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a bowl of arroz de bacalhau

Arroz de Bacalhau (Creamy Cod Rice) by Leandro Carreira

Learn how to make the traditional Portuguese dish of rice and salted cod, 'arroz de bacalhau', or creamy cod rice

Portuguese chef Leandro Carreira shares his step-by-step recipe for a simple and satisfying dish of Portuguese salt cod stew with rice, using just five ingredients from his new cookbook, Portugal: The Cookbook.

Discover this and over 550 other delicious and traditional Portuguese recipes, by picking up your own copy through publisher Phaidon. Simply visit and enter code FDL30 at check out.

Excerpted from Portugal: The Cookbook by Leandro Carreira.

28 April, 2022
Average: 3.2 (5 votes)

Dietary Consideration

serves for


total time

0 HR 55 MIN


220 g/7½ oz salted cod, desalted
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
Short-grain rice
170 g/6 oz (¾ cup) - preferably Carolino
Salt and pepper

"One of the very few traditional dishes to mix cod and rice, Arroz de Bacalhau was originally created to make use of all parts of the fish; there are even documented recipes that use the skin, roasted or fried. These days, Arroz de Bacalhau is made with cod steak that is shredded, stewed with onions and tomatoes, mixed with uncooked rice, then gently cooked until the rice is tender."

Watch and learn how to make creamy cod rice, and see the step-by-step recipe below:

Step 01

Check the cod is not too salty before cooking. If it is, then leave to soak for another 2 hours. Drain.

Step 02

Put the cod into a medium saucepan, cover with water and cook over a low heat for 6 minutes, or until the cod is soft. Remove from the pan, then remove the skin and any fish bones. Flake the flesh into chunks. Set aside 600 ml/20 fl oz (2½ cups) of the cooking water.  

Step 03

Put the onion and garlic into a large saucepan and cook over a low heat for 10 minutes, or until the onion is translucent and lighter in colour. Add the rice and cod, stir, then add the reserved cooking water. Increase the heat to medium and cook for 25 minutes, or until the rice is soft and creamy. You may need to add a little more of the cod cooking water, if it’s drying out, so keep checking.

Step 04

Season with salt and pepper and serve.

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