Photo by Hispanic Kitchen

Serenata de Bacalao (Puerto Rican Codfish Salad)

Cuisine: Puerto Rican
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Although serenata de bacalao is a typical spring and summer meal, it is also a dish that is suitable for all seasons of the year.

This peculiar recipe speaks a lot of Puerto Rican popular identity. Tradition has it that when a woman was asked to marry, it was done with a musical serenade, similar to the Mexican mariachis. If the bride said yes, the musicians were offered a cold plate of cod with viands. Hence the name of this recipe.

The bacalao serenata is a Puerto Rican combination of land and sea and has the advantage that it can be prepared the day before.

You will only need cod and local viands, such as malanga, potatoes, plantain, panapen, or any vegetable of your choice.



  1. Place in a pot of fresh water and cook at medium heat for 15-20 minutes. Drain and flake. Remove any bones.
  2. In another pot with fresh water, place the potatoes, green plantains, yautía (malanga), or other root vegetables, add salt to taste, and boil until the vegetables are tender. Check for doneness, usually 10-12 minutes. Drain.
  3. In a large dish, thoroughly layer the potato slices, half of the codfish, the vegetables, and the rest of the codfish, and place the tomato slices on top. Add the onions, sprinkle the capers, and add the egg wedges.
  4. Mix olive oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl.
  5. Pour the dressing mixture over the codfish mixture and toss just enough to evenly coat.
  6. Taste and re-season if necessary. Serve or refrigerate until ready to serve.
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