Chef's Recipes

Baked salt cod

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for baked salt cod by Pacific Dining Room in Byron Bay

  • Serves 6
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 1 hr 10 mins cooking plus soaking, cooling
Baked salt cod
Baked salt cod

“I really enjoyed the baked salt cod at Pacific Dining Room while on holiday in NSW’s Byron Bay, and I would love to re-create it.”
Toni Hinton, Brisbane, Qld

To request a recipe, write to Fare Exchange, , GPO Box 4088, Sydney, NSW 2001, or email us. All requests should include the restaurant’s name and address or business card, as well as your name and address.

You’ll need to begin this recipe two days ahead.


  • 1 kg salt cod, soaked for 2 days, in four changes of cold water
  • 3 litres (12 cups) milk
  • ½ bunch thyme
  • 2 garlic heads, halved widthways
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 500 gm Nicola potatoes (about 4), scrubbed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 white onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp sweet paprika
  • 300 ml pouring cream
  • 1 lemon, finely grated rind only
  • 80 gm (½ cup) manzanilla olives, pitted and halved
  • 1½ cups (loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley


  • 1
    Rinse cod under cold running water, cut into 5cm pieces, place in a large saucepan. Add milk, thyme, garlic and bay leaves, bring to the boil over medium-high heat, simmer until cod begins to flake (10-15 minutes). Remove from heat, cool cod for 10 minutes in liquid, remove with a slotted spoon, set aside. Strain liquid with a fine sieve, reserve 500ml.
  • 2
    Combine potatoes in a saucepan with enough cold water to just cover, add 300ml of reserved liquid, bring to a simmer and cook over medium heat until potato is just tender (10-15 minutes). Drain, cool slightly, peel, then thinly slice and set aside.
  • 3
    Meanwhile, heat oven to 180C. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat, add onion, sauté until soft (7-10 minutes), add paprika, stir until fragrant (1 minute), then add cream, lemon rind and remaining reserved liquid and stir occasionally until reduced to a thick sauce consistency (10-15 minutes).
  • 4
    Place half the potato in a single layer in the bases of six 300ml-capacity ovenproof dishes. Top with cod, then sauce, then remaining potato, bake until golden (15-20 minutes). Combine olives and parsley in a bowl, scatter over baked salt cod and serve hot.


This recipe is from the October 2009 issue of .