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Scrumptious Bacalaitos (Cod Fish Fritters)

Updated on May 29, 2015


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:

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


  1. Rinse the bacalao in cold water.
  2. Place it in a saucepan, cover it with plenty of water and let it boil for 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Drain the water, add plenty of fresh water and boil again for an additional 15 to 20 minutes to completely desalt the cod fish.
  4. Drain the water and let the bacalao cool, then easily remove the skin and any bones.
  5. Shred the bacalao into small pieces with your fingers or with a fork and drain off any excess water. Set it aside until needed.
  6. Combine the flour, baking soda, Adobo seasoning, and water in a bowl and mix it well until it looks like pancake batter.
  7. Add the finely chopped garlic and cilantro and the shredded bacalao and mix well.
  8. In a skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
  9. Take spoonfuls of batter using a large spoon or a ladle and carefully drop them in the oil. Make sure the oil is HOT!
  10. Turn the bacalaitos over once and cook until both sides are golden, then drain them in a paper towel.
  11. Grab a napkin and serve them while they're hot! (Not too hot, of course!)

Useful Tidbits

* 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):

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.


Bacalaitos are scrumptiously delicious! - Skewering the bacalaitos is another great way of draining the excess oil! Photo Credit: (bacalaitos a-frying!): http:/

Have you ever eaten bacalaitos?

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    • rob-hemphill profile image

      Rob Hemphill 4 years ago from Ireland

      We live on fish as we have such a great choice around the Irish waters. These fritters look very tasty, must bookmark!

    • Chica510 profile image

      Marangeli Osoria 4 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

      @tonyleather: Thank you!

    • profile image

      tonyleather 4 years ago

      These are a really tasty treat! Nice lens!

    • Chica510 profile image

      Marangeli Osoria 4 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

      @flinnie lm: Enjoy!

    • flinnie lm profile image

      Gloria Freeman 4 years ago from Alabama USA

      Hi Chica510, these little cod fish fritters look good. I eat fish often, it nice to have a new recipe to try.

    • Chica510 profile image

      Marangeli Osoria 4 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

      @esmonaco: You're welcome!

    • esmonaco profile image

      Eugene Samuel Monaco 4 years ago from Lakewood New York

      We are Italian and every Christmas Eve it was a tradition at my grandparents house to cook an all fish meal. We called it Bacala, my grandmother would coat it with a batter and bake it, we also had it without the batter. Your recipe looks delicious, and thanks for the memories.

    • Chica510 profile image

      Marangeli Osoria 4 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

      @RHKnight: Enjoy!

    • RHKnight profile image

      RHKnight 4 years ago

      Thanks for teaching me a Spanish word and the phonetics, I always need that! I love to eat fish and am always looking for new ways to keep it interesting. Time for me to grab Adobo seasoning and try this great recipe. I do love some GOYA brand, I like their Sazon packets.

    • Chica510 profile image

      Marangeli Osoria 4 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

      @anonymous: Thanks!

    • Chica510 profile image

      Marangeli Osoria 4 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

      @Margaret Schindel: Thanks!

    • Margaret Schindel profile image

      Margaret Schindel 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Although I don't eat fish, I really enjoyed how enticingly you presented this recipe, especially the great photos and "useful tidbits". Best of luck in the November Food Club Quest!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Looks so yummy! Good luck in the November Squidoo Food Club Quest

    • Chica510 profile image

      Marangeli Osoria 4 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

      @Joebeducci: Thanks!

    • Joebeducci profile image

      Joebeducci 4 years ago

      Hmm looks delicious! Greets, Joebeducci