Cod Liver Salad (печень трески)

DSCN0610If you are not a seafood lover, you can stop reading this. If you are a seafood lover but are still thinking “cod liver?? Eww!!!” – keep reading, or better yet, try this recipe, and maybe you’ll change your mind. When my mom made this while I was younger, she just called it a “fish salad,” so when I recently asked her for the recipe because I was craving some of this salad, and she told me what the “fish” was, I have to admit I was surprised. Having already had this salad many a time, and loved it, my mind was fortunately already made up and I would not be turned off by the idea of eating cod liver. As far as I knew it was just mom’s usual fish salad.

A few facts: a) Cod liver is very good for you. You have probably already heard about and possibly have taken cod liver oil supplements that are recommended for their high Omega-3 fatty acid content – important for all kinds of rejuvenating and anti-inflammatory properties. 2) If you can handle tuna salad, then you can handle cod liver salad.

The cod liver I purchased at the European deli came in a can, much like tuna. Except I think I like cod liver better.



It has a fine, smooth texture, reminiscent of foie gras, and it comes packed in its own beneficial oil, and pre-seasoned with black peppercorns and bay leaves, giving it a unique and delicate flavor that I think is so much better and definitely more refined than plain tuna.


Alas, my husband – who is a lover of tuna salad – did not care for this, as it was not slathered in mayonnaise, and I refused to modify the recipe that I grew up with. (Of the many Russian salads involving mayo, this is not one!)

Cod Liver Salad (serves 4)

1 can cod liver, in its own oil (reserve the oil)

2 large red potatoes, boiled but still firm

2 hard-boiled eggs

Handful of fresh parsley

Half a small white onion

Tablespoon of sunflower oil (olive will work if that’s all you have)

Salt and pepper to taste.

Chop the boiled potatoes, eggs, onion, and parsley. Cut the liver into small pieces so that you get a little in each bite. Add the salt, pepper, sunflower oil, and an additional tablespoon of cod liver oil that came in the can (that way you get more of that peppercorn/bay leaf flavor). Mix all the ingredients together lightly, so as not to mash anything. Serve as an appetizer or a light lunch with a hunk of crusty bread.


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9 Responses to Cod Liver Salad (печень трески)

  1. Just bought the first cod liver can ever. I wonder if it keeps well for a couple of days once opened – I can’t fathom eating a whole can in one serving. Nice recipe though, will try it!

  2. Tina says:

    Just made this out of Norwegian cod liver purchased at Amazon. I’m Czech and husband is Swedish; residents of California these days and we both found this “fish salad” fabulous! Thanks for a keeper recipe, now we’ll think of u and ur mom each time we make it:)

  3. Ed Tregenza says:

    I enjoy Cod liver in salad or a Pate and right out of the can,thanks for the recipe!.

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  6. My boyfriend doesn’t care for this salad either, only my daughter and I eat it. This salad was considered gourmet back in the Soviet Union days.

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