Bacalaítos are salt cod fritters filled with minced cod fish and garnished with cilantro, tomatoes and onions, they are a traditional Puerto Rican snack that typically is eaten with an entire meal. Bacalaítos are served at the beach, cuchifritos, and at festivals. Bacalaítos are crisp on the outside and dense and chewy in the inside.

In Puerto Rico bacalaítos are served all over the island in different versions. Depending upon the recipe, the salted cod is either soaked or boiled soaked to remove most of the salt. The cod is then drained and shredded, then incorporated in a seasoned flour batter. The cod is then deep-fried and when done should resemble a pancake. Most common seasonings are sofrito, parsley, cumin, orégano brujo, sage, and annatto.

In the Dominican Republic bacalaítos are also eaten with meals. Dominicans add sugar, cornmeal (instead of flour), no spices, fewer herbs and vegetables.

Bacalaitos (Salt Codfish Fritters)
A classic of Latin American cuisine, Bacalaitos are eaten as either a snack or as an appetizer course.
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Latin-American
Serves: 60 fritters
  • 1/2 pound codfish, salt
  • 2 Cups flour, all-purpose
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 large cloves garlic; crushed
  • 1 Cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon Annatto Oil
  • vegetable oil; for frying
  1. Soak the codfish in cold water for 2 hours or longer, according the the saltiness and hardness of the fish. Drain, rinse and place in a small saucepan.
  2. Pour boiling water over the fish and allow to stand 5 minutes. Drain.
  3. Remove any bones and skin and shred the fish.
  4. Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the garlic, water and annatto oil and mix to a smooth batter. Add the shredded fish and mix well.
  5. Heat oil to 370 degrees F in a deep fryer or large, heavy saucepan.
  6. Fry the the mixture by teaspoonfuls until golden brown.
  7. Drain on paper towels, keep warm and serve hot as hors-d'oeuvres.
From the isles of Greece and Turkey to the sunny shores of the Caribbean, salted cod has become a traditional Christmas season ingredient in literally hundreds of recipes. Popular throughout the Mediterranean basin, the Spaniards brought some recipes; quite likely this recipe, to the New World.

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