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Bakala in bianco

Author: Katja Križnar

Date: 30. July 2020

Time to read: 2 min

An exceptional cold dish, spread and accompaniment to polenta. The main ingredient is dried cod, although some dishes are made with fresh cod.

This is a very typical, low-fat dish for Christmas Vigil (served with braised cabbage) and coincides with the annual tasting of new fresh olive oil. There are several ways to make it: in tomato sauce, with potatoes, as a stew, fried, marinated, and more. Bakala in bianco or Istrian-style bakala can be made using several techniques that differ mainly in their use of spices.


50 dag of cod fish

2 dl of olive oil for frying

olive oil to add (0.25–0.5l – depending on absorption and weight or size)

5 cloves of garlic

a few sprigs of parsley



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  • First pound out the cod and soak it in water overnight or for at least 4 hours.
  • Boil it in salted water until soft. Save some of the water that the cod boiled in for later. While still warm, remove the bones and the dark-grey skin. Put the meat in a bowl or pot.
  • Heat the olive oil and add 2 cloves of garlic. Remove the garlic when it turns brown and leave the oil to cool.
  • Pour the oil over the pieces of cod in the pot, add pepper and start crushing, using a wooden spoon with a thick bottom and a potato masher.
  • Add the rest of the chopped garlic and parsley, and keep mashing. Add olive oil, a few drops at a time. Continue until the mixture thickens.
  • Taste it and add salt and pepper to your liking. If necessary, add some of the cod water to make it whiter and softer. Heat up your bakalar a little and serve it with polenta as a main dish.

Source: Taste Slovenia, Janez Bogataj