Scrumptious Bacalaitos (Cod Fish Fritters)
Bacalaitos are scrumptious cod fish fritters that have super crispy edges and a nice and tender middle. They are just one out of many "frituras" (fritters; fried treats) that are so popular in Puerto Rico. Wherever you go in Puerto Rico, you are sure to find a roadside stand or a little kiosk selling many kinds of delicious fritters. Whether it's at the beach, down the road, at a carnival or a fiesta, bacalaitos are just an absolute favorite!
My sisters and I always knew when mom was cooking up a batch of bacalaitos because cod fish or "bacalao", as we call it, can be really smelly when you boil it. The smell would permeate the entire house, but in the end it was well worth it. My sisters and I would gobble up all of the bacalaitos in an instant!
Photo Credit: http://www.amapolapr.com/rec-bacalaitos.html
Photo Credit: http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/vejigantes-restaura...
- Cook time: 1 hour 15 min
- Ready in: 1 hour 15 min
- Yields: 25 to 30
- 1 pound of dried bacalao (cod fish fillet)
- 2 cups of flour
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- 1 teaspoon of Adobo seasoning
- 2 cups of water
- 2 finely chopped garlic cloves
- 2 teaspoons of finely chopped cilantro
- vegetable oil for frying
- Rinse the bacalao in cold water.
- Place it in a saucepan, cover it with plenty of water and let it boil for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Drain the water, add plenty of fresh water and boil again for an additional 15 to 20 minutes to completely desalt the cod fish.
- Drain the water and let the bacalao cool, then easily remove the skin and any bones.
- Shred the bacalao into small pieces with your fingers or with a fork and drain off any excess water. Set it aside until needed.
- Combine the flour, baking soda, Adobo seasoning, and water in a bowl and mix it well until it looks like pancake batter.
- Add the finely chopped garlic and cilantro and the shredded bacalao and mix well.
- In a skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
- Take spoonfuls of batter using a large spoon or a ladle and carefully drop them in the oil. Make sure the oil is HOT!
- Turn the bacalaitos over once and cook until both sides are golden, then drain them in a paper towel.
- Grab a napkin and serve them while they're hot! (Not too hot, of course!)
* My grandma used to soak the codfish in cold water, refrigerate it overnight, and then drained it and rinsed it again a few times. You can do it this way too, but I prefer to knock everything out in one day.
* You can find deboned cod fish in the market, which would make it even easier!
* Just like pancakes, if the batter is too thin, add a little bit of flour and if it's too thick, add a little more water.
* You can refrigerate any extra cod fish or batter for a few days in the refrigerator or just freeze it for later use.
* Bacalaitos will stick together, so be sure not to overcrowd the skillet! Frying 2 or 3 at a time makes it easier to turn them over.
* Bacalaitos taste the best if you eat them on the same day!
Photo Credit (Shredded cod fish): http://youbethecook.blogspot.com/2013/02/bacalaito...
How do you say that word?
Want to learn how to say bacalaitos? Here's the pronunciation:
This can be your Spanish word of the day!
No Time to Make Bacalaitos?
When I'm feeling lazy or just don't have time to make bacalaitos, I buy this cod fish fritter mix. It already has everything you need in it and all you have to do is simply add water, mix, and fry according to the box instructions.These taste just as great as preparing them from scratch.
HINT: BE PREPARED FOR THE BOLD SMELL OF BACALAO AS YOU FRY IT!
Easy as 1-2-3!