Bacalao is made ​​from Norwegian klippfish and is not really a Norwegian tradition dish in the true sense, but originating from Spain and Portugal. But Norwegian klippfish exporters and sailors learned to love the dish in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century and took the spice that was needed to make bacalao home to the north-west coast of Norway where it eventually became part of the culinary tradition. My x-mother in law was from  a klippfish exporter family and she made ​​a fantastic bacalao.

1 kg klippfish [2,2 pound]
1 kg potatoes [2,2 pound]
500 g onions [1,1 pound]
2 dl tomato puree [0,5 pint]
1 can of pimientos
2 Spanish pepper
cayenne pepper
3 dl olive oil [0,75 pint]
1 dl water [0,25 pint]

Soak the dried fish for 1-2 days. Change the water several times.

Remove skin and bones. Cut the soaked fish into bite sized pieces.

Peel the onions and potatoes and cut them into thin slices. Add potatoes, fish, onions and strips of pimientos and Spanish peppers layered in a saucepan. Sprinkle cayenne pepper over each layer of pepper/pimientos. Stir the tomato puree in the water, mix it with oil and the liquid from pimientos can and add to the pan.

Boil under lid for 1 1/2 hours over very low heat. Do not stir, but shake the saucepan often.

Do not add to muck spice before the dish as "settled". Taste it after an hour to see if it needs more peppers.

Experienced bacalao-eaters like the bacalao so spicy it makes them break out in sweat. Guests in the habituation phase should be treated with less pepper.

Serve with baguettes and lemon wedges and do not forget to fill up your guests’ glasses.


Should you have problems finding klippfish where you live these people at Norwegian exporters might help you find it:

  • OLGA GODØ AS, 6055 Godøya.
    Tel.: +47 70185021   Mob.: +47 92069412   E-mail:
  • Sigbjørn Folland
  • FOLLAND SIGURD AS, 6530 Averøy.
    Tel.: +47 71515102   Mob.: +47 93017841   E-mail:
  • Odd Skarsbø
  • ODD SKARSBØ AS, Harøysund, 6430 Bud.
    Tel.: +47 71261543   Mob.: +47 90966810   E-mail:
  • Magne Dybvik
  • RAFAEL DYBVIK ANS, Tingstadvika 3, 6035 Fiskarstrand
    Tel.: +47 70190421   Mob.: +47 90234585   E-mail:

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