14 Ways to Cook With Salt Cod

Don't judge this magical cured fish until you've tasted it

Using salt to preserve meat and fish is one of our oldest culinary tricks. And when it comes to salt-preserved cod, you have an ingredient that brings bold, briny flavor to everything it touches. Here are 14 ways the world cooks with this magical fish, from croquettes to stews to pasta.

Brazilian Shrimp Stew (Vatapá)

Brazilian Shrimp Stew (Vapatá)

This adaptable stew is from the Brazilian state of Bahia, where Iberian, indigenous, and African foodways intermingle in one of the country's most dynamic cuisines. Usually bread is used to thicken it, but some cooks use manioc flour. Sometimes there are ground peanuts, sometimes cashews. Onions, tomatoes, ginger, okra, and chiles might go into the pot, along with chicken, salt cod, or shrimp. But there's always coconut milk and palm oil, which provide a luxurious texture and signature floral notes. —Neide RigoTodd Coleman

Bacalaítos Fritos con Bacalao Guisado (Salt Cod Fritters)

Salt cod does double duty in this fritter topped with piquant cod salsa.Penny de los Santos
Pan-Fried Salt Cod Chips (Fritas de Bacalhau)

Pan-Fried Salt Cod Chips (Fritas de Bacalhau)

A thin batter of salt cod, garlic, and onions is shallow-fried to make fine, crisp chips.Todd Coleman
Salt Cod, Chickpea, and Egg Salad (Salada de Bacalhau a Grão-de-Bico)

Salt Cod, Chickpea, and Egg Salad (Salada de Bacalhau a Grão-de-Bico)

Alentejo's traditional salt cod, chickpeas, and hard-boiled eggs are combined into an elegant petisco, the Portuguese version of tapas.Todd Coleman

Brazilian Salt Cod Stew

Salt cod is a staple in South America, the Caribbean, and Europe. This recipe comes from Neide Rigo, a Brazilian food blogger.André Baranowski
Grilled Polenta with Dried Cod Mousse (Baccalà Mantecato)

Grilled Polenta with Dried Cod Mousse (Baccalà Mantecato)

This creamy codfish mousse is delicious served with char-grilled squares of polenta.Todd Coleman

Ackee and Saltfish

Ackee, Jamaica's national fruit, is the highlight of this hearty sauté.Landon Nordeman

Boulettes de Morue (Salt Cod Fritters)

Salt cod fritters, a specialty of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, gain herbaceous dimension from potatoes cooked in a wine-laced court bouillon.Penny De Los Santos
Salt Cod with Garlic Cream

Salt Cod with Garlic Cream (Bacalla Confitat amb Salsa d'All i Rossinyols)

In this dish, Santamaria's delicate garlic cream suggests a refined version of allioli, the basic Catalan emulsion of garlic and olive oil.Galilea Nin
Vizcaya-Style Salt Cod

Vizcaya-Style Salt Cod

Appearing on Christmas menus throughout Mexico, this version of salt cod with almonds and olives comes from the nation's capital and is based on one from the Spanish province of Vizcaya.David Sawyer

Stamp and Go

These road snacks are possibly named for the way travelers would stamp their feet at food stands to hail vendors. This recipe, adapted from one given to us by Jamaican food columnist Jacqui Sinclair, pairs the fritters with a sauce made with culantro, an herb with a cilantro-like flavor.Landon Nordeman

Acadian Salt Cod Cakes

Acadian Salt Cod Cakes
Salt cod is mashed with fluffy potatoes to make these bite-size pan-fried cakes from Prince Edward Island.Gemma and Andrew Ingalls

Squid-Ink Pasta with Salt Cod Confit

The squid-ink pasta in this striking dish from Manhattan's Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria can be substituted by regular fresh spaghetti.Todd Coleman
Salt Cod with Garlic Sauce

Salt Cod in Garlic Sauce

The natural gelatin in cod skin works as an emulsifier for this creamy, rich garlic sauce.Matt Taylor-Gross