Classic tapas recipe: tortilla de bacalao

Tortilla de bacalao tapas served with a tomato salad and a bottle of Mahou beer
A Spanish classic: tortilla de bacalao - 'salt cod omelette' Credit: Steve Ryan

Pintura’s Head Chef Greg Lewis dishes up a quintessentially Spanish salt cod omelette to go with the gastronomic beer of Madrid.

In partnership with Mahou, Spain’s number one brewer, The Telegraph has launched the Perfect Pairings campaign to discover new and exciting tapas and beer combinations.

Overseen by Michelin-starred chef and presenter Mark Sargeant, four UK tapas talents will come up with recipes specifically to go with the versatile, five-star taste of Mahou Cinco Estrellas and in the last of three challenges, his chefs prepare dishes to a Classic tapas theme.

Top of the chops: Pintura Head Chef Greg Lewis

Greg Lewis is Head Chef of Pintura in the centre of Leeds, a vibrant, award-winning bar that made its mark in the north of England with a truly innovative Basque-inspired menu.

“I’ve had some really great times in Spain eating and drinking,” Greg says, “and I just love those little bites of exquisitely flavoursome food they do so well.  For the Classic challenge I’m going with tortilla de bacalao, salt cod omelette, traditionally served in tiny squares. Key to success is the gooey middle.’

And it certainly wins over Mark Sargeant, who says: “The texture is lovely. Firm on the outside with a little warm, runny egg in the centre. The sweetness of the spring onion and the salty flavour of the cod contrast beautifully with each other and with the beer. This really is a perfect pairing.”

Tortilla de bacalao


Makes 4 tapas-sized omelettes

  • 200g cod fillet
  • 50g of rock salt
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • Knob of butter
  • Olive oil
  • 2 small handfuls of homemade potato crisps or ready salted Kettle chips
  • 8 free-range eggs
  • Sea salt
  • White pepper

To serve

  • Spring onions
  • Sorrel leaves


  1. Place the cod fillet in a dish and sprinkle over the salt ensuring all of the fish is salted. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge to cure overnight.
  2. Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed pan and add the onions. Over a very low heat cook the onions until caramelised – this will take 20-30 minutes – stirring occasionally ensuring they do not burn.
  3. When cured, remove the cod from the salt, rinse in cold water and pat dry using kitchen paper. Flake the cod into a small frying pan with a dash of olive oil and the caramelised onion. Gently heat through before adding the potato crisps. Stir gently until crisps are coated in juice before setting aside to cool.
  4. Pass the eggs through a strainer into your cooled potato chip mix – stir gently to combine all the ingredients. Cover the mixture and leave to set for approximately 30 minutes in the fridge allowing the potato to soak up some of the egg mix. Season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper
  5. Heat an omelette pan until hot, add a little oil then gently spoon a quarter of the cod omelette mix into the pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes until omelette is visibly cooked around the edges and starting to come away from the pan.
  6. Using a plate, quickly turn the omelette out and slide it back into the pan to cook the other side. Cook for a further 2-3 minutes until just set. The omelette should be slightly gooey and undercooked in the centre.
  7. Serve either straight away or later at room temperature – garnish with thinly sliced spring onions and red sorrel leaves, or alternatively any baby leaves to hand.

To make the dish for yourself, get your ingredients at #perfectpairing #mahou