Kokotxas al pil pil

Kokotxas al pil pil

Hake kokotxas

If you are already thinking about possible dishes for Christmas, take into account the recipe of hake kokotxas al pil pil. A very typical dish in the Basque Country that is consumed especially on holidays like this, given the high price of this fine morsel.
If you have never made pil pil have a little patience because it is not a complicated sauce, but slightly laborious. Normally and traditionally it does not have parsley, but I must say that in all the restaurants where I have ordered kokotxas al pilpil, it did. So if you like it, put it.
In an earthenware casserole, preferably, or normal casserole, heat plenty of olive oil. Brown the garlic lightly together with the chili pepper, and remove both to a plate. Once the kokotxas have been cleaned, place them skin side up in the casserole dish and begin to shake it to the sides with circular movements.
Remove the casserole from the heat, while we continue stirring so that the sauce binds, as many times as necessary to prevent the oil from rising in temperature. If it goes down, we put it on the fire again until we see the bubbles, and so on until we have the pil-pil sauce bound.


In general, practically everything can be used from fish and seafood, since even the parts that we usually discard such as bones and heads can also be used to prepare broths and add flavor to dishes. In this recipe you will see the good use that is given to a part of the fish that a priori goes unnoticed.
This recipe of cocochas or kokotchas of cod in pil pil sauce is exquisite and includes tricks so that the famous pil pil sauce comes out perfect and also in a few seconds. It is a very typical appetizer of the Basque Country for special dates and without a doubt an absolutely spectacular snack. It is difficult to explain to someone who has not tried cocochas what they are like (which by the way are the chin of the fish), but we would certainly mention how juicy and tender they are.
Cocochas are an exquisite morsel, their particular tenderness and juiciness are a real pleasure, and their mild flavor a delight. To top it all off, the thick and tasty pil pil with the touch of garlic and the spicy chili pepper make it an authentic appetizer… scandalous!

Cod throat food

The first step to elaborate this recipe of cod kokotxas al pil pil is to perfume the oil that we are going to use to elaborate the pil pil. First, slice the peeled garlic cloves and cut the chili pepper in half. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and when the oil is hot, fry the garlic slices with the chilli peppers. Fry the garlic until they are golden brown, being careful not to over roast them or they will become bitter and ruin the recipe. Once the garlic is browned, drain and set aside to decorate the dish at the end.
Once the cod kokotxas are confit, remove them to a plate and set aside. The kokotxas have released the collagen to the oil as you can see in the photo and this is what is going to help us to bind the oil and to obtain the pil pil. We let the oil cool down again and once it has cooled down we continue with the recipe. With the help of a mesh strainer we move the strainer in circles making contact with the bottom of the pan. With this technique what we do is to add air to the oil that together with the low temperature of the oil and the gelatin that the cod has released helps us to bind the pil pil in a quite simple way.

Cod throats definition

Kokotxas de bacalao al pil pil is like a traditional dish from the Basque Country that could not be missing in the recipe book of «Sweet & Sour». In fact, I don’t think that any of you who have visited us have not heard of it or even tasted it.
The Kokotxa is the part of the fish, in this case the cod that is below the jaw, the equivalent of what we call dewlap in humans. It is very appreciated, because each cod has only one and it is very soft and full of gelatin. It is as the Italians would say «bocata di cardinale». The ones that have more culinary interest are those of hake and cod.
For a great majority of people, the preparation of a pil pil is difficult, that to extract the gelatin of a piece of fish and to bind it or to emulsify it with the oil by means of back and forth movements does not seem simple thing, but it is a sauce that if you know the secrets, it is prepared easily in 5-10 minutes and it is an authentic delicacy.
The Sapienstone countertop has served me wonderfully for this, since it allowed me to take the pan off the heat and place it hot directly on the countertop, which is an easy way to maintain the temperature of the oil, one of the secrets. And at the same time it allows me to turn it directly on the countertop to bind the sauce, to return it again to the fire and to repeat the game, and since it is not porous, I have not been afraid that the oil would irremediably stain my countertop with those ugly stains that are left on other countertops, more porous. In short, this «Brown Earth» countertop from Sapienstone is the perfect countertop, because it also has a beautiful texture and a natural and modern look.