cod pil pil
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Category cooking | Skills: Skill | Author: TOYOS | Language : Language | Difficulty level : Hard | Time : 60min Share Add Activity


The pil pil is the sauce that accompanies the cod and is made with the juices that the cod releases when curdling with the oil. This, together with garlic and chilli peppers, gives it a mild itching

A recipe that requires few ingredients for its preparation: cod, olive oil, garlic and chilli pepper; and a careful technique to assemble the pil pil sauce, an emulsion of olive oil with the gelatin of the cod that is obtained after confiting it with oil flavored with garlic and chilli pepper. It seems easy but it requires experience




The activity shall be implemented in 4 stages:

  • Conceptualize your recipe. A recipe is a series of steps that lead to a delicious ending.

  • Gather the ingredients. Take out all the ingredients you will need to prepare your recipe.

  • Make a complex sauce as well as other operations (desalting the fish, give it the right itch, ...)

  • Start cooking


You will learn:

  • Perform calculation operations based on time

  • Understand a complex text

  • Carry out activities by phases

  • Perform activities that require attention


  • After completing the activity, you will achieve the following skills:

  • Broad reading comprehension

  • calculations with units of time and heat

  • Use of measures and proportions

  • ICT management

  • Development of skills that require patience

  • Face difficult situations


After completing the activity, the learners will achieve the following skills:

  • Ability to understand terms.

  • Ability to understand instructions.

  • Social skills

  • Spanish cooking competitions.

  • Capacitate investigation through the error trial system.

  • Search capability online



  • 2 slices of salted cod of about 300 g each (or 4 slices of about 150 g). The slices should not be too thick, otherwise the pil pil will not turn out as well.

  • 500 ml of extra virgin olive oil soft

  • 1 large rolled garlic clove (or 2 smaller ones)

  • ¼ fresh chilli to slices (or whole dried cayenne, if the partis will sting too much)




  • Cook Time: 01 hour;Total Cook Time: 01 hour

  • Difficulty Level: High


1.To desalinate the cod







  • Put the cod slices in a taper without touching them and cover them well with water.
    Save the taper in the fridge.

  • Change the water every 8 hours for 1 or 2 days (24 to 48 hours). The time will depend on the thickness of the cod and if they have already desalted a little earlier in the bacalao.

  • If the slices are very thin, maybe 24 hours will be enough. In any case, ask the bacaladería for the optimal desalination time.

  • At each water change, test the water to determine the salt point and decide whether to lengthen the desalting time or stop it.


2.Preparation of cod pil pil


  • Dry the cod slices well to eliminate any water that may still be in the desalination. It is very important to do it so that the pil pil sauce comes out well. Reserve.

  • In the first place, to make the cod pil pil, olive oil should be flavored with garlic and chilli pepper. To do so, in a pan where the pieces of cod fit without touching, preferably of mud, add enough extra virgin olive oil soft so that you can cover the slices of cod when we put them later, add the garlic and the chili pepper, and cook over a very slow heat until the garlic starts to brown. Turn off the heat, remove the slices of garlic and chilli pepper and set aside on a plate for the end.

  • Allow the flavored olive oil to cool until it reaches a temperature of 50ºC (it is better to measure it with a kitchen thermometer to be sure)


  • When the flavored oil is tempered, add the cod slices with the skin upwards to the casserole. It is better that the skin is up because this way we will avoid that the slices of cod fall apart and the slices are separated. However, to promote the gelatin output it is better that the skin is down, but to do so, if you do not watch too much, you run the risk of spoiling the plate. There are also intermediate versions where, halfway through cooking, the cod is turned over, starting with the skin facing downwards and ending with the skin facing up to mount the pil pil sauce or vice versa.


  • Confit the cod over a low heat with the aromatized olive oil for 5-10 minutes, until the cod slices go from being translucent to having a white matte touch. Ensure that the oil temperature does not exceed 60 ° C. Do not move the cod during cooking and observe how little by little it releases its inner jelly.


  • Remove the casserole from the heat and let the cod rest for 5 minutes so that the temperature drops and the gelatin finishes.


  • Put the cod slices in another cold casserole dish.


  • Decant the olive oil that remains in the casserole where we have confited the cod to stay, on the one hand, with the gelatin of the cod mixed with a little oil and, on the other hand, with the rest of the clean oil (without gelatine).


  • Put the gelatin in the cold pot where we have put the cod.
    To make the pil pil sauce, gradually add the olive oil (the one that we had separated) to the casserole of the cod with the gelatine while we make a constant and energetic swing movement with the handles of the casserole. The objective of this oscillating movement is that the gelatin is emulsified with the oil and both form a stable yellow sauce.


  • If, however, it is not achieved that the pil pil sauce is tied after trying it in the traditional way, that is, making the movement back and forth with the casserole,There is a very practical and useful alternative to link it in a moment. Just put the gelatin of the cod and a little oil in a saucepan and, with the tip of a sieve, gently tie the sauce, as if using a hand blender. To be well, very important, the oil must be tempered. If it is too hot or too cold, pil pil sauce will not bind.


  • To serve the cod pil pil, arrange the slices of cod on the plate and sprinkle with the pil pil sauce. Decorate them with two or three slices of garlic and chilli that we had reserved.

  • Above all, if you want to re-heat the cod pil pil, it is best to heat only the slices of cod and then put the warm sauce because if it is very hot pil pil sauce will be cut.




The achievement of this sauce requires some tricks and advice. Pay attention to these that we show you and you will get the best results:


  • Clay pot, essential: the soft boiling that provides the perfect diffusion of the own heat of the mud facilitates without a doubt the emulsion of the sauce.

  • The casserole must be deep and thick and the fire soft and continuous.

  • As for the cod cuts: we recommend using not very thick pieces obtained from the part of the fish located between the tail and the open part, with enough skin in relation to the amount of meat and very rich in jellies, fundamental to achieve the emulsion of the sauce.

  • It must boil meekly, barely bubbling between the fish slices.
    You will have to move the casserole by turning it in the same plane of the stove, gently but continuously, so that the oil will bond and emulsify with the juices of the cod.

  • You can add some tablespoon of fish broth or water if it does not bind well due to lack of liquid.

  • This dish must be done with patience, if we hurry to do things, surely we will not get the flavor and texture so delicious that cod has pil pil, so before you start doing it, keep in mind that the secret is the patience.

  • The chilli pepper will always be better than after we cut it into pieces, eliminating the seeds, because we do not want them to make the dish too spicy.