The International Kitchen Blog: Wine Pairings in Portugal and a Traditional Salted Cod Recipe
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Wine Pairings in Portugal and a Traditional Salted Cod Recipe

Next March 04, 2015 Previous

Codfish is highly popular everywhere in Portugal, considering the country has over 1,000 ways to prepare the fish (and let's not even talk about how many ways there are to prepare it in Italy and Spain, too -- save that for a cooking class!). But what wines should you drink with this traditional ingredient, where it's boiled, dried, fried, baked, and oh so much more?

Portuguese wine grapesCod fish has a very strong flavor, so it needs a wine that can complement and stand up to it. When it's salt cod you're serving as 'bacalhau à brás' -- one of the most popular ways -- you have a little bit more leeway in what you can pair with it, as the scrambled eggs and potatoes temper the flavors of the fish.

We've talked about port wines before, but those are best left for sweet dishes, including desserts. Rather, stick to other Portuguese wines, such as whites that are full-bodied, as well as light to medium reds. More specifically, reds made with Trincadeira grapes work well; the acidity of the grapes will help balance the flavors of the salted cod. The wine estate of Esporão, which you visit during our Delectable Portugal in Historic Evora cooking vacation, also makes a number of wines that are well suited to cod dishes.

So now that you know what to pair that salted cod dish, how do you make it? Silvia, the hostess of our Portugal cooking vacation, shares a traditional recipe.

Bacalhau à brás Bacalhau à Brás
Serves 4 people


  • 1 dried codfish (about 200 grams), soaked
  • 1 potato (per person)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 large onions
  • Parsley
  • Olive Oil
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Sea Salt


Toast with Portuguese wine Directions
1. Take the dried codfish (already soaked) and slice into fingers.

2. Peel the onions and then cut them into half-moon slice. Fry the onions in about 4 tablespoons of olive oil until they become translucent.

3. Add the sliced cod to the pan, and fry it on a low temperature.

4. Meanwhile, thinly cut the potatoes so they’re like toothpicks. Fry these as well in vegetable oil.

5. Add the potatoes in with the cod fish.

6. While the potatoes cook with the fish, beat the eggs. To the eggs, add sliced parsley, and then add this egg mixture into the big frying pan. Continue to cook until the eggs are cooked and scrambled.

7. Add some olives and serve immediately.

8. You can also add some salad when you serve the dish.

Learn more about wine pairings and Portuguese dishes with a trip to our recently revamped Delectable Portugal in Historic Evora cooking vacation.

By Liz Hall

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