Lisbon and Porto on the other side

Catch the ferry  from Cais do Sodre, ferry terminal, across to Cacilhas, the river Tagus left bank and walk along the waters edge past a wasteland of industrial buildings complete with azulejos from former glory days. Finally you will reach a cafe called Pontofinal where you can sit on the river, have a drink and look at Lisbon on the other side.

Although Porto doesn’t have the elegance of Lisbon, it has a charming  shabbiness.  You look down from the bridges on the river, into gardens with chickens, goats ,vegetable patches and fruit trees and you find yourself surprised that you are in the second city of Portugal. Across the river in the Vila Nova de Gaia are all the famous Port houses, with their centuries of history.  Salt cod lovers like us found  a good restaurant to try out those famous dishes is Bacalhoeiro. Sitting on the Quay in the Spring sunshine,drinking Portuguese red wine, just wonderful.

Saltcod, Morue, Bacalao, Bacalhau. Salt cod recipes evolved over centuries in areas as far from the Atlantic as Provence, Russia and Southern Spain. Generally in regions that would never have known fresh cod until refrigeration.The salting changes the texture of the fish and makes it different from fresh cod, which is generally cooked with different recipes.

How to salt your own cod. For 4 serves .You need four fillets of skinned cod, weighing about 180grams per fillet.Take a clean plastic or non reactive container like stainless steel, and sprinkle the bottom with about 70 grams or 4 tablespoons of coarse sea salt.Nothing expensive like Maldon, just ordinary coarse sea salt. Season the fish evenly on top with another 4 tablespoons of salt and cover the container with it’s lid or clingfilm. Leave in the fridge for up to 2 days.  The heavily salted cod you can buy,takes days of soaking and rinsing, this only needs to be  rinsed, and then soaked  for an hour or so. If the water still taste salty,  soak for another hour in a change of water  until the water tastes ever so slightly salty.Then it’s ready.

This is a plate of grilled salt cod , presented simply in a great Lisbon restaurant, called

Toma Là Dà Cà

Travessa do Sequeiro 38 1200-441 Lisbon

salt cod

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