can see all the photos of the step by step in the next album.  

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