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Cod-Stuffed Squid Recipe - Calamar Relleno de Bacalao


Cod-Stuffed Squid - Calamar Relleno de Bacalao (c)

Cod-Stuffed Squid - Calamar Relleno de Bacalao

Lisa Sierra (c) 2009 Licensed to About.com
Salt cod is a staple of the Spanish diet. Even though refrigeration has eliminated the need to salt fish to preserve it, salt cod is so tasty that it is still served often in Spanish homes and restaurants. Salt cod is combined with garlic, potatoes and tomato sauce to form a thick filling. It is stuffed into squid, breaded and fried. Cod requires a 24-hour soak to leach out extra salt.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes


  • 1 1/2 lbs salt cod (de-boned)
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 4 oz virgin olive oil for frying fish
  • 1 1/2 onions
  • 3-4 medium cloves garlic
  • 1-2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 6 oz white wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 8-16 oz tomato sauce
  • 12-16 squid, cleaned and tentacles removed OR two large sepia
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 4-6 oz virgin olive oil for frying squid


This cod-stuffed squid recipe makes 4-6 servings.

Note: If using sepia instead of calamar, use 2 sepia about 6 inches long.

The salt cod or “bacalao” filling is prepared first. Rinse salt cod under cold water to remove any caked salt from the outside. Cut cod into pieces – about 2 inches square. Place fish in a glass baking dish and cover with water. Place in refrigerator and soak for at least 24 hours, changing water 2-3 times. Soaking for 36-48 hours and changing the water 3-4 times will eliminate overly salty taste.

Pour out water and place fish in a colander, rinsing the pieces of fish under the faucet. Allow to drain for 5 minutes, then pat dry with a paper towel and place on a plate.

Peel and finely chop the onion. Heat a large, heavy bottom frying pan and add a few tablespoons of olive oil. When hot, add onion and sauté until translucent.

Add cod fish to frying pan and cook, stirring often. Fish will have absorbed water while soaking and will release it in the pan. Cook fish for about 15 minutes. Take pan off stove and use a fork to break fish into small flakes. Remove any visible bones.

While onions and cod are cooking, boil potatoes with skin until cooked. Run under cold water and when potatoes are cool enough to touch, peel. Cut potatoes into pieces and smash with a fork.

Add wine, chopped garlic, potato, bay leaf, minced parsley and nutmeg. Mix and cook on medium low until wine is reduced and mixture is not watery. Remove the bay leaf and stir in the tomato sauce. Simmer a few minutes until filling is thickened. If too dry, stir in more tomato sauce. Remove from stove and allow to cool 5-10 minutes.

Pour bread crumbs onto a plate. Beat eggs in a bowl.

Stuff each squid with cod-tomato mixture. Close each squid with a toothpick.

Pour virgin olive oil into a medium sized, heavy-bottomed frying pan and heat. Dip each squid in egg, then roll in bread crumbs. Place in hot oil and fry. When brown on one side, turn over and brown on the other.

As squid is browned, remove from oil and drain on a paper towel.

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