Stewed Codfish with Puerto Rican Eggplant

(Bacalao Guisado con Berenjena de Puerto Rico)

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Stewed Codfish with Puerto Rican Eggplant – is a typical dish in our culture.  The codfish is first desalted, cooked and shredded and then stewed along with sliced onions and eggplant chunks that are completely coated with our sofrito.  The Spanish term for codfish is bacalao.

My mother always cooked the eggplant until a creamy texture was formed (Stewed Salt Cod with Eggplant).   When I make this dish in the United States,  I use the Black Beauty Eggplant, which is cultivated and harvested from my garden.   This variety of eggplant is not grown in Puerto Rico.

Several weeks ago, I received a package from my family in Puerto Rico.  In the package, they included white chayotes and striped (rayada) Puerto Rican eggplants.  Another popular eggplant in Puerto Rico is the Rosita, where the skin color is solid pink.   However, both eggplants are only available in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean.

When visiting my family this summer in Puerto Rico, my cousin taught me how to cook this dish, keeping the eggplant chunks whole and tender.  Therefore, I decided to create this food blog and cooking video, using her method of Stewing Codfish with Puerto Rican Eggplant.

Cutting the Puerto Rican Eggplant!

This is a Puerto Rican Eggplant – The eggplant is an edible pear-shaped fruit with a lavender skin color and white streaks.   It has a mild white flesh and is also classified as a berry.  However, it is served as a vegetable when cooked.  The eggplant is believed to have originated in India.

Pull the stem away from the eggplant and with a sharp knife, cut off both ends. 

Since the skin is edible, the eggplant is usually not peeled in Puerto Rico.  Therefore, we can just cut the eggplant into ½-inch round slices.

Take each eggplant slice and cut into quarters.  Place the chunks of eggplant into a bowl and set aside.

NOTE:  For your information, once the eggplant is exposed to air, it starts turning brown and that is okay.

Peeling and Cutting the Onion!

This dish also calls for slices of onion.  Use at least 1 to 2 yellow onions.  With a sharp knife, cut off both ends.

Continue by cutting the onion in half. 

Remove the papery skin and the first layer of the onion.

Lastly, take each half and then slice crosswise into ¼ to ½-inches or the thickness of your preference.

Using Culantro (Recao)!

This is a culantro leaf (also known as recao).  The leaf is green with long jagged edges.  It is also the cousin of cilantro.

Click on the link for more information on Culantro.

Tear the culantro apart into smaller pieces with a knife or with your hands.

NOTE:  If you don’t have culantro, then increase the amount of cilantro to 6 sprigs.

Preparing the Salted Cod (Bacalao)!

For this recipe, I will be using the salted pollock fillets as bacalao.  This is the Buena Ventura brand but you purchase the brand of your preference.

This is 1 pound of boneless and skinless salted pollock fillets.  I prefer to use the boneless and skinless salted pollock fillets instead of the authentic salted codfish because you omit the skin and bone removing process.  The salted pollock fillets are a member of the codfish family.  The Spanish term for the authentic Salted Codfish and the Salted Pollock fillets is Bacalao.

Click on the link to learn How to Desalt, Cook and Shred Salt Cod for this recipe.

Sautéing the Sofrito for the Stewed Codfish with Puerto Rican Eggplant!

We are now ready to prepare the stewed salt cod with authentic Puerto Rican eggplant.  Pour 1 cup of extra virgin olive oil into a 4-quart saucepan (caldero).  Add 2 minced garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons tomato sauce, 3 sprigs of chopped cilantro and 2 tablespoons of sofrito made with culantro.

NOTE:  Click on this link for more information on How to Prepare a large batch of Sofrito or Sofrito for a Single Meal.

Stewed Codfish with Puerto Rican Eggplant

You can add 2 seasoning envelopes with coriander and annatto or click on the link to prepare your own Special Blend of Seasonings.

Stewed Codfish with Puerto Rican Eggplant

Lastly, place 1 culantro leaf, cut into several pieces into saucepan (caldero)  However, if you don’t have culantro, then increase the amount of cilantro to 6 sprigs. 

Stewed Codfish with Puerto Rican Eggplant

Stir all the ingredients until well blended and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes over medium heat.

Adding the Onions, Eggplant Chunks and Codfish (Bacalao)!

Stewed Codfish with Puerto Rican Eggplant

After sautéing the ingredients for several minutes, add the sliced onions.

Stewed Codfish with Puerto Rican Eggplant

Secondly, add the chunks of eggplants.  I decided to cut the eggplant chunks into much smaller pieces.

Stewed Codfish with Puerto Rican Eggplant

Lastly, 1 pound of cooked and shredded bacalao.  I used the salted pollock fillets as bacalao.  The pollock fillets are a member of the codfish family.

Click on this link on How to Prepare Bacalao.

Stewed Codfish with Puerto Rican Eggplant

Stir until the bacalao, onions and eggplant chunks are coated with the tomato-oil based sauce.  Reduce heat to medium low.   Cover saucepan with lid and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes or until the eggplant chunks are tender, stirring occasionally.

Stewed Codfish with Puerto Rican Eggplant

After cooking for a total of 30 minutes, the eggplant chunks are tender and still whole.  Todavía los pedazos de berenjena están completamente enteros.   You can see that the bacalao, eggplant and onions are completely coated with our sofrito.  It smells so good. 

Stewed Codfish with Puerto Rican Eggplant

This dish is absolutely ready.

Serving the Stewed Codfish with Puerto Rican Eggplant!

Stewed Codfish with Puerto Rican Eggplant

The Stewed Codfish with Puerto Rican Eggplant is usually served with our tropical root vegetables, breadfruit or white rice.  The pollock fillets are high in protein and have a low-fat content.    

Click on the links to learn how to cook White RiceSteamed Root Vegetables and Boiled Breadfruit.

Click on the button below to watch my YouTube cooking video on How to Cook Bacalao Guisado con Berenjena de Puerto Rico!

Recipe and Nutritional Facts!

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only.  Please refer to our Nutritional Facts Disclaimer for more information.

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Stewed Codfish with Puerto Rican Eggplant


  • Author: Aida's Kitchen®
  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 Minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 8 Servings 1x

Description

A complete and delicious healthy meal when prepared with authentic Puerto Rican eggplant and served with our tropical root vegetables,  breadfruit or rice!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons tomato sauce
  • 3 sprigs chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons sofrito
  • 2 seasoning envelopes with coriander and annatto
  • 1 culantro (recao) leaf,  break apart into smaller pieces
  • 1 or 2 yellow onions, sliced into ¼ to ½-inches
  • 1 medium Puerto Rican eggplant, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 pound salted pollock fillets, desalted, cooked and shredded

Instructions

  1.  In a 4-quart saucepan,  add oil, minced garlic, tomato sauce, chopped cilantro, sofrito, seasoning envelopes, and culantro leaf.  Stir well and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes over medium heat.
  2.  Add sliced onions, eggplant chunks and shredded pollock fillets into saucepan.  Stir until completed coated with the tomato-oil based sauce.
  3.  Cover saucepan with lid and reduce heat to medium low.  Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes or until the chunks of eggplant are tender, stirring occasionally.
  4.  After 30 minutes of cooking, the eggplant chunks should be tender and whole.  If not continue, simmering.
  5.  Serve this dish with white rice, tropical root vegetables or breadfruit.  Slices of avocado are also served on the side.

Notes

The Prep Time and Cooking Time do not include the steps for the desalting, cooking and shredding of the pollock fillets, which is an additional 5 hours.

  • Category: Stews
  • Method: Simmering
  • Cuisine: Puerto Rican

Keywords: Stewed Codfish, Stewed Eggplant, Stewed Codfish with Eggplant

Nutritional Facts Disclaimer

 

Category: Fish and Seafood, Recipes

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