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Bacalao a La Vizcaina Recipe for Easter Week Guatemala

During Holy Week, Guatemala has many traditional dishes for this season to enjoy with family and friends. El ‘Bacalao a La Vizcaína’ is perhaps the most traditional and popular dish of the Easter season in Guatemala. When the Lent season begins, you can easily find large quantities of dried cod (dehydrated) in salt at the supermarket.

Easter Week (Holy Week) Traditional Guatemala Recipes

Bacalao a la Vizcaína

A tradition that arose from the prohibition of eating red meat in Lent, so this delicious dish is prepared especially on Good Friday as it is the most festive day of the season.

For this recipe, codfish is normally used, however, if you do not have the time to remove salt from dried cod, you can use any other type of whitefish to your liking. Not all the recipes for “Bacalao a La Vizcaína” are exactly the same, there are certain differences in the preparation that give a slightly different result, particularly in the mixture of some ingredients creating a separate sauce; but the recipe we are sharing here is the most popular one, so you can enjoy a more than one hundred years of history and tradition dish made in Guatemala.

bacalao a la vizcaina


2 pounds of Norwegian cod or good quality fish
2 pounds of ripe, roasted, skinless and chopped tomatoes
2 large garlic cloves peeled and chopped
2 large onions, chopped into small squares
2 cups of parsley, finely chopped
2 cups of tomato paste
2 pounds of cooked and peeled potatoes
1 can of red peppers cut into slices
Olive oil
1 can of boneless olives or stuffed with red pepper
1 cup capers
Salt and pepper to taste


If you are to prepare this delicious recipe using dried salt cod for Good Friday, then you should soak it in water overnight the day before or at least 14 hours in advance, during this process, you should change the water several times to remove the salt. We recommend using cod fish, for it has a very special flavor for the recipe. You can use another type of white fish if you wish, but the result in the taste is different. Once you have removed the salt, cut the fish into small pieces and remove the thorns.

bacalao a la vizcaina

In a saucepan, heat the olive oil to a temperature to fry the garlic and onion. Simultaneously, roast the tomatoes, then peel them and cut them into small pieces. When the pieces of fried onions are transparent, add the tomato paste, parsley and the freshly roasted tomato and let the sauce cook to make it thick and the tomato is fully cooked.

bacalao a la vizcaina

Then add pepper to taste, olives, capers, red peppers, potatoes and shredded cod. Add pepper to taste, olives, capers, red peppers, potatoes and shredded cod. Let cook for about 20 minutes, add a little bit of water if necessary so that the sauce does not consume.

Take note that we have included salt in the ingredients, you can add the salt next to the pepper, but you must be very careful since the cod fish is salty and you will not want the dish to have extra salt.

And you are done !
This dish is traditionally accompanied by white rice in Guatemala. The dish is ready to enjoy with family and friends.

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