Bacalhau a bras, a delicious lunch, dinner, or even brunch dish is from the classic restaurant Bota Alta, in Lisbon’s Bairro Alto district.

A copper pot of bacalhau a Bras--or Portuguese scrambled eggs, salt cod, potatoes, onions, olives, and parsley.

Bacalhau a Bras ~ Salt Cod, Potatoes & Eggs

4.82 / 33 votes
This delicious lunch, dinner, or even brunch dish is from the classic restaurant Bota Alta, in Lisbon's Bairro Alto district.
David Leite
Servings6 servings
Calories572 kcal
Prep Time45 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time1 hour 15 minutes


  • 1 pound dried salt cod, soaked overnight and cooked
  • 7 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into matchstick-size strips (about 6 cups)
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves, divided
  • 18 black or green olives


  • Flake the fish, discarding any bones.
  • Heat 4 tablespoons of the oil in a heavy, large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes in batches and saute until crisp and golden, about 7 minutes per batch. Transfer the potatoes to paper towels to drain.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of the oil to the same skillet. Add the onion and bay leaf and saute until golden, about 15 minutes. Discard the bay leaf.
  • Reduce the heat to low. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the onion slices in the skillet. Mix in the fish and potatoes.
  • Whisk the eggs, the 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl to blend. Add the egg mixture and 3 tablespoons of the parsley to the fish mixture in the skillet. Cook over medium heat until the eggs are softly set, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes.
  • Transfer the eggs to a platter. Garnish with the olives and the remaining 1 tablespoon parsley.


Serving: 1 portionCalories: 572 kcalCarbohydrates: 24 gProtein: 59 gFat: 26 gSaturated Fat: 5 gMonounsaturated Fat: 16 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 363 mgSodium: 5738 mgFiber: 2 gSugar: 2 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Recipe © 2018 David Leite. Photo © 2018 David Leite. All rights reserved.

Where Can I Find Bacalhau?

Salt cod is available at Portuguese markets, Italian markets as baccalà, and at Spanish markets as bacalao.

Our favorite supplier is Portugalia Marketplace in Fall River, MA. They have amazing Norwegian salted cod, which is what I get everything I visit my mom. But if you aren’t in the South Coast region of Massachusetts, Portugalia ships.

Cut Norge Norwegian Salted Codfish

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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4.82 from 33 votes (25 ratings without comment)

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    1. Märt, if you look right above the ingredients list, you will see a toggle switch for US and metric. We supply metrics for every recipe on the site.

  1. I have seen recipes for this that require boiling/cooking the soaked/desalinated cod before adding it to the onions. Yours doesn’t call for that and I’m confused. Can you clarify? I have made it and boiled the fish till cooked and it worked and my family loved it but then again, it took a lot of time that I would love to save.

    I always love your recipes, so I’m thinking of not bothering with cooking the desalinated cod…

    thanks for your comments.

    1. Ellen, if you look at the first ingredient, you’ll see that it calls for the salt cod to be “soaked overnight and cooked.” We also provide a link on how to do that. There really is no way to cook the unsoaked cod. It would be way too salty.