Soaking salt cod is an essential part of making an excellent meal with salt cod. A correct soaking of the salt cod is not difficult. In this post we will give you step by step information and help to make sure you correctly desalt your salt cod.
After soaking salt cod, if you bought a nice dry salt cod, you’ll notice at least a 20% increase in weight. What is written on this post regarding soaking salt cod can be applied to all salted fish or even salt fish migas. Bare in mind that the thinner the fish the quicker it desalts, migas can take as little as 8h to desalt.
Soaking salt cod you will require a few things, namely:
- Northern Fish salt cod, or another brand of your choice;
- A bowl or recipient big enough to fit the cod pieces and a certain quantity of water;
- Fresh water
- A knife to cut the codfish
When you buy your Northern Fish salt cod, you may buy a whole fish or cutlets. The whole fish can be cut in most stores, they do the service for free. If not, then at home you will have to cut it yourself. An industrial guillotine may be used for cutting or a good bread cutting knife.
After cutting the salt cod, you will have several size pieces, I advise you to try to cut it into pieces with stable thickness. For example, if you cut the centre loins, and the wings apart, you will see that the salt cod pieces are more or less regular in terms of thickness; this is especially important when soaking salt cod.
Divide the pieces of dry salted cod by thickness. Salt cod soaking, is basically to desalt the cod, the fresh water will gradually extract the salt from the fish meat. So thicker pieces of salt cod, will take longer to desalt and thinner pieces will actually take much less time. So by grouping your salt cod by thickness, you can control that the whole fish is correctly desalted or soaked.
How to soak salt cod is the same as soaking salt fish, same principals apply. Desalting salt cod is essential before preparation.
Wash the cod pieces to remove superficial salt. Using a bowl or a big enough recipient, place the cod pieces with the skin facing up. Best would be to place a grill underneath so the desalting of the bottom of the pieces are made in a correct manner. After placing the salt cod pieces in the bowl, it is time to fill it up with really cold water. It is recommended to use +2ºC water for soaking salt cod fish. Therefore avoiding spoilage and bad odor. Some people actually but the bowl in the refrigerator for soaking. Be especially careful if you live in a place with a warm climate, in this case the water should be maintained cold at all times. Ice packs may be used to help lower the temperature.
The water should be changed frequently. In theory the salt cod has more than 16% salt content, water saturates quickly when in contact with salt. Therefore changing the water often will speed up soaking of the salt cod. Please remember that water temperature and frequent changing is extremely important when desalting salt cod.
Soaking salt cod, how long does it take?
Not an exact science, but the smaller (thinner) pieces should take from 24h to 36h, the larger loins can take up to 72h. It’s good advice to simply taste it along the way, to make sure it’s not too salty. Over soaking is not good, the salt cod will not have that special and enjoyable taste.
For traditional taste and flavor, you’ll need to master soaking salt cod, this insures the premium traditional and delicious flavor.