I really need to cook with salt cod more often. Not only does it keep well in the fridge for extended periods, it contributes an umami to dishes that seemingly only fish and fermentation can achieve.

This is my take on a Brazilian stew that’s typically served with rice. The coconut milk may make it seem like something from the Caribbean, but the paprika and parsley take it in another direction. Regardless of pedigree, it’s a beautiful blend of flavours. Give it a try and be ready to add salt to taste. It can vary greatly depending on the fish.

Time: 30 minutes (plus salt cod soaking time)

Serves: 6


450g boneless salt cod
30g extra-virgin olive oil
4 fresh basil leaves – roughly torn
3 Roma tomatoes – seeded and diced
3 cloves garlic – chopped
1 large yellow onion – sliced
8g Spanish paprika
1g crushed red chili
200g water
200g coconut milk
25g parsley leaves – finely chopped
6 green onions – sliced


Place cod in a bowl and cover with water. Refrigerate for 24 hours, changing the water three times. Drain and slice into 3cm pieces.

Place oil in a pot over medium-high heat.

When oil is hot, add the basil, tomatoes, garlic, yellow onion, paprika and chili. Cook stirring occasionally for eight minutes.

Add the cod and water. Bring to a boil, then cover. Reduce heat to simmer for fifteen minutes.

Stir in the coconut milk, increase heat and return to a boil.

Remove from heat, stirring in the parsley and green onion.

Serve immediately.

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