Bacalao, A Jewel of a Cod, Where to Find it in Malaysia

Words by Caning Jaramillo

I always thought that bacalao just translated to “cod” in English. I recently learned however that not all cod is created equal, and when you’re looking for the best, bacalao it must be.

Cod Tartare with Lime Reduction

If you’re a foodie who believes you have eaten it all, quite often you have a list of disappointments from the dining table that have put a big hole in your pocket, but left you feeling less than satisfied. Often cod is one such culprit. Frequently a highlight in fine dining restaurants, it generally bares a hefty price tag. Big bucks must leave your pocket to pay for this top fish, but unfortunately, not all cod is the same.

The Gulf of Main Research Institute defines cod in the following: “The Cod is a heavy-bodied fish, only slightly flattened sidewise, its body deepest under the first dorsal fin (cod neither very fat nor very lean are about one-fourth to one-fifth as deep as they are long), tapering to a moderately slender caudal peduncle, and with a head so large that it takes up about one-four of the total length of the fish…”The Livestrong site says that cod provides a variety of nutrients and is a great source of high quality protein, omega 3, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12.

Spanish Salted Cod with Onions,
Potatoes and Cream of Eggs says that there are two important species of cod: the Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua), which lives in the colder waters and deeper sea regions throughout the North Atlantic, and the Pacific cod (Gadus macrocephalus) that is found in both eastern and western regions of the northern Pacific. The Pacific cod yield larger, thicker fillets, and the Atlantic cod taste sweeter.

Lingcod and Black cod, which are commonly sold in restaurants in South East Asia, are not members of the cod family at all. The lingcod likely got its name from early settlers due to its similarity to European ling and its cod-like white, flaky flesh. Black cod is a nickname for sablefish, a species that resembles cod but actually is part of a group of fish found only in the North Pacific Ocean.So next time you’re in a fine dining restaurant with cod on the menu, don’t forget to ask where it comes from.

Cod Croquetas with
Piquillo Mayonnaise
In Malaysia, you can now find the North Atlantic Cod (Bacalao) at Pressroom Bistro, in Pavilion KL thanks to Giraldo, a Spanish international company who distributes it worldwide.

The Giraldo Bacalao is captured during winter time in the North Atlantic crystalline waters of Finland and Feroe. Its kept in iced water after being caught, then cut into fillets and salted for its curing. Once cured, the cod can be cleaned to remove the excess salt and is ready for consumption.The chefs at Pressroom Bistro shared with us the results of some of their creative recipes for bacalao. We look forward to seeing some of these experiments on the menu in 2014.

Loin of Cod Fish served in “Pil Pil sauce”
The Press Room Bistro @ Pavilion KL
Lot C3.10.02 Level 3, Connection, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur
168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel no.: 03 2148 3889
Fax no.: 03 2143 5889

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  1. Cod is one of my fav….yummy

  2. Goodness of cod fish:D

  3. Oh, cod fish… I really love it. =D Too bad it's something I can only splurge on occasionally.

    I have heard that if it's not eaten fresh, it will taste very rubbery or even stale… is it true?

  4. Cod's nice. Not cheap though… 🙁

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