Monday, February 28, 2011

Bacalaitos (Codfish Fritters)

This is a favorite Puerto Rican/Dominican food that I was introduced to a couple years ago. They are sold on the street by vendors (street food) and there are many variations. The Puerto Rican ones traditionally are made from flour, seasonings/herbs and garlic and the Dominican ones contain cornmeal, sugar and fewer herbs and vegetables. I have tried them different ways and most recently decided to make a version of my own. This recipe has 1/2 cornmeal and 1/2 flour, as well as onions, garlic, and I added some of my homemade sofrito. Usually salted codfish is soaked or boiled  and then shredded. However, if you cannot find this type, you can use other that is cooked. These are deep-fried and definitely not very figure-friendly -- my poor husband's diet is being tested since these are his favorite!


1/4 pound salted codfish
3/4 cup flour (or use roughly 1/2 amount corn meal and 1/2 amount flour)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp (generous amount) seasoned salt (I use Adobo seasoned salt)
3/4 cup reserved fish broth from cooking the fish
1 garlic clove (more or less), finely minced
2 culantro leaves, finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
1- 1 1/2 packet sazón seasoning (I used culantro and achiote flavor)
few dashes of pepper
2-3 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped (or may use 1 Tbsp dried parsley)
2 large spoonfuls of sofrito (blend of onion, garlic, green pepper, cilantro, parsley, cumin, oregano and more)
sugar (optional)- I find that the onions give it a slightly sweet flavor

Cut the fish into chunks and boil the fish in water for 15 minutes. Then remove and flake it- deboning it if you did not use boneless fish. Reserve 3/4 cup of the cooking water. As it cools, begin mixing the dry ingredients together, followed by the remaining ingredients, except the fish and broth. Pour the broth slowly into the center and mix well to make a thick batter. Add in the bacalao and mix gently. Allow to set for about 5 minutes so the cornmeal can absorb a little moisture.  Bring a large amount of oil to approximately 350 degrees and then add large spoonfuls of batter into the oil. (I used a tall sided, narrow pot for cooking so I would not have to use so much oil and the fritters would be covered in the oil and float as they cooked. Therefore, I could only cook 2-3 at a time.) After dropping the batter into the oil, they may stick to the bottom, but allow them to cook there for about 1 1/2 minutes. Then take a spoon and carefully scrape across the bottom to dislodge them. By that time, they will float and probably are ready to turn over. They are finished when they are dark golden brown, but not too dark. Place on paper towels to drain. Allow to cool before eating as they will be VERY hot!        Makes 10 fritters.

They are like a chewy, mild fish flavored fritter. These may be served with a meal as part of the main course or as an appetizer.

Shared with:
Make Ahead Meals For Busy Moms- Melt in Your Mouth Monday


  1. Thanks for the shout out and for adding your yummy Codfish Fritter recipe to my new blog hop! You have some amazing recipes here!

  2. Oh wow, these little fritters are awesome. There's a restaurant in Rome well known for its codfish fritters. It's funny how international foods find themselves in unexpected places.

  3. Oh Wow, these look awesome! Can't wait to try them!

  4. The best Bacalaito recipe that I have tried so far. And it's authentic too. These really do take me back to my days as a little boy in Brooklyn. There was a Puerto Rican guy that sold these from a stand on the corner. These taste the same! Thanks for this recipe! I add red and green peppers.

    1. Thanks so much for letting me know you enjoyed them. The peppers sound like a tasty addition, too.


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