Bacalhau ao pil pil

Cod with pil pil

Bacalhau al Pil Pil is a traditional recipe from the Basque Country, in Spain. This recipe uses just a few ingredients, but the key to success lies in the technique of emulsifying olive oil with cod gel to create a creamy sauce. 
BOSS: Raphael Despirite


  • 4 pieces of desalted cod with skin (it is important that the cod has skin and is desalted, as this is where the gel that will help with the emulsion will come from) 
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil 
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely sliced 
  • 1 chili pepper (optional) 
  • Salt to taste 


  • Preparation of the Cod: If the cod is salty, start by desalting it. Soak the cod in cold water for 24-48 hours, changing the water several times, until it is desalted. 
  • In a large frying pan, add the olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add the sliced ​​garlic and, if using, the chili pepper. Fry until the garlic starts to brown slightly. 
  • Remove the garlic (and pepper) from the oil and set aside. 
  • Increase the heat to medium-high and place the cod fillets skin side down in the pan. Cook for about 3-4 minutes until the skin starts to come away from the cod. 
  • Turn the steaks over and cook for another 3-4 minutes. 
  • Reduce heat to low. Start moving the pan in a circular motion, allowing the oil to emulsify with the gel that comes off the cod skin. This is the crucial moment of the recipe. Continue moving the pan until the oil turns into a thick, creamy sauce.
  • If the sauce is not emulsifying correctly, you can add a tablespoon of cold water to help the process along. 
  • Once the sauce is creamy, return the garlic (and pepper) to the skillet and gently toss. 
  • Serve the cod fillets covered with the pil pil sauce. 

See all articles in Revenues