Recipe: Warm Christmas Potato Salad (Seasoned Potatoes with Salt Cod)

Serves 6

This warm salad benefits from the resourcefulness of Croatians who still enjoy preserved fish with salt. Mixed with creamy red potatoes, a bit of bacon, and green onion – this salad makes a great side dish for any eastern European meal.


1 pound boned, salted codfish
2 lbs red potatoes
3 green onions, sliced thinly
fried bacon – 2-4 slices, crumbled
olive oil


The day before serving:

First, gather the salt cod. Salt cod is literally fish packed in salt so that it won’t spoil.

Our box came with some nifty directions. Thank goodness since, frankly, I was a little scared.

As soon as we opened the box, the scent of fish wafted through the kitchen. The salt looked exactly like snow. Nice fluffy seasalt. If it didn’t smell so fishy, I would have boxed it up and used it on something. But… wow.

No choice but to follow the instructions. Rinse the salt off of the fish with cool water.

After a little while, the pieces will begin to separate. Keep rinsing and working the fillets apart with your hands.

Place in a pot and cover with water. Heat up gently. When tiny bubbles begin to break the surface, turn off the heat and drain.

All that salt is washing away…

Rinse and cover with more water.

Soak overnight. You won’t believe all the salt that comes out of these puppies.

The next day:

Taste the fish and make sure it still isn’t too salty before you carry on.

If all is well, cook the potatoes.

Gather your potatoes and scrub them up…

Cover with water

Add a healthy handful of salt and simmer until tender.

One drained, flake the salt cod over the potatoes.

Add in the green onion and bacon.

A little olive oil goes a long way to lubricate this salad. Yum.

Feel free to add pepper, but the fish and bacon are both pretty salty, so you probably can leave the salt out.

Toss together and eat. But maybe not for a first date, because it is rather fishy.

Opt In Image
Hungry for more?
Be notified when National Geographic releases my memoir.

Simply fill in your details below.


  1. You’re making me hungry!! Ah, salt cod, bacalao, it used to keep the world going. Basque fishermen from northern Spain discovered America first, around 1470. They found lots of cod in the waters there. They set up fish-drying stations in what’s now Canada to prepare salt cod. They kept it secret because they sold the rare salt cod for huge prices.

  2. Robots don’t always leave smart comments.

  3. But you didn’t cook the cod! That’s why it was so chewy.

Speak Your Mind