Bacalao Salado (Salt Cod Salad)

Laura Manuel-Arrighi


Puerto Ricans were brought to Hawaii throughout the 1800's to work on the sugar plantations. Their contribution to the "melting pot of the Paciic" foods melded so easily. This dish are enjoyed by all who call Hawai'i home, including this Kanaka Maoli (indigenous people of Hawaii) It is said that this dish is an adaptation of the dish back home in Puerto Rico. Thus,what you see here is the "local" version of that adaptation.

A favorite accompaniment eaten alongside Pasteles or Puerto Rican main dishes. This dish makes a great salad to eat during the summer.

Enjoy !


★★★★★ 1 vote

10 or more servings


  • 1/2 lb
    bacalao (dried salted cod), soaked, deboned and flaked or shredded
  • 1 small
    won bok (chinese) cabbage, washed, drained and sliced to your liking
  • 1 large
    manoa, romaine or iceberg lettuce, washed, drained and torn into bite size pieces
  • 1 small
    bunch of watercress, chopped into bite size pieces. (optional)
  • 1
    red or round onion (spanish works well too!), sliced thinly
  • 1
    japanese cucumber, sliced thinly
  • 2
    roma tomatoes, sliced thinly
  • 1 - 2 clove
    garlic, minced
  • ·
    juice of 2 limes, 1 lemon or cider vinegar (i use a mixture of 1 lemon plus some rice wine vinegar for a little sweetness), adjust to your liking
  • ·
    olive oil, enough to make a vinaigrette which is usually a 3 (oil) to 1 (acid) ratio. i use 3/4 cup olive oil and approximately 6 tbs. lemon/lime juice or cider vinegar
  • ·
    aloha or your favorite shoyu (soy sauce)
  • ·
    black pepper, freshly cracked or ground.

How to Make Bacalao Salado (Salt Cod Salad)


  1. Bacalao Preparation: Soak Bacalao in water for 30 minutes. Drain and repeat up to 2 more times, soaking for 2 hours the second time around. Taste a small piece of fish after second soak to check for saltiness. If it is still salty soak another hour in clean water (drain fish and refill water for 3rd soaking.) Taste again.

    Soak and drain for an hour until you've reached the desired level of saltiness.
  2. Once rinsing is done and the fish is soft and tastes to your liking, place fish between a couple of clean dish towels. Press out excess water.

    Place pressed fish in large bowl and debone if needed. Flake or shred with a fork. Set aside.
  3. Building The Salad: Place prepared salad ingredients (as instructed in the Ingredients section above) into bowl with flaked or shredded fish. (Excluding the garlic, olive oil, shoyu (soy sauce) and lemon juice.)
  4. In a separate small bowl, whisk together lemon juice or vinegar, olive oil, garlic, shoyu (soy sauce) and freshly cracked black pepper. Pour vinaigrette over salad ingredients and toss to coat well.

    Taste and adjust accordingly. Serve and enjoy!

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About Bacalao Salado (Salt Cod Salad)

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