Eggplant with Salted Codfish is another super delicious way to eat eggplant. Another staple dish in Puerto Rico.
The best thing about Puerto Rican cuisine is that not only is it tasty but it is also easy to make. This recipe is one of those. This dish is made regularly in Puerto Rican homes especially around Easter times for religious purposes. In my house it was made almost every week and when not it was Serenata de Bacalao. I think that’s why as a child I learned to love it.
What is Eggplant with Salted Codfish?
Made with very few ingredients like green peppers, onion, tomato sauce, oil, and the all-mighty Puerto Rican Sofrito which is the base of many dishes. It also has two main ingredients and one of them is salted codfish which gives it that rich salty seafood taste. The other main ingredient is eggplant. I‘ve read that in the US only 25 % of its population eats eggplant. Well if you’re part of that 25% percent you’ll be delighted to learn a new way to eat it. If you’re not then get ready to fall in love with this eggplant recipe.
I believe that most of the time people that dislike eggplants are probably because they had one that wasn’t properly cooked. Maybe it was undercooked and that aided to a bitter taste because by itself eggplant can be very mild in flavor. It can also be because they had one that was very chewy so they don’t like the texture. But in this recipe the eggplant is cooked just enough so it melts in your mouth. It fills your mouth with different flavors that you won’t even know that you‘re eating eggplant.
What to serve this with?
This recipe is served typically as a side dish. It goes very well over boiled potatoes. Even as a topping to make seafood stuffed potatoes. To me the best way you can eat this is with a bowl of hot steamy white rice. Or you can eat it as a main and make some tostones as your side. There are many possibilities such as tuber vegetables like yuca (cassava).
Making ahead and storing
This recipe is perfect to make ahead on a busy week. You can make ahead the salted codfish by desalting, cooking and storing it in the fridge for no more than 3 days. It can maybe last longer but I wouldn’t recommend it just to be on the safe side. You can also make the whole recipe and store it in the fridge for 3 days. This recipe freezes very well for up to 3 months. Maybe it can go a little longer but I haven’t tried but if you do let me know. When you are ready to store, use an airtight container and date it.
How to make + Tips
1. Prep your salted codfish. First you need to desalt it by rinsing and then cooking it. Some people do this process differently by desalting overnight and changing the water a couple of times. But I find that rinsing and cooking is the quickest way to do it and I always get the same amount of saltiness left in my codfish.
2. Shred into smaller pieces. Since it is more of a preference feel free to cut as large or small as you like. A very important step is to make sure that there are no bones in and remove if any.
3. Cut your eggplant into long strips about a half inch thick. Cut it right before using it because after peeling your eggplant will quickly start turning a brownish color. Even though it is perfectly fine to eat, it won’t look as appetizing.
4. Now time to cook the eggplant by adding your oil and eggplant into a pan for 10 minutes. Some people choose to boil it but I prefer the pan method because of the lovely flavor it gets when it is caramelized. Some pieces even get a little charred and the flavors are amazing.
5. After your eggplant has changed in color, now it’s time to add your green peppers and onions along with your codfish. Give it a good mix and then you add your sofrito and tomato sauce.
6. Finally mix everything well and cook for another 3 minutes and enjoy.
Salted codfish- I used 1 pound of salted codfish. If you cant find it then you can use salted haddock and pollock.
Eggplant- I used one large eggplant.
Sofrito- I used 2 tablespoons of sofrito which you buy in any latin market or make a batch of your own.
Tomato sauce- I use tomato sauce but you can use tomato paste. Use 1//4 cup of water and ¼ cup of tomato paste.
Oil- I use vegetable oil but you can use your whichever oil you normally use for cooking.
Green pepper- I used green pepper but you can use any kind you like.
Onion- I used yellow onions.
Eggplant with Salted Codfish | Berenjena y Bacalao
- 1 pound salted codfish
- 1 large eggplant
- ½ cup oil
- 1 large onion
- ½ green pepper
- ½ cup tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons sofrito
- Rinse your salted codfish to remove the coating of salt. Cook the codfish for 15 minutes and drain. After it has cooled enough to handle shred into smaller pieces as big or as small as you like. While you do this make sure you check for any bones that were left in and remove any.
- In a large pan set it to medium heat. Add your oil and the eggplant. Cook for about 10 minutes or until it has changed color. Make sure to stir it around occasionally to avoid burning.
- Now add in your green pepper and onion. Mix and cook for about 3 minutes. Finally add your codfish, tomato sauce and sofrito. Give it a good stir to make sure everything is well mixed and cook for another 3 minutes. Serve and enjoy.
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