Puerto rican bacalao salad recipe: Gazpacho (Puerto Rican Salt Cod Salad)

Gazpacho (Puerto Rican Salt Cod Salad)

Puerto Rican Gazpacho is a delicious codfish salad that’s different from the cold soup version you may know from Spanish cuisine. Gazpacho in Puerto Rico is a light and fresh seafood salad that features salt cod, tomatoes, onion, and creamy avocado.

No, you didn’t read the title wrong.  The first time I saw gazpacho on a restaurant menu, I got really excited…until the dish arrived.  It was a cold tomato soup! I was like, WTH?!  All my life, gazpacho has been a light & refreshing salad composed of flaky salt cod (bacalao), avocado, tomato, onion and olive oil.  So you can imagine my surprise when I saw the soup. Puerto Rican gazpacho is a childhood favorite of mine, and is perfect for those nights when you’re just too tired to really cook.  This dish is a simple assembly-style dish. The hardest part is waiting patiently to purge the salt cod of its salty coat.  Another bonus, this dish is deliciously healthy and light, so feel free to have a couple servings!  It’s perfect by itself, or you can serve it alongside rice, or inside a soft baked roll or pita pocket for a delish and portable meal option.   Gazpacho is also a great option for Lent!

What Ingredients Are In Puerto Rican Gazpacho?

Puerto Rican gazpacho features salt cod, known Bacalao (pronounced [bah-kah-LAH-oh]). Bacalao is the Spanish term for dried and salted codfish. After the fish has been cleaned and eviscerated, it is salted and dried. It’s then sold whole or in fillets, with or without the bone. Before consuming it, the fish needs to be rehydrated and the excessive amount of sodium reduced by soaking and changing the water several times over many hours.

Once the salt has been removed from the cod, it’s boiled until tender, cooled, and combined with fresh tomatoes, white onion, ripe avocadoes, olive oil, and a splash of vinegar. This dish is super simple, yet packed with flavor.

What To Serve With Puerto Rican Gazpacho?

I grew up eating gazpacho inside of crusty bread, like a Portuguese roll or traditional Puerto Rican pan de agua. You can also serve this dish with white rice and fried plantains (tostones) for a delicious meal that’s packed with the flavors of Puerto Rico.

Want More Puerto Rican Recipes?

Check out these favorites from the Delish D’Lites archives!

  • Bacalao Guisado (Stewed Cod Fish)
  • Carne Guisada (Puerto Rican Beef Stew)
  • Pollo Guisado (Puerto Rican Chicken Stew)
  • Slow Cooker Pernil (Puerto Rican Roasted Pork Shoulder)
  • Arroz Con Gandules (Puerto Rican Rice with Pigeon Peas)

5 from 8 votes


Gazpacho (Puerto Rican Salt Cod Salad)




gazpacho, puerto rican gazpacho

Prep Time 5 minutes

Cook Time 20 minutes

Soaking Time 1 day

Total Time 25 minutes

Author Delish D’Lites

  • 1
    of boneless salt cod fillets
    rinsed and purged of salt
  • 1-2
  • 1/3
    white or red onion
    finely chopped
  • 1
    Florida avocado
    peeled and chopped into cubes
  • 2
    extra virgin olive oil
  • 1
  • salt and pepper
    to taste
  1. Rinse off the salt from the bacalao and soak overnight in water, changing the water 3 times. Place the bacalao into a pot of cold water, and bring to a boil.

  2. As soon as the liquid comes to a boil, drain the salt cod and let it cool.

  3. Once it’s cooled, break the salt cod into big flakes and place in a bowl. Make sure to check for any stray bones.

  4. Stir the chopped avocado, onion, tomato, olive oil and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and combine.

  5. Serve immediately, or refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

Serve with a side of white rice, or make a sandwich with crusty bread.

Cod Salad

Print Recipe

Add to Recipe Box

Buy all ingredients to make this recipe from your local grocer:

Share this recipe using:

  • About this Recipe
  • More Recipes like this

On the island of Puerto Rico, cod salad, also known as serenata de bacalao and gazpacho, is a staple dish, eaten throughout the year, and especially during Lent when fish typically replaces meat on Fridays. The ingredients used to make the salad vary greatly from the region of the island, to the cook; some like to add potatoes, while others capers and eggs. But no matter how you make it, you can always count on one thing: the salted cod, bacalao, is never too salty and is always refreshing.



Show ProductsHide Products


Kitchen View

Step 1

Rinse cod under cold water. Place pieces in large bowl; submerge completely in cold water. Cover bowl with plastic wrap; transfer to refrigerator. Let soak 24-36 hours, changing water every 8 hours. Rinse cod and discard soaking water; transfer to medium saucepan filled with water. Place saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring water to boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, skimming off foam that rises to surface, until cod is tender, about 10 minutes. Drain cod. When cool enough to handle, tear into bite-sized pieces; set aside.

Step 2

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened but not browned, about 8 minutes. Add garlic, cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds; remove skillet from heat and let olive oil mixture cool in pan.

Step 3

Add red wine vinegar to pan with cooled olive oil mixture; stir to combine. Transfer cod to pan. Stir gently until completely coated in olive oil mixture; refrigerate until chilled.

Step 4

Spoon cod mixture onto large serving platter. Decorate platter with tomato wedges, egg slices, avocado slices, olive halves and cilantro. Drizzle with more olive oil, if desired. Serve cold with hot, cooked tropical vegetables.

Ensure Flavorful, not salty, Cod

Soaking salted cod is a necessary step in ridding the salt used for preservation. After 24 hours of soaking, remove a small flake of flesh and taste. The meat should be firm, fresh and flavorful (not salty). If needed, continue to soak the cod in new water. Otherwise, use immediately.

Recipe Tags

Appetizers & Snacks
Breakfast & Brunch
Main Dishes
Side Dishes
Desserts & Drinks

BBQ & Grilling
Game Day
Movie Night
CIA Recipes

Main Dishes
Side Dishes
Desserts & Drinks
Appetizers & Snacks

South America
Central America

Over 60
Easter / Lent

Recipe Reviews


I’ve never made or have eaten this EXCELLENT year round recipe with vinegar, but i’m willing to try it. Though tasty less acidity might be best.

Write Review
Rate Recipe



Cod Salad


I’ve never made or have eaten this EXCELLENT year round recipe with vinegar, but i’m willing to try it. Though tasty less acidity might be best.

Your Rating:

 Clear stars


The history of the Christmas bacalao dish / What it is and what to serve with — an article from the «Food away from home» section on Food.ru

The bacalao fish dish is traditionally prepared for Christmas in Spain, Portugal and Mexico. It is noteworthy that each of these countries has its own recipe. It is worth noting that many ways of preparing bacalao involve the use of fresh cod, while the traditional version is made from dried salted fish. We tell how this Christmas dish appeared and share the best recipes. nine0003

What is bacalao

Bacalao means «cod» in Spanish. In cooking, the word means precisely dried and salted cod meat. In Spain, this fish is usually associated with Easter, but it is also cooked at Christmas.

How salted cod became popular in Spanish cuisine

Salted cod came to Spain through Portugal, where fish is still the main national dish.

In the 9th century, the Vikings tried several times to conquer the Iberian Peninsula through the west coast — they even invaded Seville in 844. But already in the 10th century, having seen that there was no way to win, they began to sell salted cod. nine0003

Although many of the customs have been lost over time, there have always been traditions in Spain related to the preparation of cod, which was an integral part of many Christmas dishes.

How the Spanish word “or” influenced the creation of the recipe

One of the most popular cod dishes is Biscay bacalao (Biscay is a province in northern Spain, part of the autonomous community of the Basque Country). The recipe came about by chance thanks to Simon Gurtubay, a Biscay businessman who was importing cod from Norway. nine0003

In 1835, Gurtubai sent a note to the suppliers asking for 100 or 120 cod, which is written in Spanish: «100 o 120 bacaladas». But the letter «o» was like a zero, and when he received 1,000,120 carcasses of salted cod in the port of Bilbao, he tried to commit suicide. Later in 1836, Bilbao was besieged during the First Carlist War, and fish became worth its weight in gold. A fortunate coincidence not only allowed the inhabitants of the city to feed themselves for several months, but also to invent many ways to cook fish. Biscay bacalao is one of the main Christmas dishes in Spain today. nine0003

Bacalao secrets

  • Buy cod from the North Atlantic Ocean. The water there is very cold, so the fish accumulate more fat. The meat of such cod is usually white.

  • Use dried salted cod for a dish like a Spanish chef.

  • For centuries, cod has been cured and allowed to dry for several weeks on rocks. However, nowadays cod is carefully dried for 15 days, soaking the meat with salt. nine0003

As the American writer Harold McGee explains in his book On Food and Cooking, during salting, micrococcus bacteria create flavor by producing free amino acids and TMA, oxygen breaks down a very small amount of fatty substances into free fatty acids, and the rest into many other molecules that also contribute to flavor. The final artificial drying is completed in less than three days. All this means that salted cod has little in common with fresh organoleptic indicators. nine0003

“The flavor it leaves is completely different from that of fresh cod,” says Victor Martin, head chef at the Castilian restaurant Trigo.

He notes:

“All bacalaos (both Spanish and Portuguese recipes) are made from dried salted cod – this is the only version of the dish that exists. In some recipes, you can use fresh fish, but it won’t taste the same. »

  • Desalt the fish. To do this, soak it for 48 hours, changing the water every five to six hours. nine0003

  • Make sure there are no bones in the fish.

  • Dry the fish with paper towels before cooking.

  • Use a heavy layered pan. For frying, take well-washed dry dishes.

  • Prepare the sauce following the bacalao recipe. The ingredients may be simple, but the method of preparation may vary.

Bacalao is a tasty and healthy dish. It will be a great choice for a New Year’s or Christmas menu! Most recipes don’t call for a side dish, but you can serve chickpeas stewed with vegetables, or rustic oven baked potatoes. nine0003

How bacalao is served in different cities and countries

Bacalao Biscay and bacalao pil-pil are served in the Basque Country. Biscay sauce is made from the pulp of dried red choricero peppers and onions, which are fried in a pan in olive oil. The sauce is rubbed several times through a sieve.

Pil-pil is made from hot peppers, garlic and olive oil. The main thing is gelatin, obtained from fish oil, which is abundant in salted cod. Biscay bacalao or pil pil sauce are popular Christmas recipes in all Spanish-speaking countries. nine0003

In Galicia, dried cod bacalao with cauliflower and boiled eggs is prepared. In Aragon — with garlic sauce.

In Mexico City, ground ancho chili peppers are added to bacalao to give the dish more piquancy and color.

What can be done?

Cook a Biscay bacalao and tell your guests the amazing story of this dish. And for dessert, make churros and serve them with cocoa or hot chocolate.

What else can you cook for New Year and Christmas:

  • Fresh three-ingredient salads for the New Year. Original recipes

  • How to make a cake for the New Year with your own hands. From filling to decor

  • Original fillings for New Year’s tartlets. New recipes for habitual snacks

What to cook with cod — «Food»

What to cook with cod — «Food»

food garden GOLD THOUSAND

  • Recipes0025 magazine «Food» No. 87 (149)

  • School «food»
  • Ideas
  • Authors
  • Base

My book of recipes

include ingredients 9000

Food Verified

Step by Step Recipes

Video Recipes

Recipes with History

Chowder, Fish and Chips, Marinated Fish and Meatballs


Ekaterina Akimova



Cod is one of the most important fish in the Russian fishery and will continue to do so until about the mid-2030s. Then the cod catch will probably decline — we wrote about this last year (read more here).

But so far everything is good with cod, we remembered nine dishes where it realizes itself as soon as possible: gives all its fragrant juices to the broth (chowder, porrusalda con bacalao, tomato, fennel and cod soup), or vice versa , keeps them with him, being sealed in a dense beer batter (fish and chips), or languishes in his own juice (our favorite recipe is cod with tomatoes). nine0160

There are also recipes from the «Golden Thousand», and the simplest and most loved by the people marinated fish, and the most tender meatballs of fish with mashed potatoes, natural for every child. All these dishes were prepared in our editorial kitchen, all of them are dearer to us than anywhere else.

Northern Lights Salted Cod

Lightly salted cod, lightly colored with blueberry puree. If blueberries are not at hand, feel free to take lingonberries. An amazing and simple appetizer, the recipe of which we brought from the Murmansk restaurant «Royal Hunt», the kitchen of which is headed by Svetlana Kozeiko.


snacks Russian kitchen step -by -step recipes

5 2 50

Author: Food

7 Ingredients 20 minutes

Porrusalda Kon Bakalao

Classic Spanish and Basque cuisine — leek soup with cod. For the dish, take a whole cod: the bones and skin will be needed for the broth. From our «Golden Thousand».


Soups Spanish Cuisine Step by Step Recipes

11 1 341


9 Ingredients 40 minutes

Cod and Corn Chowder

A rich soup that uses equal proportions of cod and corn. The cod flavor is enhanced by the bacon and chicken broth.


Soups European kitchen

12 2 193

Author: Alexey Zimin

13 Ingredients 30 minutes 9000

A festive soup in which cod finds itself in a wonderful motley company: fennel, pelati tomatoes, oranges, shrimps and white wine. Can be served with sour cream.


Soups American cuisine

8 1 397

Author:Aleksey Zimin

15 ingredients Cod with tomatoes 90 4 minutes 90 107

A recipe that we have already used several times in our collections and are not going to stop. Everyone should know this cod. Its simplicity lies in the fact that you can cook such cod at any time of the year: it does not require seasonal tomatoes, but cherry tomatoes. By the way, we recently had a revision of cherry tomatoes, you can study it here.


Main dishes Mediterranean cuisine low-calorie foods Step recipes

309 42 5151

Author: Alexey Zimin

7 Ingredients 9010

A detailed video recipe where beer is added to a regular flour batter, which is wonderfully reflected in the taste of the fish. Popular in England.


Main courses British cuisine Step by step recipes

9 1 371

Created by Food

The most delicate simple recipe: for a kilo of fish you need half a kilo of white bread, 100 ml of milk and 35 ml of cream. The recipe is taken from a vocational school cooking textbook.


Main dishes European cuisine Step by step recipes

14 2 806


7 ingredients 40 minutes

Marinated fish

A hit of Soviet home feasts, this fish could not be easier to cook. Feel free to use tomato paste as a tomato base — it’s more reliable.

Добавить комментарий

Ваш адрес email не будет опубликован. Обязательные поля помечены *