10 Puerto Rican Fish and Seafood Dishes You Must Try

A bounty of seafood
A bounty of seafood | © Greg Walters/flickr
Kris Pethick

Though the industry is dwindling somewhat, there are still a number of fishing villages and family-run businesses, so fresh fish and seafood is abundant in Puerto Rico. Here is a list of some of the specialties of the sea that Puerto Rico has to offer.


The ceti run in July through December in the Arecibo area. Ceti are tiny transparent fish that are not even an inch long so, of course, are eaten whole. Try a ceti empanadilla or mofongo relleno con ceti.


Grilled octopus

The octopus is often marinated in a garlicky brine or a combination that includes Old Bay Seasoning, and then grilled so that it is crispy on the outside and so very tender on the inside. Octopus does not have a fishy flavor at all; it is light and almost has the smokey flavor of bacon when grilled.

Grilled octopus

Conch salad

Carrucho is on every menu in many forms, such as fritters or in empanadillas, and as salad. The dish is made with bite size pieces of conch and fresh vegetables like hot peppers, onions and roasted red peppers, and olives and capers add another level of flavor. Often tomato is added just before serving. The dressing is a light citrusy vinaigrette made with lime juice, olive oil and garlic, and seasoned to taste.

Conch salad

Aguacate relleno (stuffed avocado)

Avocadoes can be used in so many ways, and one of the best is stuffed with shrimp in a creamy garlic sauce. The warm fragrant shrimp with the cool avocado is divine. Pair it with a chilled glass of albariño for an exquisite culinary experience.

Crab stuffed avocado

Caribbean shrimp

Coconut crusted shrimp may not be uniquely Puerto Rican, but the freshness of the locally-caught shrimp, the fresh grated coconut and the fruit used in the sauce makes a major difference in the dish served here. Fresh guava used for a sweet sauce makes these crunchy shrimp out of this world. Try this as an appetizer or as a meal – you will not regret it.


The recipes for ceviche are as endless as the waves on the shores of Puerto Rico. Fish or seafood is “cooked” in lime or lemon juice, or a combination of the two, along with fresh cilantro. Ceviche can be made with red snapper, mahi mahi, grouper or any whitefish that has a firm flesh. It can also be made with seafood like shrimp, but that made with fish is the lightest and freshest. Red onion, tomato, hot or mild peppers and cucumber are just a few of the things that are added. Often served with tostones or yuca chips, this is a great way to start any Puerto Rican dining experience.


Mofongo relleno con camarones

Mofongo is probably one of the most well-known and popular Puerto Rican dishes. Green plantains are fried and then mashed with chicharrones (pork rinds) and a lot of garlic and oil is added to give it a nice moist consistency that is easy to mold and will hold its shape. Try this seafood variety stuffed with camarones (shrimp) in a criollo sauce.

Mofongo stuffed with shrimp

Red snapper

Red snapper is caught locally and served fresh at many restaurants. Snapper is almost always served whole, and usually fried with a light batter. The meat has a light flavor, so it blends well with different seasonings or sauces. Snapper also has relatively big bones for a fish, so it is easier to eat.

Steamed Red Snapper

Bacalao guisado

This dish is a savory stew made with salt cod and a spicy tomato sauce. The best bacalao guisado is made with homemade sofrito, a commonly used blend of cilantro, peppers, onion and garlic, along with other spices.


Arroz con jueyes

Rice dishes are a staple in Puerto Rico, so try something a little bit different and get your seafood fix with the arroz con jueyes, rice with crab.

Rice with crab
culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.


Keen to explore the world?

Our passionately curated premium small-group trips are an invitation to connect with like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences.