Arroz com bacalao

Arroz con bacalao, or rice with salted cod is a delicious one-pot meal popular throughout the Spanish speaking islands, including Panama.


For the arroz con bacalao

  • 2 cups rice (preferably short or medium grain rice, for paella or arborio for risotto)
  • ½ lb salted cod , chopped
  • 2 tablespoons achiote oil or olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 2 cups recaito (recipe below)
  • 1 clove garlic , minced
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

For the Recaito

  • 1 green bell pepper , seeded and sliced
  • 1 green hot chili pepper , seeded and sliced
  • 1 onion , cut into strips
  • 5 cloves garlic , peeled
  • ½ bunch cilantro
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Pepper


Arroz con Bacalao

  • Prepare salt cod (see below).
  • Infuse the saffron in a a couple tablespoons of boiling water.
  • Saute recaito and garlic in achiote oil or olive oil over medium heat for 5 minutes.
  • Add cod and capers and continue to cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add 4 cups of water and bring to a boil over high heat.
  • Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
  • While the mixture is simmering, rinse the rice until the water runs clear.
  • Add the rice, stir and reduce heat to medium.
  • Cover and cook over low heat for 20 minutes.

Salt cod

  • Cut salt cod into blocks and put them in a colander.
  • Immerse the colander into a large container filled with water.
  • Soak for up to 24 hours, changing the water as often as possible.


  • Chop all ingredients in a food processor