Ever since seeing David Chang make one on Mind of a Chef, this Salt Cod omelette has been one of my favourite things to make (and eat). It’s so easy to prepare, with ingredients so simple and affordable that we now keep a slab of dried salt cod in our fridge exclusively for the dish. In Toronto, dried salt cod is available at pretty much any Chinese, Caribbean (as “saltfish”), or Portuguese (as “bacalhau”) market – you can take your pick, the preparation is the same. In case you’ve never bought salt cod, thicker pieces are choice since thinner portions tend to be over-salted and lack meaty flavour. Don’t be intimidated by the bone-in skin-on cuts either, both are easy to remove. This recipe is “adapted” simply because I didn’t have parsley at the time:
- Dry salted cod (palm sized portion)
- 4 Eggs
- Onion (1 half)
- Chopped fresh chives (much better with fresh parsley)
- Olive oil
- Ground black pepper
Preparation: Salt cod needs to be pre-soaked overnight, cooking time is 15 minutes.
Step 1 Salt cod arrives in the form of dehydrated fish jerky preserved in a layer of salt, it requires reconstituting before cooking. Cut out a portion (the rest can be refrigerated or stored in any dry place practically forever) and rinse away as much salt off the fish as you can under some cold water. Then submerge it in clean water overnight, for at least eight hours, at room temperature – repeated rinsing and changing the water to remove more salt if desired. Be careful of pointed fish bones and fins when handling.
Step 2 Drain the softened salt cod and pat dry with a towel. Peel away all skin and rinse off any scales that are removed in the process. Debone the fish by hand and break the meat it into small bite-sized chunks. Squeeze out any excess water from the chunks of cod and place them in a bowl. Add a bit of milk and allow it to absorb.
Step 3 Thinly slice half an onion and caramelize with olive oil over medium heat. Remove caramelized onions from the skillet. Add more olive oil to the hot skillet and pour in your beaten eggs. When the eggs begin to solidify add on the caramelized onions and salt cod, making sure to spread them out across the omelette. Sprinkle finely chopped chives over everything as the omelette finishes cooking.
Aaand you’re done! Plate and serve topped with ground black pepper and a few drops of olive oil. If you aren’t confident in your omelette making skills here’s jamie oliver showing you how to do it.