Sancocho Canario Recipe & Tradition

Traditional Canarian fish dish which is eaten on Good Friday. We have put together a delicious recipe for you.

Sancocho Canario

The Sancocho Canario is a traditional boiled salty fish dish eaten at Easter, especially on Good Friday. And again with small variations on and around  the “Dia de Canarias” – the Canary Island Day, the 30th of May.

You can get a Sancocho Canario in  most Canarian restaurants on Good Friday. Be aware though, that that day in the Easter week is an important bank holiday in Spain and the Canarians like to eat out for lunch that day. As a result, many popular restaurants get jam packed  between 2:00 and 4:00 pm.

What has to be on the plate?

Each household has their own preference. But what has to be on the plate when serving Sancocho Canario are: Salty Fish, Gofio slices, boiled potatoes, sweet potato and Mojo Rojo.

Some chefs add raw red onions, parsley , or the spicy Mojo Picante. Once I was even served a banana with my Sancocho, as the chef had run out of sweet potatoes. Turns out, the combination worked out perfectly.

Sancocho Canario Recipe

If you would like to give it a go, try this recipe and let me know how it went.


  • 1 kg salted fish (cherne, croaker or pompano).
  • 4 kg large potatoes
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • Olive oil
  • Parsley for decoration
  • Read onion wedges to taste
  • Salt

Desalinating the Fish

The first step is to get the salt out of the salty fish. The best way to do this is to let it soak for at least 24 hours, best 48 hours, changing the water several times during the process, we recommend every 5 hours or so.

Some people boil all the ingredients together in the same pot, others boil the fish separately. We like to prepare it separately to have better control over the necessary cooking times,

Potatoes & Batatas

Peel the potatoes (sweet and normal) and cut the sweet potatoes in 3 cm slices. Put potatoes into a pot, add  enough water to cover them and add a little salt. Bring the water to boil, then reduce the heat to medium and let it slow boil for about 15 minutes for the potatoes to get tender. Try the tenderness by pinching with a fork after about 12 minutes. You don’t want them to fall apart due to overcooking.


Cut the desalinated fish into large pieces, about 10 – 15 cm long, place the pieces in a pot, and add water to cover the fish. Do NOT add salt to the fish. Bring water to boil and let it cook on a medium heat for about 15-20 min or until its ready. Make sure it does not fall apart.

Cooking Fish Sancocho Canario

Once all is cooked, drain well and arrange the different ingredients nicely on the plate. Add a slice or two of Pella de Gofio, a little red onion wedges if you fancy and pour red mojo over the potatoes.

Find a place with sea view, pour yourself a nice drink and enjoy your Sancocho Canario on Good Friday or any other day of the year.

Sancocho Canaria in Gran Canaria - Las Salinas

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Sancocho Canario Recipe & Tradition written by Judith
Hi, I am Judith, the founder, author, translator and coffee girl of the GRAN CANARIA REGIONAL Guide.

The Gran Canaria Regional BLOG offers a platform for bloggers to write about Gran Canaria. This article represents the personal opinion and impression of the author. We like to offer a wide range of opinions and impressions to our readers. Do you have any suggestions for this article, did you notice an error? Do you have Canarian recipe you need to share? Would you also like to write about Gran Canaria? Please contact us here.

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