Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá

Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá

Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá is one of the most popular bacalhau (cod fish) recipe in Portugal. José Luís Gomes de Sá, was born in Porto, on 7 February 1851. Gomes de Sá was the son of a rich 19th century cod trader in Porto. The family fortune dwindled as there was a devastating fire in the warehouse.

José then had to find a job at Restaurante Lisbonense, a restaurant in downtown Porto where he created this recipe.

Gomes de Sá was not only a cod trader but also a food connoisseur. He used a well-known recipe for bolinhos de bacalhau or cod fish cakes and with some of the same ingredients, decided to create a new recipe. Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá was born.


  • 1 ½ pounds dried salted cod. Soak cod in large bowl of water for 30-36 hours in refrigerator with 3 water changes.
  • 5 medium potatoes, peeled, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon salt (divided)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
  • 2 medium onions sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 gloves chopped garlic
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 eggs, hard-boiled, chopped
  • 1 red hot finger pepper, sliced
  • Portuguese olives


  1. In large pan, place potatoes covered with water, ½ teaspoon salt and bring to boil, cook for 10 minutes.
  2. Place soaked boneless codfish over the boiling potatoes and cook for about 10 minutes.
  3. Remove cod fish from pan and set aside to cool.
  4. Drain potatoes and set aside to cool. Slice the potatoes into ¼ inch slices.
  5. In large skillet heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat.
  6. Add sliced onions, ½ tsp salt and bay leaf, sauté till golden brown.
  7. Add garlic and cook an additional 3 minutes.
  8. Remove the bay leaf and let the onions cool for a few minutes.
  9. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  10. Grease a large oven proof pan with olive oil. Start layering the potatoes, flaked cod, then onions.
  11. Drizzle remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and ground black pepper over each layer.
  12. Make sure you end up with onions on top. Cover and cook in oven for 30 minutes.
  13. Arrange cooked egg slices and hot finger pepper on top of onion layer.
  14. Cook uncovered for another 10 minutes.
  15. Remove from oven and add olives for garnish.
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