Gazpacho (Puerto Rican Salt Cod Salad)

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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.

Gazpacho (Puerto Rican Salt Cod Salad) | Delish D'Lites

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!

Gazpacho (Puerto Rican Salt Cod Salad) | Delish D'Lites

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.

Gazpacho (Puerto Rican Salt Cod Salad) | Delish D'Lites

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Gazpacho (Puerto Rican Salt Cod Salad) | Delish D'Lites
5 from 8 votes
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Gazpacho (Puerto Rican Salt Cod Salad)

Course Salad
Keyword gazpacho, puerto rican gazpacho
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Soaking Time 1 day
Total Time 25 minutes
Author Delish D’Lites

Ingredients

  • 1 lb of boneless salt cod fillets rinsed and purged of salt
  • 1-2 tomatoes chopped
  • 1/3 cup white or red onion finely chopped
  • 1 Florida avocado peeled and chopped into cubes
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  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.

Recipe Notes

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

Gazpacho (Puerto Rican Salt Cod Salad)

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13 Responses

  1. 5 stars
    My first experience with this salad was with my Puerto Rican neighbor – and she made a slightly different version – so maybe there are regional or family recipes? Her version had sweet potato, hard boiled eggs, no tomatoes but chunks of banana – along with the avocados, salted cod, red onion and a dash of olive oil and pepper. I was intrigued and it became my favorite dish of all time. The textures and flavors are outstanding and although I was sure the banana would wreck it – it didn’t.

      1. That’s a version of serenata. Gazpacho is just bacalao (cod) avocado, tomatoes and onions with a sprinkle of fresh ground pepper and olive oil. No vinegar in my version. In fact, I’m having a bowl as I write this. And the serenata I’m familiar with is the gazpacho as I described it with hard boiled eggs.

  2. 5 stars
    Thank you. I had the opposite experience. I love gazpacho, the cold tomato soup. I had been reading salt cod recipes in several books but never tasted it. I mentioned that to a Puerto Rican friend and she brought a bacalao salad with avocado just as you describe and to my surprise, called it gazpacho. It is outstanding! (I think she cooked the onions until transparent) I went looking for a recipe and found your site. Thank you again.

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Hola

I’m Jannese, Founder of Delish D’lites

I’m a Puerto Rican girl living in paradise (Florida), and the creative mind behind Delish D’Lites. I love sharing my family recipes and travel inspired cuisine! My favorite things include collecting passport stamps, twerking to Latin music, and kissing puppies. Follow along on social.