Bacalao a la Vizcaina is a traditional Mexican dish made with cod and slow simmered with other delicious ingredients. This is a vegan version and it’s so delicious you’ll never notice the missing fish! This dish is popular during the holiday season or also for Easter.
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Bacalao a la Vizcaina
Hola amigos! Today I will be sharing my recipe for veganised bacalao a la vizcaína. This dish is one of the many which may be served during the holiday season in Mexico.
Traditionally it’s made using salted cod but of course we’ll be making it a 100% vegan dish!
The English translation for this dish is Biscay style cod. Biscay of course is a province of Spain and when the Spanish arrived in the New World they introduced the dish.
Like so many of their other foods, as time passed the bacalao evolved with the availability of local Mexican ingredients. The dish we now know as bacalao a la vizcaina in Mexico is quite different than the one made in Spain.
How to Veganize The Cod in This Recipe | Vegan Cod Recipe
This is super simple and you can get the ingredients at any grocery store or of course there’s always Amazon too.
To veganize the cod we’ll be using hearts of palms and also adding nori sheets to give it that seafood touch.
Hearts of palm work wonderfully as a replacement for fish or seafood.
How to Make Bacalao a la Vizcaina
As always, there are many variations to this recipe and, well, this is how I make it.
Some people will use more tomatoes to make a wetter bacalao, or use baby potatoes, maybe add almonds…really the variations are many. You just have to find the one that you enjoy most!
The process for this Mexican vegan cod stew is way easier and takes just an hour compared to the days of prepping the cod involved in making the traditional version.
As always the best thing to do is to make sure all of your ingredients are prepared and ready to use before you beging.
For starters the onion is sauted until soft, then the potatoes are added and also cooked until softened.
Next the garlic, tomatoes and bell pepper are added and cooked for a few minutes before hearts of palms are added. Then the paprika, nori and the chopped parsley are added and next the capers and olives are added. The stew is then allowed to simmer and let the flavors come together.
Before serving more water is added as well as salt — but first you need to taste and be sure not to over salt the dish.
Lastly right before serving more olive oil is added and parsley and chiles gueros are mixed in.
How to Serve Bacalao
My favorite way to serve this dish is with steamed white rice and some bolillo bread. As a starter I’ll serve a simple green salad. The drink of choice for me is some red wine.
And that’s it, then it’s ready to enjoy!
How to Store Vegan Bacalao a la Vizcaina
To store the leftovers allow to cool down then place in the refrigerator in an airtight container. You could also cook this dish a day or too before serving and then it’ll really allow the flavors to come together. Eat within a week.
You could also freeze the dish or leftovers. I would recommend eating them within a month for optimal texture. But really this dish is best enjoyed fresh or reheated from the fridge not freezer.
Bacalao a la Vizcaina Recipe | Made Vegan
Ok amigos the full detailed recipe are below, make sure to read over it before you begin. I know you’re going to love it as much as I do.
Mexican Bacalao a La Vizcaina Made Vegan
- one 14oz can of hearts of palms drained and cut into chunks
- 1 medium white onion finely chopped
- 2 medium potatoes peeled & cut into bite-size pieces
- 4 whole garlic cloves roughly minced
- 2 large Roma tomatoes or about half a pound, chopped
- 1 medium red bell pepper chopped
- 1/4 cup nori seaweed sheets crushed or ripped up
- 1/2 Tablespoon sweet paprika
- 2 Tablespoons of capers or to taste
- 7 oz green olives pitted
- pickled chiles gueros to taste (I’ve also used pickled habaneros)
- 1 cup bunch of parsley roughly chopped, add more to taste
- 1/4 cup water
- 4 Tablespoons olive oil or as needed
- salt to taste
- Drain and rinse the hearts of palm, if they’re not cut into chunks already cut them. Set aside. Heat 3 Tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan then saute the onion until soft, add the potatoes and cook just until they begin to soften, like 8 or so minutes. Mix in the garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
- Then add the tomatoes, bell peppers, hearts of palm, seaweed, half of the parsley, capers, 3/4 of the olives you have, and the paprika. Mix until well combined. After about 15 minutes pour in like 1/4 of water or as needed to let the “bacalao” simmer and not dry out.
- Once everything is nice and soft, taste and add as much salt as you’d like. Add as many of the pickled chiles as you’d like and also a big splash of the juice they came in. Stir well and allow to simmer for another 10 minutes or as long as you’d like. Right before you serve it mix in the remaining parsley and olives. Serve topped with more chiles gueros and olives if desired.
What Does Vegan Bacalao a la Vizcaina Taste Like
Unlike the traditional recipe that requires days of preparing the salted cod, this vegan bacalao can be ready in just over an hour!
If you had ever tasted the original version, you will be blown away at just how similar this vegan version tastes. The hearts of palm fall apart into small shreds just like the cod, the nori adds that small touch of seafood, but really what brings the dish together and alive are the combination of the bell pepper, onions, garlic, the parsley, the olives, capers and the pickled chiles. Uhmm (yum) my mouth waters instantly.
As I previously mentioned, I like to eat our bacalao with some steamed white rice, a nice simple green salad, maybe some sautéed green beans some rustic bread and glass of red wine… AND uhhm you’ve got yourself a sumptuous meal that’s perfect for the holidays!
In my house we eat tamales on Christmas and bacalao on New Years Eve, but you can serve it at both if you’d like.
Happy cooking amigos, thanks so much for stopping by! Wishing you the most amazing Christmas and New Years, may you be surrounded by those you love. Provecho!
Disclosure: Purchasing your ingredients through our Amazon product affiliate links helps support this website. Thanks so much!
Nancy Lopez is a food blogger and author of the cookbook Mexican Tamales Made Meatless. Born in Mexico, raised in the US, and currently living in Southern Mexico, she has followed a meatless diet for almost 10 years. It is her passion and mission to share all she has learned about vegan Mexican cooking and vegetarian Mexican recipes. Mexican Made Meatless is a blog dedicated to preserving the authentic flavors of Mexican cuisine just without the meat. It’s a place to celebrate Mexican culture and all it’s delightfully delicious traditional foods. Read more…