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Bacalao Dip

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Cook Time

October 3, 2022 by Reina Gascon-Lopez

Bacalao, also known as salted cod fish, is a common ingredient found in many Puerto Rican kitchens. Because of its preservation method, dried and salted fish became a staple in many West African, Caribbean, and Brazilian cuisines throughout the years, transforming into a variety of dishes across the diaspora. In Puerto Rico, this fish is often cooked with rice or stewed and paired with root vegetables like taro and cassava. I wanted to mimic the same flavors from the stew to enjoy with Yolèlè Fonio Sea Salt Chips. To switch things up, you can even serve this dip on top of cooked fonio for a heartier meal!


  • tablespoons neutral cooking oil
  • heaping tablespoons fresh sofrito (see provided recipe)
  • teaspoons tomato paste
  • 1/2  teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Small pinch red pepper flakes
  • Small pinch sazón spice blend, homemade or store-bought, to taste
  • Cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4  cup water
  • 12oz package bacalao (salted cod fish), soaked overnight and shredded (see note)
  • teaspoon honey or sugar
  • Extra virgin olive oil, for garnish
  • Hot sauce, for garnish
  • green onion, thinly sliced, for garnish
  • Yolèlè Fonio Sea Salt Chips, for serving


  • 01 .  

    Note: soak the bacalao in a large mixing bowl of cold water, changing the water out a few times and letting it soak overnight in the fridge. The next day, discard the water and shred the fish with your fingers, picking out any bones or excess skin if found. Roughly chop any large pieces of the cod fish. Set aside. As for the sazón, if using store-bought, taste and adjust seasoning by starting with 1/2 a teaspoon first since bacalao is very salty.

  • 02 .  

    In a large frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Once shimmering, add the sofrito and sauté until fragrant, about 3 minutes.

  • 03 .  

    Stir in the tomato paste, smoked paprika, red pepper flakes, and the sazón. Cook through to bloom the flavors, about another 3 minutes or so.

  • 04 .  

    Stir in the water and then fold in the shredded bacalao. Let everything simmer for about 10 minutes or until the fish is completely warmed through.

  • 05 .  

    Taste and adjust seasoning, adding a little honey or sugar (to balance out the dish), sazón, black pepper, and hot sauce to your liking. The cod fish is going to be salty already, so make sure to adjust accordingly.

  • 06 .  

    Serve the bacalao dip in a bowl, drizzling a little bit of extra virgin olive oil and hot sauce on top. Garnish with sliced green onions and serve with Yolèlè Fonio Sea Salt Chips. Enjoy!